There doesn't seem to be one facet of our every day lives that isn't touched by the internet. Increasingly, this is ringing true for how consumers browse products and purchase goods.
All signs point to ecommerce being the future of retail. The information found in catalogs pales in comparison to that on the web, and consumers are just as inclined to log onto a company's website as they are to jump in their cars and drive to a shopping center.
These and other factors have caused ecommerce to take hold in many parts of the world. Now, it's only a matter of time before the practice all but supplants traditional methods of promoting and purchasing goods. Below we'll take a look at just three of the many factors driving this trend.
Connection to the world wide web is becoming easier and faster all the time. In addition to their desktops and laptops, consumers can now access the internet through mobile devices, such as smartphones and tablets.
And the connectivity speeds of such end-points are nothing to turn your nose up at. The spread of Wi-Fi and the emergence of 4G wireless networks have given mobile devices connectivity speeds that can, in some instances, rival those enjoyed in the home.
Access to information
Along with increased connectivity to the internet comes nearly unbridled access to information. Like never before, consumers are able to research products, compare competitors and find where to get the best price.
Access to information is driving the greater reliance on the internet, and retailers must leverage this trend by offering up as much as they can. Consumers today prefer to be well-informed, and they will be more inclined to make a purchase from a retailer that helps them on that path.
There was a time when a consumer wouldn't dare provide his or her credit card or banking information to a retailer's website. While the threats of cyber attacks and data loss are still very real, consumers have developed a certain level of comfort throughout the years to the point that many don't think twice about making purchases online.
Data breaches perpetrated online remain big news items - see: Sony's PlayStation Network - but that's because they are the exception rather than the norm. After all, these incidents have done little to scare consumers away from ecommerce.