In today’s tech-centered world, 4 billion people are connected to the internet, and nearly 92% use their mobile devices. Every day nearly 85% of the users connect to the internet and spend, on average, six-and-a-half hours online. People are spending more time on the internet, with the increasing frequency and a wide availability of digital services. It’s considerably accepted that internet accessibility, technological advancements, and digital innovations are redefining consumers every interaction and will continue to enable many aspects of consumers’ lifestyle well into the future.
The digital revolution has given rise to the connected e-commerce ecosystem which is fast evolving, and customers no longer go to the nearest store. Rather, they prefer to shop online through their digital devices. And with the world at our hand, why only shop domestically, when we can get almost all the brands present worldwide? In fact, a new report from eMarketer analysis stated that online retail sales will grow robustly and account for more than 12% of global sales by 2019.
Retail shopping has completely changed shopping experience from purchasing in stores to purchasing online anywhere and anytime. While connected commerce is still largely a domestic affair, with consumers preferring ordering online from retailers of their own country, cross-border e-commerce is growing significantly. According to a Nielsen report, online shopping customers are increasingly looking outside their country borders, for a variety of the product they’re looking. The people who made online purchases across borders in the past six months were 57%.
Considering the Asian region, customers who purchased online in the past six months preferred to buy from an overseas retailer. But this isn’t just a developing-market trend, buying online from overseas retailers has still a long way to go. In addition, Germany and Italy are the two largest countries where shoppers prefer to buy from overseas retailers online.
Retail shopping, be it online or offline, has become one of the biggest holdouts of globalization. But the growing trend of online shopping has a wide impact on customer interface. Online shopping enables consumers with access to a variety of products which were previously unavailable. Choice and preference are greatly enhanced by cross-border e-commerce. In developing countries, the growing middle-class population is trading up and demanding greater convenience for online shopping. For instance, customers are looking overseas to purchase authentic brands, which are often found at lower prices than they can find in their home country. Meanwhile, customers in developed countries have wide access to a range of goods directly from foreign companies at often high discounts to what they would pay at their home country.
The global e-commerce players have huge opportunities available in the connected e-commerce market to grow and expand their footprint. With more choices available to consumers than ever before, the online shopping experience has become a key role in influencing customers to shop online. Optimizing the online experience starts with a deep understanding of the domestic market involving local vendors, delivery infrastructure, technology adoption, price range, and regulations and customs requirements. For this, retailers must ensure their products meet quality standards, cost-effective price, and must follow government regulations. Moreover, their logistics systems are safe and efficient, as well as their post-sales service is available for fair refunding/exchanging processes.
Furthermore, sustained growth for retailers will be about building proficient strategies across converged channels, touchpoints, and experiences along the path to shop, in both developed and developing markets, as well as evolved and emerging categories.