The eCommerce Revolution
One thing that’s very clear is that e-commerce now isn’t the same as it was in 1995. That year, a corporation called “eBay” debuted, and Jeff Bezos delivered Amazon’s first book order. This ushered in a new era of internet purchasing, with firms and consumers never looking back.
E-commerce has altered industries like retail and supply chain in the last two and a half decades. According to a U.S. Census estimate, Americans spent $154.5 billion online in the third quarter of 2019. E-commerce has grown from a young newcomer to an 800-pound gorilla, posing a serious threat to the traditional in-store retail paradigm.
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Advances in both tech hardware and the Internet have had a direct link with the rise of e-commerce in the last decade. Customers have grown to expect to be able to shop from the comfort of their own homes, on their smartphones, and via their favorite applications.
The convenience of internet shopping is forcing traditional brick-and-mortar retailers to adapt, with many increasingly incorporating online shopping into their business models, allowing customers to shop online and pick up their purchases in-store.
When we consider how far the sector has come, it’s evident that investments in consumer-facing and back-end technologies, as well as the capacity to adapt quickly to new developments, will be critical to e-commerce success in the future.
What is Shopify?
Shopify is a one-stop-shop for starting, running, and growing a business. They’ve created a reputation for serving any e-commerce demand, with over 1,000,000 merchants on board, including Gymshark, Tesla, and Sephora. This e-commerce empire, though, was doing something very different more than 15 decades ago.
Tobi Lütke, Daniel Weinand, and Scott Lake intended to start an online snowboarding equipment company in 2004. They named it “Snowdevil” and were eager to get their business up and running as soon as possible; however, they ran into an unwanted surprise.
There were no good e-commerce products on the market at the time. Lütke was dissatisfied with this and determined to take action. He built the platform in two months using Ruby on Rails, despite being a computer programmer by trade. After creating Snowdevil, the trio thought about the e-commerce issue they’d encountered a few months before.
If they couldn’t find good e-commerce services, the chances are that other business owners won’t be able to either.
They decided to develop what would eventually become shopify once it became clear that the software was more valuable than the snowboards. The rest was history after the Shopify platform was launched in 2006.
For entrepreneurs that wish to take their business online, Shopify primarily provides peace of mind. They mostly assist merchants:
- Learn about some of the most prevalent e-commerce practices.
- Create a modern website with your own domain.
- Sell to a wide range of customers.
- Market product lines through large ad platforms.
They also have several lesser-known tools that are open to the public. All of the photos in this story are from Burst, Shopify’s curated library of free stock photos, rather than Unsplash, as they are in most Medium posts.
Shopify is doing something exceptional with the platform that has led to it being used by some of the world’s greatest firms, so let’s look at two significant reasons for their success. Choose a role for each buddy you invite.
Shopify is re inventing a unique ecommerce experience:
Shopify’s business model of delivering an all-in-one e-commerce platform promises to assist businesses in setting up online storefronts and allowing sellers to sell directly to customers all over the world. Unlike Amazon, which is known for pushing shops against one another in a price war, Shopify allows merchants to sell online, in-store, on social media, and even on the go by providing end-to-end services from invoicing to shipping.
Many merchants had to pivot to e-commerce overnight during the Covid-19 pandemic, with brick-and-mortar stores shuttering across countries, and Shopify pushed up new services and applications to make a move smoother. Tobias Lutke, CEO of Shopify, said in a tweet last year, “Amazon is attempting to establish itself as a global powerhouse. Shopify is attempting to arm the insurgents.”
Shopify subscribes to this idea and is aiming to establish a more democratic e-commerce environment in which small and medium-sized enterprises may prosper and carve out a niche for themselves in a market dominated by retail behemoths like Amazon, eBay, Walmart, and others.
E-commerce competition will heat up this year.
In 2020, as the Covid-19 pandemic wreaked havoc on businesses around the world and retail sales plummeted, e-commerce grew at an unprecedented rate. According to the United States’ eCommerce Department, e-commerce sales increased by 8% over nine years from 2010 to 2019, then surged to 5% growth in only months in 2020.
Great Things Starts Happening When You Put Customer First
Shopify has a world-class product strategy that is centered on the typical user – a small business owner trying to sell their goods online. This creates a positive snowball effect by monetizing merchant success.
Shopify gets money when a merchant uses the platform for the first time. Shopify makes money when the merchant loves what they see and starts making money. Shopify makes money when a merchant invests in the ecosystem and outsources its operations to the platform.
Retailers must be agile and innovative in order to be competitive and top-of-mind for customers, and they must be able to reach out to customers at all stages of their purchasing cycle, regardless of whatever channel they choose.
We’ve progressed beyond the initial excitement of being able to buy something online, which began 25 years ago. In the following 25 years, investing in the customer experience will be critical to e-continued commerce’s success.