International eCommerce Forecast Shows Year On Year Growth
The potential of an ecommerce stores can be determined with the help ecommerce forecast of the year. We can see that the growth of ecommerce sales in overall percentage is very low and surprisingly small at around 9% in US and 12% in UK, but its still a unsustained growth.
Times of change can often lead to conservative economic policies, as governments and large businesses look to ‘close ranks’ and consolidate control within their own borders and markets. As we’ll soon see, this can lead to negative consequences for traders operating in a globalized market space. However, we’ll also see that ecommerce offers many in-roads that can bypass restrictions inherent in protectionist policies.
Since the internet doesn’t adhere to boundary restrictions per see, online business owners can take advantage of avenues for people to connect, conduct commerce and capitalize on opportunities made available in our hyper-connected globe.
An age of protectionism
Protectionism is a form of economic policy that ‘shields’ domestic business interests from “foreign” competition. It employs various methods to this end, such as high taxation on imported goods, complex qualifying criteria for international tenders, etc. The overall effect is to restrict, restrain or regulate trade between nations for the benefit of companies that originate and operate primarily within a given country’s borders. A recent survey by financial information company GT Nexus shows that 46% of retail executives expect to be impacted by shifting trade policies over the next four years.
While protectionism might be pursued for very good reasons, spare a thought for the retailer whose market is suddenly downsized by new and unfavorable trade terms. This trend is borne out by a 2016 study which shows that, although total retail sales increased over the course of last year, the rate of growth was only 6% industry wide.
One seller’s crisis is another’s opportunity
Fortunately, it’s not all doom and gloom for their neither the established nor the budding e commerce business. By incorporating an e-commerce platform into their sales practices, businesses gain an easy, direct and effective way to tap into non-domestic markets. At least in trade terms, the world is certainly shrinking – why else would DHL, a worldwide courier service, be at the forefront of research into e commerce growth opportunities?
The shipping company estimates that cross-border e-commerce trading will grow at an annual average rate of 25-30%, rising from $300 billion in 2015 to $900 billion in 2020. The company also notes that faster shipping options are in increasingly high demand, perhaps indicating – for those who like to speculate about such things – the first signs of a major shift in the ‘default’ way in which people shop for their goods.
The people have spoken. E commerce is their chosen means of shopping
Another factor that acts as a powerful counterweight to policies that aim to restrict people and business’ selection of who they trade with are the billions of individuals who shop online daily. With online trading sales clocking $1.5 trillion in 2015 and expected to pass the $4 trillion mark by 2020, it’s clear that the people are voting for e commerce – with their credit cards, that is.
The stats don’t lie
Everywhere you look, there is evidence of substantial growth and optimism in the e-commerce sector. The same study that found a 6% growth in total retail sales in 2016 reported a 23.7% for e-commerce sales, and they predict that by 2020, ecommerce sales will make up nearly 15% of total retail sales. Right now, ecommerce only accounts for a shade over 9% of total retail sales, translating to a jump of over $2 billion in the next 3 years.
Meanwhile, an interesting study published on WebPro News focuses on prime online retailer, Amazon’s recent surge in the stock market as a further demonstration of the e commerce market’s buoyancy. In terms of stock market value, Amazon recently overtook Facebook to become the 4th-largest American company – and some experts predict that it will take the top spot come 2020.
The same research compares trends in sales between department stores and online retailers from 1995 to 2015. The stats make ugly reading for physical stores, which show a steady decline in sales, while there is a genuinely ‘parabolic’ rise in internet sales over this period.
How do I get in the game?
Let’s put this very simply: in order to stay competitive in today’s fast-changing economic climate, you need to be able to trade effectively in an e commerce environment. The days when people prefer the ‘stability’ of a brick and mortar store to visit, or fearing that their credit card details will be stolen, or that their online goods will never arrive, have become distant memories – kind of like 54K modem. Remember those?
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