E-Commerce and its 2018’s Trends
The rapid development of technologies in the world has led to the fact that organizations are striving not only to be present on the Internet, but also to organize their own process of selling goods and services in the network. This, in turn, gave impetus to the active growth of the e-commerce market around the world.
Electronic business is any business activity that uses the capabilities of global information networks to transform internal and external links for profit. Electronic commerce is an essential component of E-Business. E-commerce refers to any form of business transaction in which the parties interact electronically instead of physical exchange or direct physical contact, and as a result of which the ownership or right to use the goods or service is transferred from one person to another.
E-Business has four main stages of use: marketing, production, sales and payments, and the degree of use of information and communication technologies and systems serves as a measure by which a business can be considered electronic. The degree of use of telecommunication technologies is determined by the use of the global Internet as a tool for organizing a single information space for electronic business.
All the information is stored on web servers – computers belonging to organizations that provide Internet services. Access to information is provided by requests from browser programs of network clients.
Promotion of e-commerce on the Internet provides producers access to the maximum number of consumers and their diverse preferences and provides an opportunity for customers to enter their orders into the enterprise management system.
Categories of E-Commerce
Electronic commerce is divided into the following categories:
– business-to-business (B2B). This area includes all levels of interaction between companies. Special technologies and standards for electronic data interchange can be used, for example, such as EDI;
– business-to-consumer (B2C). The basis of this direction is electronic retail;
– consumer-to-consumer (C2C). The possibility of interaction of consumers for the exchange of commercial information is implied. This can be the exchange of experience in the acquisition of a particular product, the exchange of experience of interaction with a particular firm, and much more.
– business-to-government (B2G) in the broadest sense is the relationship between business and the state. This concept includes the services provided and (or) the supplied goods, business solutions offered by a firm to the state.
– consumer-to-government (C2G) is the payment of taxes by citizens, voting in elections. Providing feedback for the state (participation in social surveys, etc.),
– government-to-business (G2B) means functioning of the state procurement portal, providing information on legal issues, various registries. If we do not limit ourselves to “electronic relationships”, then various grants are included.
– government-to-consumer (G2C) is the state organization of state services for convenient payment of taxes, utility payments, recording of appearances in various state institutions and so on.
– government-to-government (G2G) are services that ordinary citizens do not have access to, existing ones that serve to facilitate interaction between different departments, authorities, and others. Again, in a broader sense, this is the services rendered by one state institution to another.
E-Commerce is the best Internet opportunity
In many cases, e-commerce through the World Wide Web makes traditional business more accessible to everyone. In addition, not only business benefits from e-commerce. Consumers benefit from it too. Just as the owner of an online store can now sell the goods to the buyer from one side of the world to another, so the buyer can freely buy the required specialized goods from a store located hundreds of kilometers away from him, which he would otherwise have to order for an additional cost or purchase through catalogs. With the help of a web, users have the opportunity to compare the prices of dozens of retailers, just by looking at the screen.
Internet provides business with huge advantages, and the turnover in the field of electronic commerce continues to grow. One day, in a few years or decades, we will see how the bulk of the business will be online.
History of occurrence
The first systems of electronic commerce arose in the 1960s. in USA. Initially, e-commerce was conducted over networks using proprietary data exchange protocols, which objectively inhibited e-commerce. For the development of electronic commerce, standards for electronic data interchange between organizations (Electronic Data Interchange, EDI) were created. These were sets of rules for the electronic registration of standard business documents: orders, invoices, customs declarations, insurance forms, accounts, etc.
By the end of the 1960s. in the United States, there were already four industry standards for data exchange in aviation, rail and road transport management systems.
Approximately in the same years, similar events occurred in England. The set of Tradacoms specifications developed here was adopted by the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) as a data exchange standard in international trade organizations. This set of formats and protocols was called GTDI (General-purpose Trade Data Interchange).
In the 1980s, work began on the integration of European and American specifications. Based on GTDI, the ISO has formed a new standard Electronic Data Interchange for Administration, Commerce and Transport (EDIFACT, ISO 9735), which used the X400 e-mail transport protocol. This gave a new impetus to increasing the turnover of e-commerce and the number of companies involved in it. In 1996, when Internet commerce was still in its infancy, $ 300 billion was committed through EDI transactions, and by $ 1.1 trillion in 1999. In 2003, according to IDC, this figure reached $ 2.3 trillion.
The main positive feature of EDI, introduced into the world of e-commerce, is the standardization of all procedures for document circulation between companies.
Another important factor is that EDI is a convenient and safe interface, the reliability of which has been tested for many years of operation.
The main disadvantages of EDI are the following:
– the need to finalize the software of information systems of companies to display data from the intracorporate presentation) into an EDI-compatible format;
– the need to harmonize the way of formation of EDI-packages;
– large volume of transactions.
These shortcomings show that the implementation of EDI is quite a complex and expensive exercise, and therefore available only to large companies.
The attractiveness of the Internet for e-commerce is primarily due to the low cost of data transfer. However, the problem was to make EDI-systems available to the mass consumer of the global network. As a result, in the mid-1990s, Another standard was developed – EDIFACT over Internet (EDIINT), which describes how to transfer EDI transactions through secure SMTP / S-MIME e-mail protocols.
