It’s official: Ecommerce B2C sales topped $1 trillion globally in 2012! Furthermore this staggering total represents a 21% growth from 2011. Although it is no secret that buying and selling online has become the new normal, Manish Chowdhary of GoECart details in a recent MultiChannel Merchant article the factors that are truly fueling this massive revolution.
Chowdhary begins with what he dubs the most obvious answer to the ecommerce boom – the convenience factor. “Nobody wants to stand in line. It’s much more convenient and you can get transactions quicker online than offline.” Chowdhary cites the additional ecommerce conveniences of avoiding gas pumps and sales tax coupled with the ability to navigate and explore through a huge assortment and selection of virtually any product with just a click of a mouse or tap of a finger. For example finding a rare item offline would lead the consumer to travel a long distance and do a considerable amount of research, which according to Chowdhary is a “pretty painful experience” -especially when considering that many online merchants are now offering free shipping.
Increased social technologies are also luring consumers into the online shopping world. Chowdhary explains that people used to shop offline for the social aspect attached to traditional shopping, whether it was going to the mall with a friend or family member, it was an experience. Now individuals are able to share their shopping wish lists, likes, purchases, and product reviews with their entire social network and beyond without having to get up off the couch.
Further fueling global ecommerce B2C sales is the increasing ability for online merchants to provide first rate customer service. “It’s taking away from the uncertainty of buying something online and not liking it,” said Chowdhary. “Most merchants will compete with one another by offering free returns and shipping and therefore taking away the risk and uncertainty involved with the customers not being satisfied with their purchase.”