Electronic commerce or ‘E-commerce’ has largely monopolised the consumer market over recent times. Using the growth of the internet and online networks, companies have been able to extend and reach out to a much wider market place. The likes of Amazon and EBay are prime examples of businesses solely reliant on e-commerce. However, the recession has provided added difficulty and competitiveness in an already driven consumer industry.
On the whole, the consumer market has taken a massive hit since the start of the recession. With nearly 500,000 businesses ceasing to exist in 2009, the majority of these small or medium businesses, the outlook has always looked bleak for the high street companies. The targets of maintaining rather than growth are seen as far more realistic and sensible objectives under the current climate.
Marketing consultants have outlined the need to retain your current customer and supplier base as they are arguably the most important assets when experiencing tougher times such as these. Nevertheless, there are signs that the consumer market is still a place where success is a genuine goal that can be accomplished.
As a result of all the negative press currently associated with the closing of businesses and loss of profits, it may come as a surprise that at the end of 2009, e-commerce experienced a rise in sales of 14%; this occurring at the peak of the recession. The desire for savings and ease of use has seen the consumer swap, or so it seems, to the online market place.
Many an E-commerce market consultant believe the ability to get free shipping and clear promotions can lead to online success. People are now looking for bargains and savings they once would not have; a task much more easily achievable in the comfort of your own home than walking up and down a high street. This changing focus of the customer is already being exploited by some companies and will without doubt be looked at by many more as they look for a solution to their current problems.
Furthermore, the evidence for new and growing e-commerce companies is there for all to see. Amazon is now a worldwide brand after its journey began when it was founded in 1994. With net income for the last quarter in excess of $130million, share prices rocketed up by nearly 15%. Nonetheless, it must be stated that everyone should not try and form a direct copy of Amazon.com. The necessity to appeal to your own customer and be in some way unique is just as important if not more. It is crucial to function in a way that will add the most value to your consumer.