E-commerce (or electronic commerce) is simply the buying and selling of goods or services via the internet, including the transfer of money and data to complete the sale. It includes a wide variety of data, systems, and tools for online buyers and sellers, including mobile shopping and online payment security. Fueled by technology, as well as fast-moving shifts in consumer adoption brought about by the pandemic, e-commerce continues to evolve including increasing use by local small and medium size businesses.
E-commerce has come a long way since its inception in in 1969 by CompuServe. According to eMarketer, e-commerce sales are expected to surpass $1 trillion in 2022. It is estimated that the pandemic accelerated the achievement of this milestone by two years!
In 2022 e-commerce sales are expected to represent 15.5% of total retail sales.
The most ubiquitous examples of successful e-commerce platforms include Amazon and eBay. Amazon is the largest e-commerce retailer in the United States, and along with eBay, have been pioneers in transforming the retail landscape digitally.
But you don’t have to be an international technology platform to successfully sell your products and services online. Every business can take advantage of technology and experienced partners to get into the game.
Online shopping helped hundreds of thousands of small businesses not only survive the pandemic, but thrive. In 2020 online shopping pushed overall retail sales up 3.5% compared with the previous year. E-commerce alone grew by 33.6% in 2020.
But prior to March of 2020, many brick-and-mortar small businesses had little to no online presence because they felt they didn’t need it. These businesses largely depended on local foot traffic to stay competitive. That all changed during the pandemic as shutdowns and social distancing led consumers to change their established shopping patterns. This consumer behavior has changed for good, meaning online shopping and e-commerce is here to stay and an essential channel for small business success.
E-commerce is growing quickly and your customers are expecting to be able to do business with you in this way.
Even your own local business can benefit from the convenience, personalization, discoverability, and global reach of e-commerce to grow your business successfully. And it’s significantly more cost-effective than the brick-and-mortar side of your business.
A poll by Main Street America showed that e-commerce usage continues to grow among small businesses with 18% reporting that at least a quarter of their revenue came from online sales. Can your business benefit by adjusting to this shift in consumer behavior and meeting customers where they are?
The River Valley Media Group are experts in e-commerce and operations from inventory management to customer retention. We can help you compete more effectively and capture more new customers whose buying habits are increasingly shifting online. In addition, River Valley Media Group can provide related marketing and supporting marketing services to drive audience and audience conversion for your online business. Every day we develop effective programs for our clients and can do likewise for you. Complete the form below or drop us a note to learn more.