Nevertheless, this standard did not become exhaustive, and therefore attempts to link the formats of electronic documents – HTML on the Internet and EDIFACT – in global computer networks (WAN) are not stopped.
As a significant disadvantage of HTML, you can name the limited set of its tags for displaying specialized information (for example, multimedia, mathematical, chemical formulas, etc.). HTML is replaced by XML (Extensible Markup Language), a markup language that describes a whole class of data objects called XML documents. This language is used as a means to describe the grammar of other languages and to control the correctness of the compilation of documents. That is, XML itself does not contain any tags intended for markup, it simply determines the order of their creation.
Another of the obvious advantages of XML is the ability to use it as a universal query language for information stores.
XML also allows you to monitor the correctness of data stored in documents, check hierarchical relationships within the document and establish a single standard for the structure of documents, the contents of which can be different data.
To simplify the processes of interaction between the information systems of enterprises and, thus, attracting medium and small companies to the world of electronic commerce, the XML / EDI standard has been developed, which eliminates the main drawback of EDI: the complexity of mapping corporate data from an internal representation to an EDI format.
All these developments should ensure a further reduction in the cost of electronic commerce systems.
The advent of the Internet has led to the emergence of qualitatively new forms of e-commerce, in which EDI-technologies are not used or their application is secondary.
E-commerce systems allow the buyer not to communicate with the seller, not to waste time on shopping, and also to have more complete information about the goods. The seller can respond faster to changing demand, analyze customer behavior, save money on staff, rent space, etc.
Not being a unified technology, e-commerce on the Internet is characterized by versatility. It unites a wide range of business operations, which include:
– information exchange;
– establishing contacts;
– pre- and after-sales support;
– sale of goods and services;
– electronic payment, including using electronic payment systems;
– distribution of products;
– the possibility of organizing virtual enterprises;
– implementation of business processes jointly managed by the company and its trading partners.
E-commerce opportunities on the Internet bring the following new elements to modern business:
– increased competition;
– globalization of spheres of activity;
– personalization of interaction;
– reduction of distribution channels;
– cost savings.
To fully realize the potential of e-commerce, several key problems must be solved:
– contractual and financial problems;
– secrecy and security;
– compatibility of information systems.
Trends of E-Commerce in 2018
It is not easy to gather information about customers, and correctly use it – is undoubtedly one of the most important trends of recent years, which will not lose its relevance for a long time.
The main goal that marketers want to achieve around the world with the help of Big Data technology is to approach the buyer so that everyone can make a unique offer. For example, the marketing team of the company Netflix has long abandoned the geographical segmentation of its users. They divide the audience into 1300 communities of taste.
In addition, Big Data technology allows you to go beyond the Internet space and monitor how online activity of users affects offline purchases.
From online to offline and vice versa
More and more stores, which have long and successfully existed only online, began to open offline offices. The reason for the popularity of the trend is simple – brands want to get as many contacts with potential buyers as possible. For this, going beyond the online spaces, the famous online clothing stores open not only offline stores, but also registered coffee shops and barbershops.
How can this be useful to you? This is done in order to be able not only to demonstrate new types of product, but also to develop relationships with customers, even better understand them.
As for the reverse process, that is, the transition from offline to online, then the trend is also not slowing down. For a trading company it is already indecent not to have your own online store in 2018.
Augmented reality has long been ready to conquer the e-commerce market. Using a smartphone and a couple of clicks on the screen, users can try on an online dress or pick up a vase that fits perfectly into the interior of the apartment.
It is worth noting that such solutions already exist. For example, IKEA offers its customers to see how a particular piece of furniture fits into their home with the help of an application.
Sales through accounts
For those who work in the field of e-commerce, it’s no secret that more than 30% of the leads never make a purchase because of the long registration process. The simpler the process of buying and the transaction, the more people will buy. No one wants to enter all their data, including the address, the index and the nickname of the first dog.
Solve this problem by selling with the use of accounts or one click buying. How it works? The system collects information about the user. When he first enters the site, he does not need to register, because he is already offered his “usual” login. The buyer thinks that he has already been here, and enters his usual password. All other graphs, such as telephone, email and home address, are also already filled. It only remains to press “pay”.
Marketing + automation + sales = single cycle
For 365 days in 2017, more than 700 cloud services were developed, which contain sales tools. Automation does not surprise anyone, it’s a necessity for companies of any level.
The trend of the next few years is a departure from a clear division of marketing and sales. Due to automation at all stages, marketing will be inextricably linked with sales as a single process.
Order by voice
In 2018, consumers will talk through their devices, and use voice to interact like never before. This is an excuse for retailers and brands to change the ways of communication. Companies that work in the e-commerce market, right now, need to work on collecting in-depth information about the product, compatible with voice search and creating a store stock in real time.
Product search by image
Find out by the photo the brand and cost of the dress of a Hollywood star or just a girl that passes by – consumers have long been dreaming about it. Consumers dream – solutions appear. There are applications today, which allow within a few minutes to find out the value of the thing in the picture.
This trend is just beginning to enter our life, but experts say that by 2020, 50% of all search queries will occur through images, not text.