Predicting the future is always a risky thing so the above statement is a bold one to make. However, in this case I like my odds. There is both a philosophical conviction and statistical proof, and contrary thinking will probably end up as wishful thinking. So, read this article and be inspired to unleash your online business.
Elon Musk, the co-founder of PayPal, SpaceX and Tesla Motors is famous for many things and for many quotes. One of my personal favourites is ‘all modes of transport will eventually go electric, with the ironic exception of rockets’. It’s the kind of long term logical thinking about the future that is often (unfortunately!) forgotten in organisations busy with managing the present.
‘All that can be sold online will eventually be sold online, there is no reason for it not to be.’
Coming across a few organisations that are still contemplating whether to sell online or not, I thought about what Elon’s rationale would mean for e-commerce and came to the conclusion that everything that can be sold online will eventually be sold online, there is no reason for it not to be. As soon as the cost is equivalent, all other factors point in its favour. For one it’s more convenient and we want and need convenience in a time when our number one common global problem is getting our schedules together.
Here are a few statistics about the state of e-commerce that should help convince anyone still sceptical about where online sales are going. Remember that this is yesterday (2014) according to an Accenture study, not some distant tomorrow:
- Some 94% of B2B buyers report conducting some degree of research online before making a business purchase, including 55% who do so for at least half of their purchases.
- 68% report buying online, and 46% spent at least half of their corporate procurement budgets online.
- 41% feel comfortable purchasing any type of product category online.
- On the B2C side another study shows that 96% of Americans shop online, spending 35% of their shopping budget (43% shop while in bed, 20% while on the road and 20% even while in the bathroom).
So really, with doubt about e-commerce in every category out of the way, the only question that remains is whether it’s you or your competitors that will offer the expected online experience first.
Are you interested in getting to know what buyers in your industry expect?