Nonstop change is a certainty for ecommerce

The web continues to interrupt the selling of services and products.

The conventional ecommerce strategy of producing a single site and attempting to market to the whole internet from that website is a shrinking choice. Most small businesses don’t have the funds to compete with ecommerce giants, and thus their market share is decreasing.

Increasingly, ecommerce functions better using a layered approach. At one end there’s the consumer. At the opposite end is the organization, and in the center is a third party platform. Amazon and eBay are classic platforms. They say to the customers, more or less,”Anything you want to purchase you can find it here. It’s excellent value and safe to buy.”

Retailers must simply list their goods and Amazon, and eBay will do the difficult work of getting traffic. It means that retailers can do what they’re good at — selling — and leave the advertising and the rest of the non-retail tasks to the platforms.

There’s been much discussion about how net sales are killing off traditional brick-and-mortar stores . Certainly the industry is always evolving, and any retailer who doesn’t keep up is at risk of losing everything. Here in the U.K., there are a few important retailers go under and a few more barely surviving.

Services, also

But ecommerce is significantly more than selling products. Take Uber and Airbnb, as an Example. These platforms make it possible for individuals to market their services. By way of instance, by placing a listing on Airbnb it isn’t hard to have bookings to lease your spare room or vacation cabin. There’s absolutely not any need for your own site. The platforms do all of the procedure. They supply the booking service, take the cash, qualify the customers, and deal with the risk of non-payment. All you do is supply the actual service.

The service business is beginning to notice internet competition also. Rather than embracing the changes and evolving how they function, traditional suppliers have instead relied on political lobbying to stifle, by laws, internet competition.

Uber has been banned from several cities. Airbnb is being limited and controlled. The political pressure comes from established companies attempting to hold back change. I suspect that their efforts will eventually fail.

Instead, the companies should examine the gaps in the market that the new platforms are filling. It needs to be simple for a proven, reputable taxi service to conquer Uber. The principal benefit Uber has is its own mobile app and the manner in which a vehicle can grab a customer. Taxi services trust the old-fashioned phone to a secretary, with guide booking. Replacing this with an app on a smartphone would go a long way to competing with Uber.

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Change or die?

The world wide web is growing and conventional companies must change to survive. It’s not always obvious which firms will be impacted by these changes, however. It’s easy to presume that the key potential victims are retailers, resorts, and cab companies. In actuality, the actual losers could be people who provide internet solutions to those companies — site builders, designers, and search engine optimizers.

As more ecommerce is completed via third party platforms, the demand for individual sites will diminish. If there are fewer individual sites, there is less demand for search engine optimization. So it might be SEO and other service providers that will need to change what they do and whom they market to.

As a growing number of searches are done on the platforms rather than Google, any optimization needs will be done on the listings on the various platforms. For listings on eBay and Airbnb, such services may include enhancing copy, getting better images, suggesting better names, advising how to best promote the list, etc. These are solutions can add value.

In short, the web continues to change how consumers buy services and products. To survive, businesses will need to accept change, and evolve.

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