What exactly is “E-commerce”?
As a country the UK have bought and sold goods to other countries. This is called commerce. On a smaller scale, I think pretty much every adult in the country will at some point or other walked into a shop and bought something. This is also commerce. E-commerce is quite simply the act of buying and selling goods or services over a computer network, or more commonly over the Internet.
Pretty much anything and everything can be bought online. Your computer’s desktop is now your worldwide high street. You have all your leading high street brands online so you can shop without leaving the comfort and warmth of your own home. You can even do your weekly food shop online and arrange for it to be delivered to your door!
Typically an e-commerce transaction will also involve going to an e-commerce website, adding the product that you want to a basket and then going to the Checkout, just like you would in a “physical” shop. At the checkout you will need to either enter your credit/debit card details or use some other form of online payment like PayPal. Your purchase will then be delivered to you where ever you are in the world!
People are still resistant saying that it’s too complicated and unsafe, but it’s actually really easy and completely secure. Online security has improved massively over the years and is itself a multi-billion dollar business. As long as you use your common sense, there should be no reasons to fear shopping online.
Some of the statistics around e-commerce are mind-boggling:
- Last year online sales accounted for around 9% of total retail sales.
- In April 2013, that had increased to more than 1 in 10 of all retail sales taking place online!
- In July 2013, online sales averaged £586.6m a week. Five Hundred and Eighty Six Million Pounds!
- In 2012 Consumers spent £78 Billion (with a “B”) online! In December 2012 alone internet sales topped £9.4 Billion!
- It is estimated that total online sales for 2013 will be in the region of £87 Billion and it is estimates there will be £11.6 Billion of online sales in December 2013.
- The UK spend the most on-line in Europe.
And a more recent trend:
- 45% of Online Shoppers who own a Smartphone actually make purchases on their mobile devices.
So now you can even make purchases on-line while walking down your high street!