Some might argue that the e-commerce industry is old news in the age of the shirts that charge your phone, but those people aren’t looking closely at what consumers are saying about online purchasing experiences. In fact, as we see it, the e-commerce explosion is just beginning. Moreover, what they’re forgetting is that e-commerce actually remains one of the most rapidly-growing sectors worldwide, and that there’s still a massive amount of potential for it grow across a whole new set of industries.Since its inception about 20 years ago, e-commerce revenue and participation has been steadily on the rise, as consumers become more and more inclined towards online shopping and its increased capabilities. It’s easier, faster, and sometimes even less expensive than shopping in-store — what’s anyone got to lose?
And yet, plenty of companies have failed to make the necessary transition into online retail, insisting on keeping merchandise sales in stores or channeling web sales through industry conglomerates.Take clothing brands, for example, many of which still sell exclusively through Bloomingdales or Neiman Marcus rather than erecting their own online sales platforms.Such companies are wasting the opportunity to take over the process and keep the flow of revenue traveling straight into their coffers, and they’ll only fall further behind as their competitors develop attractive and user-friendly web stores and omnichannel experiences.
Although there is, to be sure, a certain (and dare I say contrived) air of exclusivity attached to shops who refuse to sell their goods online, such companies are still tossing away billions in sales revenue.The increasing number of web-influenced offline purchases, too, says a lot about how far web-based retail has to go. I can’t help but wonder: if customers are getting their information about products online, why do they still feel the need to trek to the actual stores to make their purchases?Clearly, this points to a failure on the part of the retailers to develop easy-to-use online marketplaces or even offer the option to shop via mobile.Though some will continue to argue that the e-commerce “boom,” so-to-speak, is over, there’s no arguing that online sales and revenue from retailers across the board are rising and will continue to do so for the foreseeable future.In the meantime, companies that haven’t made the switch to online sales are losing out on some serious cash, and those who have done so still have plenty of room to improve their websites, optimize their online presence, expand to mobile, and keep up with top-selling competitors.The e-commerce race isn’t over — it’s just that some are trailing the pack.