What is the future of eCommerce and why should you bet on its growth?

Find out the answers today to inform your strategy for tomorrow.

According to survey data from two years ago, 51% of UK consumers preferred shopping online rather than in stores. If you’re interested in why you would care about such an outdated number, that makes sense. However, the answer lies in the fact that the eCommerce market has only been growing since then… and is projected to skyrocket even more in the future.

Here, we’re going to dive into the future of eCommerce in the UK as well as around the world. Read on to learn what the online business market looks like in both the present and the future.

What Does the eCommerce Industry Look Like Today?

As you may have guessed, eCommerce is a rapidly growing market throughout Britain. As of today, eCommerce sales make up approximately 27.5% of all UK transactions. By 2024, it’s estimated that about one in three of these sales will be done online.

Globally, though, eCommerce is still a new and exciting phenomenon. Currently, only about 14% of all global sales are taking place online. However, this market is growing exponentially each year while brick-and-mortar sales are plateauing. It’s also critical to note that eCommerce is a much wider phenomenon in developed nations than in other ones, and this 14% statistic accounts for developing and third-world nations as well.

The largest eCommerce market in the world is China’s, which makes about £508.7 billion per year. After the US, the UK comes in third for overall eCommerce sales. Our market amounts to approximately £74.94 billion annually. Considering that China’s populations is 3,839% larger than the UK is, this makes sense.

How Have Buying Habits Changed in 2020?

In 2020, consumer habits are changing toward eCommerce. This is a direct result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

As of 23 March, lockdown orders in the UK went into effect and stopped people from being able to visit physical stores. This left people to do all of their shopping online. Digital retail spiked by about 6%, which is a fully unforeseen- and unheard of- shift in consumer buying habits.

But will these changes remain in effect after the pandemic dies down? Will the future of eCommerce and online shopping change in the long-term?

Experts say that they will. By the time the impacts of the pandemic are controlled, people will have gotten used to the convenience and ease of online shopping. Many of those who previously did not see the merit of eCommerce will have become attached to using these services. This doesn’t even account for those who will remain fearful of illness even once the pandemic is controlled.

In short, digital buying habits will become an irrevocable part of the UK consumer’s psyche. This will change the future of the eCommerce industry forever.

Additional Benefits of Online Sales

Consumer psyches will have adapted to eCommerce, but this isn’t the only thing that will keep people shopping online. There are a multitude of benefits to shopping online that one doesn’t reap when they go to brick-and-mortar stores. The main ones include:

  • Convenience (buyers don’t even need to leave the house to purchase the items that they want)
  • Greater savings (most online sites charge less for comparable goods to those sold in brick-and-mortar shops since they do not need additional funds for optimising their store space)
  • Bulk discounts (online venues tend to give discounts for people who buy many of the same item, which makes eCommerce ideal for commercial applications)
  • Customisable items (when you shop online, the item is made specifically for your needs, which means that you can choose shape/size/colour/other options based on your individual wants and needs)
  • Improved buyer/seller relationships (you will have more direct contact with those you are buying from, which builds trust between buyers and brands)

Consumers are intelligent and understand that they can reap these benefits when shopping online. Therefore, the shift toward eCommerce is likely a permanent one.

How Will Future Sales Be Made?

Currently, over half of the people in the world currently primarily use Smartphones for online searches. By 2025, this number is expected to increase to around 72%. The logical conclusion is that the majority of future eCommerce sales will be made via mobile devices.

This conclusion has been confirmed by eCommerce experts, who have found that 58.9% of online are currently happening on Smartphones. These same experts project that by 2023, that proportion will swell to 71.2%. Additionally, they note that the pandemic should not have a profound impact on the devices used to make these sales, which means that the statistic is a steady one.

The future of eCommerce delivery is also something that must be considered. The fulfilment of these orders is becoming much easier since third-party vendors like Citi-Care are involved with the delivery process. Vendors don’t need to worry about order fulfilment on their own, which leads to more efficient delivery and happier consumers.

So, What Does the Future of eCommerce Look Like?

In short, the future of eCommerce looks bright. Consumers were already shifting toward online shopping, and COVID-19 brought them even further towards making transactions via the web. Within the next few years, this shift is only going to become more pronounced.

Now that you know what the future of eCommerce and online business looks like, it’s time to learn more. Contact us with any lingering questions that you may have about the online shopping industry and to learn more about order fulfilment.

Whether you’re an online retailer looking to ship items out more efficiently or a buyer who simply wants to learn more, we’re committed to giving you the best information out there. We look forward to hearing from you soon.

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