As the popularity of online shopping grows in India, China, Japan, and South Korea, e-commerce companies are predicted to spend about $6 to $8 billion in investments toward logistics, infrastructure, and warehousing over the next few years. E-commerce as a whole is growing exponentially, with the retail industry being the main contributor. The need for air cargo connectivity is expected to increase as tier two and tier three cities pick up business and the supply chain becomes more complex. Specific retail companies are also working to ensure that they can account for the highest amount of revenue in terms of e-commerce.
Walmart, one of e-commerce’s giants, has been testing a program since last year that will compete against Amazon Prime. This program, called Shipping Pass, offers free unlimited shipping on many purchases for popular products on the site, and only costs $49 a year versus Amazon Prime’s $99 per year. On Wednesday, it made this program much more visible by providing a 30-day free trial to all new customers. However, with Amazon’s program being in place since 2005, it may be difficult to convince people to make the move. Walmart seems to be imitating Amazon by holding multiple online flash sales, as well as a large mid-summer sale in July. Last year, Walmart’s online sales totaled $13.7 billion, which in respect to its total revenues of $494.4 billion, is fairly small; however, Walmart is not the only company trying to improve its online presence.
Companies around the world are also expected to invest heavily in search engine optimization this year, in order to make their websites appear first on search engines like Google. According to Entrepreneur, SEO has improved over the last year in terms of better tools to produce content for a generalized market, more detailed descriptions of products from the companies selling them, and more people using social media, which benefits companies in terms of their shareability. 52% of online marketers have shown in a survey that they are experiencing a positive ROI due to their online presence. Instagram and Snapchat are just two platforms that are gradually increasing their sponsored advertisements and promoted content.
Despite all advancements made by these e-commerce companies, it is the most basic problems that are typically the reason that other websites see more traffic and revenues. Research by Frost and Sullivan showed that the loading time for web pages is actually one of the main reasons customers will switch websites and find something else. Even a short, one second delay creates customer dissatisfaction and underlines the importance of maintaining high web performance for these e-commerce players. These investments in infrastructure from IT prove to be extremely crucial, especially for new e-commerce websites who have to compete with retail giants.
HyunWook Cho, a manager at Qoo10 Indonesia, stated that “e-Commerce is a fast growing industry in Asia Pacific with merchants across the world looking to expand in the region. With the growing spending power of middle class consumers, more and more consumers are willing to make online purchases due to an increase in technology adoption.” But since online loyalty is much lower in the digital world, it is important that e-commerce companies ensure that their websites are superior and provide speeds and prices that the customers want. With technology and demographics around the world changing so frequently, more regions globally are able to utilize e-commerce, and we can only expect further development and adoption throughout the world over the coming years.