You must have at certain points in time come across some adverts on the internet or even gone ahead to make a click that landed you on the page of an e-commerce store where you eventually purchased some products. This has been the direction that many businesses are now trailing as the intention to reach a global audience takes centre stage. Long gone are the days when internationalization of businesses was solely synonymous to multinational companies.
E-commerce, which is simply about making transactions online through various platforms – social media networks, website and so on – using mobile devices or PC [with internet connectivity], has opened up an avalanche of opportunities for both consumers and merchants to explore. Just for the mention; there are different types of e-commerce models based on the parties involved in the transaction, but B2C and B2B are the most commonly adopted models.
While online shoppers have turned to different sites to make orders for some choice items and/or request for specific services, e-commerce giants [such as Amazon, Alibaba, eBay, JD.com, Rakuten, Flipkart and the rest] are taking advantage of the avenue to increase their revenue base. At the moment, Amazon, JD.com and Alibaba are the top three earning e-commerce companies with revenue of US$280.522 billion, US$82.865 billion and US$72 billion in respective order.
Looking at more statistics; in 2017 alone, about US$2.3 trillion was spent on online shopping by over 1.6 billion persons globally. This figure increased to US$2.93 trillion in 2018 and over US$3.4 trillion in 2019; this rise does not seem to be abating even with the COVID-19 situation that has seen many borders closed down. In fact, e-commerce has been the last [and only] resort of many persons to get certain products.
And, talking about countries that are currently making significant impacts in the e-commerce sector; China takes the lead, a scenario that has seen the Asian nation rivalling the U.S for some time now. Much of China’s e-commerce success could, however, be attributed to a range of factors; among which are the vibrant population of online shopper’s/internet users, a highly developed ICT architecture and government policies towards promoting e-commerce trades in the nation. FYI, the annual online shopping revenue for China is reported to be US$672 billion while that of the US is US$340 billion. Countries like Germany, France, United Kingdom, Japan and some others are also thriving appreciably in the e-commerce industry. Despite the success and opportunity presented in e-commerce, the incidences of having counterfeit products and other fraudulent activities associated with online payments have often created some stirs among online shoppers. This is where it becomes necessary to always do online shopping on [or through] trusted (e-commerce) sites with good security framework. By doing so, one will not get his/her fingers burnt and lose hard-earned money.