E-commerce brief history
Trade involves the transfer of goods or services from one person or entity to another, often in exchange for money. Economists refer to a system or network that allows trade as a market. Traditionally, trade has involved the exchange of goods and services, but money helped to modernise and simplify trade so that transactions can take place more frequently, as the currency of trust sets a value that ensures that trade takes place securely.
From the 1970s, the first e-commerce technologies have started to be introduced and in the mid-1980s we can say that the first e-commerce transactions started to take place. In the 1990s, with the spread of the internet, e-commerce has also become more widespread and more accepted as a trading option. In the last 20 years trading over the internet become a standard and today we are used to shopping for products and services with a few simple clicks or touches.
What is e-commerce?
E-commerce or electronic commerce takes place on the Internet, and is the activity of buying or selling products electronically on online services, hence also called online trading. It is made possible by technologies such as mobile commerce, electronic funds transfer, supply chain management, internet marketing, online transaction processing, electronic data interchange (EDI), inventory management systems and automated data collection systems.
For e-commerce, browsers are typically used for at least part of the transaction lifecycle, although they may also use other technologies such as email. Typical e-commerce transactions include the purchase of products or services.
E-commerce is supported by electronic business which means that a web shop needs to be integrated with other software. Online business or electronic business is any type of business or commercial transaction that involves sharing information over the internet. Commerce represents the exchange of products and services between companies, groups and individuals and can be seen as one of the most important activities in any business. Electronic business focuses on the use of information and communication technologies to enable the business' external activities and relationships with individuals, groups and other businesses, and refers to business transactions using the Internet.
The best thing about e-commerce is that it allows customers to overcome geographical barriers and allows them to buy products anytime, anywhere. Online and traditional markets have different approaches to doing business. Traditional retailers offer fewer ranges of products due to shelf space where online retailers often have no warehouse but send customer orders directly to manufacturing.
Pricing strategies are also different for traditional and online shops. Traditional retailers base their prices on store traffic and the cost of maintaining stock. Online retailers base their prices on the speed of delivery. Of course, other costs are also taken into account when determining the final price, but the basic differences are as described above.
The modern e-commerce trend recommends companies to shift the traditional business model where the focus is on "standardised products, homogeneous market and long product life cycle" to the new business model where the focus is on "varied and customised products". E-commerce requires the company to have the ability to cater to the diverse needs of multiple customers and provide them with a wider range of products.
With more product choices, information about products that customers can choose and meet their needs becomes crucial. To direct the mass customisation principle to the enterprise, the use of recommender systems is proposed. This system helps to recommend the right products to customers and helps customers to make the decision during the purchasing process. The recommender system can be driven by the top sellers on the website, customer demographics or consumer buying behavior.
Logistics for e-commerce
Logistics in e-commerce is primarily about fulfillment, i.e. delivering products to the right place in a timely manner. Online marketers and retailers need to find the best possible way to fill orders and deliver products. Small businesses tend to manage their own logistics operations because they do not have the opportunity and resources to hire an external logistics company. Most large companies hire a delivery firm to take care of a company's logistical needs. Contrary to common misconception, there are significant barriers to entry in e-commerce and logistics is one of the main obstacles.
E-commerce during Covid-19 and the future
In March 2020, global retail website traffic reached 14.3 billion visits, representing an unprecedented increase in e-commerce during the 2020 shutdown. Studies show that as many as 29% of shoppers surveyed say they will never go back to shopping in person again; in the UK, 43% of consumers say they expect to continue shopping in the same way even after the lockdown is over.
Retail e-commerce sales show that COVID-19 has a significant impact on e-commerce and its sales are expected to reach $6.5 trillion by 2023. We can conclude that the industry will continue to expand and attract more players, on the consumer side as well as on the B2B side.
If you are thinking of starting your own e-commerce business, you will obviously need an e-commerce platform. You can develop the platform yourself, of course if you can program in, for example Magento or WooCommerce. If you don't have these skills yourself, you will have to hire professionals, i.e. an IT development company that will help you find the right solution.
E-commerce with Strativ
Strativ AB is your obvious development partner with smart solutions for e-commerce. Our dedicated development team has expertise in both Magento and WooCommerce, for the development of e-commerce platforms. During the work process, we always focus on creating converted web shops with responsive design, which provide the best conditions for successful e-commerce.
A great example of a more advanced web shop can be found in the solution we developed for My Mall Sweden AB, which has everything for your home and leisure. Since My Mall collaborates with many different suppliers, from different domain industries, the challenge lay in creating a focal point for interaction between different parties in order to sell and buy goods. This means that they also wanted to give the opportunity to the supplier to run their own store to sell their products through the My Mall platform.
The development team at Strativ has developed an e-commerce platform that is also mobile and SEO optimized, which can be found at My Mall website. The system consists of a scalable backend and responsive front-end in the cloud, as well as many integrations with third-party payment systems and other import services from various providers. The platform is designed to deliver value to the My Mall business through data-driven outcomes that drive increased commerce.
The platform we have developed works today with more than 400 thousand products in My Mall online store, and with continuous growth in buyer numbers since its launch in February 2019. Our developed system serves a large part of their business. The system makes it easier for various stakeholders to manage online business with better efficiency. Some automation is implemented that makes the user experience faster and smoother.
A smart solution for smooth online trading!
Now you've got a closer look at the world of e-commerce, don't hesitate to book a free meeting with us to discuss opportunities for your budding business, or perhaps upgrading your existing one. We work with all types of clients, but each client is unique to us according to Strativ's TMR model.
You're just a few clicks away from a smart solution for your business!
Thank you for your time!