Since the dot-com crash of the late 1990s and early 2000s, online retailing has grown exponentially. The ecommerce industry is now worth an estimated $4.2trillion (£3trillion) annually worldwide

This growth is set to continue as the world moves online and consumer confidence in the digital world growth. But was else has fuelled the rise of ecommerce? And how is it changing the way we shop?

A pandemic push

Ecommerce was on the rise long before 2020, but the global Covid-19 pandemic forced consumers online which accelerated ecommerce growth. 

In the UK, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) found that ecommerce use was up over 46%. A trend that looks set to continue in 2021. 

Outpacing the competition

Online retailers are now working hard to outpace their competition. Especially those who are bursting onto the ecommerce scene with state-of-the-art platforms that offer real user value. 

Whether it is working with renowned ecommerce agencies to build an online store or growing in-house teams, ecommerce growth is being driven further by the race to be the best. 

Reasons behind the growth of ecommerce

There are numerous driving forces behind the continued rise of ecommerce. Below, we examine some of the key reasons for online retail growth and how they could change. 

Wider online offerings 

In the last 20 years or so, the availability of different products has grown. From household products and clothing to online courses and B2B services, almost everything is now available online.

A varied product offering has helped to fuel ecommerce growth by catering to a wider range of customers.

Growth in consumer trust

Historically, financial fraud was rife online. As technology has advanced, safeguards have been put in place to protect people’s money and data when they shop online.

This has helped consumers grow their confidence when spending online. In fact, we are moving towards a ‘cashless society’ which uniquely positions ecommerce for further growth potential. 

Reliance on technology

As device and internet usage has exploded into the mainstream over the past couple of decades, so too has consumer reliance on technology. This opened up a huge opportunity for ecommerce businesses to reach potential customers more easily. 

With smart-home technology on the rise too, consumer reliance on tech will grow which will likely open up new avenues for online retailing. 

Need for convenience 

Online shopping and digital technology in general have accelerated consumer reliance on convenience. Being able to find what they like, buy quickly and receive products in good time have now become one of the driving factors in making a purchase. 

Clever ecommerce retailers can maximise on this need for convenience, by optimising their sales funnel to give their customers what they want, when they want it. 

Improving delivery options

Tying into the above point, the wider range of delivery options now available when you shop online has helped drive ecommerce growth. Next-day, same-day and nominated-day delivery options are giving consumers more choice when it comes to receiving their purchases.

Delivery can often be costly for ecommerce businesses, however, getting delivery options right could be the difference between success and failure for a business.

Emerging markets and urbanisation

World emerging economies are also driving a meteoric rise in ecommerce sales globally. The increase in wealth in nations such as Russia, China, India, and Brazil are enabling companies to trade easily through ecommerce with a wider audience. 

As ecommerce continues to grow in relevance, staying on top of online trends, consumer behaviour, and offering a relevant product will help your business thrive in a digital world.