Gone are the days when one had to wonder where, how, whom to contact to buy something. Gone are the yellow pages and fat directories eating into our shelf space. All we have to do today is go online and shop for what we want. The best manifestation of this changing dynamic in our society exists in the form of e-commerce platforms. E-commerce platforms can be understood as websites that are akin to an online version of shopping malls – possessing all products across categories under one roof.
Free online classifieds platforms on the worldwide web currently serve people in several countries. These sites offer a wide range of services, from education, fashion, home, vehicles, art and jobs, as well as the buying and selling of all type of products. According to Tech-world BD, there were 2 billion Internet users worldwide in 2011, with this number forecasted to swell to in excess of 3 billion by 2015. Speaking about e-commerce specifically, industry research firm IBIS world states the e-commerce and online auction arena growth to be 10.4% from 2007 to 2012. A further 8.8% growth is expected annually up until 2017.
As a result, online shopping has become especially popular in developing countries such as India, China, Bangladesh, Brazil etc. For example, in Bangladesh, as awareness of payment methods online is growing everyday, more and more people are opening up to use websites like olx.com.bd to conduct transactions. Online shopping has brought tremendous convenience factor in developing countries. Apart from technological barriers and lack of maturity in the market, developing countries possess the world’s largest untapped potential for eCommerce to boom in the coming years. Rising aspirations and increasing disposable incomes have as it is ensured burgeoning consumption patterns among this massive youth population.
There are various challenges that businesses need to overcome to ride the growth wave of e-commerce industry. Untried and untested business model, low initial profitability and barriers to online payments are some important hurdles. However, in the long run, the benefits will outweigh the hurdles like any new product or business category. The opportunity today is way too large to be overlooked – eCommerce is here to stay!!!
Infographic source: blog.cleverbridge.com