What’s “the thing” with e-commerce this year?
At this point in the 21 first century, everyone knows what e-commerce is. Internet transactions started surrounded by a fog of mistrust. This prevented users from getting accustomed to buying products or services online. Nowadays, thanks to the expansion of broadband internet. The introduction of “up-and-coming” youthful minds into new industries, and the rapid inclusion of older generations to the newest social media platforms, apps and digital services, have turned the tables for the e-commerce. After all, someone who hasn’t ever bought anything online is, to say at least, strange.
Key Market Highlights
Each year, the amount of online transactions grows, breaking its own ceiling. A market survey, done by Juniper Research, shows that e-commerce will increase an estimated 60% from 2022 to 2027. Modern companies have come to accept that internet facilitates easier communication and induces the creation of specific communication snippets for every type of customer there is, creating the perfect place to gather people with similar interests from around the world to share their services.
The “thing” with the internet is that the same consumer who surfs the internet, can become their own producer. E-commerce not only can benefit colossal companies with huge amounts of transactions. It also can become a place where small scale entrepreneurs. With big ideas and tremendous enthusiasm, can find what they need to connect with enough people to create their own unique marketplace.
How do we know e-commerce will continue evolving?
To ease the mind, technologies surrounding online transactions have never stopped evolving. Take for example a booming new evolution of the e-commerce industry, Blockchain, being one of the most talked about right now. Due to the value added by this new technology to the e-commerce industry, it reduces the risk of error and the time required for error checking; resulting in faster, safer and less expensive processes, continuing the evolution of the industry.
In addition, the social factors that surround online transactions have been evolving too. The conversations consumers have amongst themselves play an important role in online consumption. Ultimately, they are the ones who bring value to a product or service acquired online through explaining their experience with the buying process, the form of delivery and satisfaction with the end result.
So it’s easy to understand, why companies like Facebook and Instagram are creating their own e-commerce opportunities within their respective social networks.
The convergence of social media and e-commerce being one of the most impactful trends. Social commerce did not become an overnight success due to the sudden appearance of “buy” buttons on social media sites. Social commerce is nuanced, the appearance of a “buy” button does not necessarily correlate with higher quantity consumer purchases.
However, Meeker’s report shows that social commerce does have its own impact, because rather than making purchases directly on the social platforms, people discover new products on social networks that they would not find otherwise. Consumers engage in conversations with other consumers, trying to gain insights on the product and services they seek. This process is ever-expanding, primarily because of the time being spent on these social networks.
More time spent on social media means more opportunities for a product or service to catch the eye of a consumer, creating an impression, and also creating more opportunities for social networks to gather data, helping further the personalization and targeting of messages. And as has been said before, big data collection helps to create specific communication snippets for every type of consumer preference, which is the key insight of social commerce. As Meeker says, personalization is clearly one of the main trends surrounding e-commerce. And there is no better place than social networks to fully realize the trend.
To conclude, big data and the gathering of consumers’ information is what allows mass personalization to happen. Social networks and e-commerce platforms need to find a balance between their social/commercial operations, and the gathering of information. Which is the conversations between consumers, that is of key importance in this process.
Let the consumers become producers. So, the excesses and general annoyances of advertising do not get in the way of the main purpose of social media, resulting in driving users away.