E-commerce, an abbreviated form of the term 'electronic commerce', refers to the buying and selling of goods or services over the internet and the transfer of funds and data to carry out these transactions. E-commerce is mainly applied to the electronic business transactions of B2C and B2B business models, primarily to describe the sale of physical products on the internet. Other types of business transactions (e.g. online banking or customer service) on the internet may also fall under the term, however.
E-commerce is a core business model on the internet today; according to economic estimates, global retail e-commerce sales are expected to reach USD 27 trillion by 2020. The market is booming and where there is high demand, a suitable foundation must also be created. e-commerce consulting experts offer support in this area. They help to establish and build marketable online trading characterised by such features as fast and transparent shipping logistics.
Impact of e-commerce
The introduction of e-commerce has fundamentally altered the shopping landscape. Consumption has never been as easy as it is today. Whether at work, on the road or at home on the couch - it has become possible to order practically any time and anywhere. At the same time, the buying experience in the 21st century is also different than it was a few years ago. Products are permanently available, ordered at the touch of a button and on your doorstep the next day. This not only benefits customers, but is also a welcome development for companies. E-commerce is driving retail to previously unimagined heights, and not just at peak times like Christmas or Black Friday. Online business is consistently driven by limited offers, ever lower prices and the option to return everything quickly and easily. Of course, the competition is also different than in the past. Globalisation is blurring supply and demand at the international level, making the market a single entity. All of this is also having a pronounced effect on logistics.
Logistical flexibility and transparency in e-commerce
The e-commerce landscape has become increasingly dynamic as the digital transformation accelerates. New business models have changed the relationships between buyers and sellers and shattered the boundaries of what can be bought and sold online. E-commerce offers companies the greatest potential and growth opportunities when they have access to a flexible logistics structure that is optimised for doing business electronically and which satisfies customer expectations with respect to price and process transparency. In addition to the increasing demand for same-day delivery and more flexibility with delivery dates, smaller and smaller orders as well as the growing number of returns in particular require that the logistics IT used become more efficient and flexible. More detailed insights into this are available in our whitepapers.
One option for meeting the growing demands of e-commerce is to integrate a warehouse management system. Such a solution helps to make the logistics processes in and around the warehouse much more flexible and also more precise. Effective supply chain management ensures smoother processes and a higher level of readiness. Another option for establishing the necessary intralogistical conditions is the use of logistics service providers. Today, there are many providers who can support you as experienced experts for logistics optimisation. Solutions precisely tailored to online retail can thus be developed in close collaboration.
Forecasting for e-commerce
Companies that consider the requirements of online retail in the planning of their warehouse processes and infrastructures are already taking an important step in the right direction. Thanks to state-of-the-art software solutions, production performance can now be easily reconciled with rising expectations on the customer side. When manufacturers, suppliers and any other partners work hand in hand and take advantage of digitalised logistics, online retail can also be considered to be just one of many industries. Nevertheless, it is an important industry, especially for the business-to-consumer sector. It can therefore be assumed that e-commerce will continue to grow in future, and companies should take its development seriously. While it comes with challenges, it also brings many opportunities.