Traditionally, when you wanted to buy a product, you had to physically go to a shop or retail establishment for it. The rise of the internet brought big changes, including a dramatic shift towards ecommerce. Online shops have become immensely popular and have given rise to some of the most successful businesses in the world. Some traditional companies have shifted their focus to ecommerce because of the fact that it gives them a potentially worldwide audience. There are endless advantages of ecommerce, and its rise has contributed towards creating a huge, thriving industry.
Ecommerce is the present for retailing, but many people are looking ahead to what the future holds. The continued movement towards mobile technology and smartphone usage over desktop and laptop devices is bringing more attention to app design. A number of large companies like Amazon have already launched apps alongside their webstore so they have a foothold in the emerging market. The growth in mobile shopping is impressive and signifies that it could indeed be the future for retailing.
Several ecommerce specialists in Asia are already making bold moves to take advantage of the mobile sector. Flipkart, India’s number one shopping app, is even planning to get rid of its website over the next 12 months and base its business solely on the app. This follows rapid growth over the past year that saw mobile purchases rise from 6% to 60%.
Alibaba reports a similar trend to Flipkart with its transaction volume from mobile purchases rising from 20% to 42% in a single year. They have also taken steps to profit from the growth in the sector by launching a new app so that people selling on Taobao can manage their online shops entirely from their smartphones, removing the need to use a desktop or laptop at all.
Ecommerce websites are likely to remain important for several years but apps look set to represent the future of retail, particularly if technology continues to improve at the current rate. The trend is similar to what we observed when webstores started to take customers away from physical shops. The changes clearly show that consumers are constantly looking for the most convenient way to purchase products whenever they need to. It also shows that they have the power to determine what form shops take.