Ecommerce has continued to rise in popularity over the past decade at the expense of its brick-and-mortar competition. This is set to continue in 2021, with global online sales projected to reach almost $5 billion (£3.6 billion).

In this post, we'll explore why ecommerce continues to thrive and how businesses can adapt.

The rise of ecommerce

While the origins of ecommerce lie before the turn of the millennium, the practice of shopping online didn't become commonplace until the early noughties. Sites like Amazon and eBay, launched in 1995, slowly began to gain traction around a decade after their birth, as the internet entered more and more homes across the globe.

Even then, ecommerce played second fiddle to in-person shopping with global online sales sitting around $1 billion each year well into the 2010s.

In the past few years, however, this growth has become a bit more significant. 2017 saw ecommerce sales pass the $2 billion mark, growing beyond $3 billion and $4 billion in 2019 and 2020 respectively. There are all kinds of reasons for this, including but not limited to...

  • A higher number of internet users
  • Tech-savvy Millennials entering the workforce
  • Better websites with more product information, images and videos
  • A wider range of products and retailers online
  • The integration of ecommerce into social media
  • Faster and cheaper delivery
  • Pure convenience of around-the-clock ordering
  • The advent of mobile commerce – shopping from the device you have with you all the time!

    It's only a matter of time before ecommerce accounts for more sales than in-store retail – a landmark which is expected as soon as 2024.

    Making the most of ecommerce

    Is ecommerce an unstoppable force? The answer is a resounding yes. Whether you're a new business considering the best route to market or an existing retailer focusing on in-store sales, there's a clear sign of which direction is best going forward.

    So how do you make the most of it? Here are some must-haves to make sure you get your fair share of that $5 billion pie...

    • Responsive website – It's not enough to simply have an ecommerce website. Your site needs to be completely mobile-friendly to take advantage of the increasing number of users that want to browse and even buy from their phones
    • SEO – Standing for search engine optimisation, SEO helps your site show up for relevant terms on search engines like Google. It involves everything from keywords and content to site speed, navigation and backlinks, so it's well worth getting some expert advice if you're not clued up already.
    • Digital asset management – Effective ecommerce requires an abundance of engaging material. Images, videos, product descriptions and more can make your site and your marketing efforts stand out, attract customers and generate sales. Digital asset management software makes it much easier to create, organise and distribute this content.

    Find out more about digital asset management

    From ambitious start-ups to established brands, digital asset management can make any ecommerce operation more efficient, productive and profitable. For more information, don't hesitate to contact the team at iBase.

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