The sheer accessibility of ecommerce has transformed shopping for both consumers and businesses. Now, customers can buy almost anything — anytime, anywhere, and on any device. Today’s consumers expect this as a fundamental component of the online shopping experience. 

 

As such, businesses must provide seamless ecommerce experiences across channels to meet customers’ shopping expectations. They also need the ability to fulfill purchases quickly, a process aided by the sophisticated order management software built into some ecommerce platforms, which can also be configured to extend the accessibility of ecommerce into physical stores. 

The open, extensive, and endlessly competitive landscape of ecommerce is great for consumers, 80% of whom are more likely to shop where they have seamless and connected digital shopping experiences. Ecommerce is the great commercial equalizer — any business of any size can succeed and scale online.

 

Many tools and platforms for providing these experiences are readily available to help any business succeed in ecommerce. It is also easier than ever for brands to outsource ecommerce infrastructure to an outside provider, eliminating the need to develop costly and inflexible in-house solutions.

Ecommerce isn’t just great for consumers, of course. It also provides a whole new world of customer data and insights for businesses, which can drive truly impactful marketing and product development decisions. A solid ecommerce platform will automatically collect data from digital shoppers, allowing businesses to know customers more intimately than ever before, with every click they make.
By coupling consumer insights with the power of artificial intelligence, brands can finally conquer effective personalization and exceed customer expectations time and time again. Most consumers consider this a fair trade, as 82% of shoppers are happy to share relevant personal information in exchange for the seamless connection of their in-person and online experiences. 
 

The simplicity and reliability of ecommerce is increasingly winning consumers over. For many consumers, ecommerce stores are now their primary forums for interaction with brands. 

 

For brands with ecommerce stores aiming to attract the 46% of shoppers who still prefer to make purchases in physical stores, it’s vital to invest in an ecommerce platform that can help mirror, or even improve upon, the experience of a truly excellent physical store visit. 

 

Consumers sometimes judge the core characteristics and qualities of a brand based solely on the brand’s ecommerce presence — the landing page is the new storefront window display.

 
For retail businesses with brick-and-mortar locations, seamless integration between physical and digital inventory is now essential. Practically speaking, there is only so much inventory that any physical store can stock. When sales associates are empowered by a robust ecommerce platform to access digital inventory in real time, they can recover customers’ interest before losing a sale, and set up flexible shipping and returns. This makes for omni-channel customer experiences that cross physical and digital lines. A 71% majority of shoppers now even browse on their phones while in stores, comparing prices and reading reviews to find the best value.
It is unlikely that physical retail will ever be fully eclipsed by ecommerce — but the lines between the two are now blurring, and their roles are shifting. After all, in a reversal of previous tradition, many brands now find success online before ever opening physical retail locations or pop-up shops. Brick-and-mortar stores will probably always play some part in customer journeys, as places shoppers can go to experience products firsthand before making a final purchase online.