eCommerce looks the next generation marketplace we will all have and maybe in the distant future, it will take the whole world. Everyone will be buying things online and maybe not waiting as much we do today, to get things delivered (we already have one day and one hour delivery systems).
Such world seems possible as all the technologies required to make it real are available. You don’t need a single thing to invent to make the whole world buy online. Then why it’s not an eCommerce driven world already?
There are some obstacles, or in other words, areas to improve before it becomes reality. Here are they:
What are the requirements for it to happen?
1. Internet Connection Everywhere
This is a pretty big challenge then it seems at first and also, a far-fetched dream. Big companies like Facebook to Google are trying to provide free internet access all around the world and mainly, to the poor countries. Maybe, they are just creating a new market for themselves or want to stay ahead than their competitors at acquiring the new customers and getting them used to their products. But, anyhow, they are doing good to the world and to those countries, where not owning a computer, but owning a constant source of water is a luxury. And they aren’t asking for pure water, just water.
In such situation, someone like Bill Gates would try to get them enough water and food, after that a stable job and a house and then after a computer and internet connection, on which they can buy something. This is a long shot. We are talking about elevating a whole nation from poverty by feeding, curing, educating, and employing. And that’s a task even governments fail to do so in one lifespan.
Until, we solve this obstacle, we can’t have a strictly 100% eCommerce world. Instead, we could have varied and inferior version of such world – one like we are already living in.
2. All the advantages and conveniences of the traditional stores and some more
eCommerce websites are attracting customers by giving big discounts or in developing countries, they are going out of the traditional ways (Cash On Delivery) to attract people. They are still trying to gain trust of the customer whose generations have been accustomed to the traditional, physical stores.
They find those brick and mortars as a trusted place, to which they can approach at anytime. There is no risk of losing money without getting thing delivered or not being able to change the product if delivered defective. And, in the deal, if anything goes wrong, the customer knows the store-owner personally for return, exchange or compensation.
In the developed countries, people trusts the eCommerce now. They know there are no longer much threats online or companies are trying to do genuine business with them instead of doing any type of fraud. eCommerce companies are also offering great deals forcing the customers to go online for extra advantages the eCommerce giants are able to afford.
eCommerce companies of developing countries, or any new eCommerce website anywhere, are still trying to gain the trust of their customers or are trying to attract them to make their first online buy.
Changes would come and people would learn to buy online everywhere. But, it will take time and active efforts of the companies. Also, people will only buy if they find the online offer beneficial enough to wait for some days to get it.
So, eCommerce giants would need to comprise all the advantages and conveniences of the traditional stores and some more tricks to change the customer flow towards online purchase.
3. Impeccable Logistics
Logistic is the process of delivering the ordered things to the customer. The delivering objective sounds simple, but when you consider the vast scale of some markets, where the basic facilities like transport, roads, etc. aren’t fully developed for a successful logistics to happen, you are once again dependent on governments to improve their basic facilities.
And not only in the undeveloped or developing countries but also in developed world, to achieve logistic services able enough to compete with traditional market is yet out of reach.
4. Technological Problems
But, that’s just a matter of technological improvement when such industries also falls under eCommerce segment. With what our technology already provides, we can imagine a facility in which you wear your Virtual Headset (VR) and experience the whole car (or house) inside out just like you are visiting a real car. The experience might include the smell of the car, too. While you look around, information pop-ups would show up (i.e. texture used for the seat covers) or videos of making the car. Except for the experience of touching the car, you will have an enhanced experience of visiting the car. This could also be applied to a house. Or imagine a giant 3D mall which is full of shelves and you go around virtually pick up virtual things in your hand, check out the 3D model from all side – just like you see in the real world – and add it to your cart.
So, when some technologies will improve or will be used in eCommerce, some industries which aren’t connected to eCommerce today will also become a part of eCommerce. Though, big industries like cars and houses will require really impressive 3D models and VR experiences to make the real visit to the store redundant. If they succeed doing that, we can already see the VR as another way of heavy marketing tool for company – creating VR advertisements to letting the customer visit their facility to show off their quality standards while the customers sitting in their home chair.
Now, if you get all these three things get right world-wide, you would have your ideal, 100% eCommerce driven world. But, before reaching to that futuristic scenario, the world would go through some phases, in which the eCommerce will gradually try to expand its reach worldwide.
Phases of eCommerce
Phase 1: Wholesale market is acquired by the eCommerce
Acquisition of the wholesale market by eCommerce seems far more feasible then other options. Today, most wholesale dealers would earning enough to have an internet connection and most companies are opening up their online fronts to sell things. It isn’t much far when this will become true.
Phase 2: Online and offline market co-exists but every retail shop is acquired or backed-up heavily by eCommerce
It’s like physical stores are there but they are getting their supplies through an eCommerce site. It’s similar to the first phase except for the addition in which those retails stores will also be owned by eCommerce websites.
Phase 3: 100% market will become online
Everyone’s buying everything online, from things of daily use to big things like cars and houses. This is the final destination – with exceptions.
Even though the dreamy world of internet everywhere becomes reality, there will be physical stores for the needs when you are travelling or are on your commute and need some coffee.
The industries which can’t be connected with eCommerce industry or doesn’t choose to. Though, it won’t be a competitive choice to not taking advantage of eCommerce yet it is possible to have some exceptions.
Our Best Guess
So, there will be exceptions even in the best scenario, but what we are trying to tell is that the eCommerce is the bazaar of the future and it will submerge the traditional bazaar into it and use it as a part to operate at local levels and to reach the non-accessible segments indirectly. Every deal would be connected in direct or indirect way to the eCommerce industry and in that way, 100% eCommerce world will become possible.