We published several blogs on several aspects of e-commerce, including its dynamic growth. We have analysed who should consider establishing an individually-developed online store, and have also reported about our hvg360 project. Likewise, we have written about our research studying the corporate digital transformation, about the initial steps and importance of transformation. In this blog, we aim to merge the two topics and outline how e-commerce is being reshaped thanks to the digital transformation. Furthermore, we will discuss what kinds of e-commerce developments you should consider  if your company prioritizes adapting  to changing needs.

In recent years, e-commerce has become an inevitable part of the global commercial network, and has been breaking sales records year after year. Today, internet shoppers have the choice among numerous online platforms or online services. Although certain websites explicitly target B2B clients, neither B2B nor B2C customers lack digital possibilities. Based on estimates from 2019, 1.92 billion people purchased a commodity or a service online. In the same year, e-commerce exceeded $3.5 billion American worldwide, and calculations from that time predicted a further growth of e-commerce well before the outbreak of the global pandemic.

Since then, Covid has significantly influenced both e-commerce and online user behaviour globally. Since millions of people remained at home at the beginning of 2020 in an attempt to curb the spread of the virus, digital channels have become the most popular alternatives. For the future of consumer habits and the e-commerce market, much depends on the subsequent development of the global epidemic.

One thing is sure: in 2020, online marketplaces have comprised the vast majority of online purchases and, in terms of turnover, Amazon has won the first place. The Seattle-based e-commerce giant with e-commerce, IT services, electronic devices, and digital content registered more than 5.2 billion individual visitors this June. It has undoubtedly become one of the enormous winners of the global epidemic. In the second quarter, its income increased by 40% – compared to the former period, growth was at $89 billion.

Similar tendencies can be observed in Hungary as well:  according to a GKI Digital and Product Finder survey,  in the first half of 2020, the turnover of e-commerce rose by 34.8% (the first quarter produced 21%, the second 47%). With respect to the same period in 2019, reaching a threshold of gross 355,1 billion HUF. It mainly affected the market of online foods, and drugstore and household items. In the second quarter, its turnover increased by 84% in relation to the relevant period of 2019.

Digital transformation in e-commerce

Digital transformation,speeded up by the epidemic, has profoundly altered the market position of every e-commerce company. There has come the need for exceptional customer experience. We have summarized in three initial steps what types of e-commerce developments are worthwhile for consideration to accomplish a successful transformation:

Determine your digital transformation goals

During the digital transformation of the business model, your company should focus on several areas. Among others, it should be kept as a priority to enhance the end-user experience in order to maintain productivity and clients. Concentrate on digital transformation processes so you can shrink your operational costs and gain a deeper insight into the latest digital tools so you can streamline your internal and business processes. By developing your infrastructure and course of business, you can make your daily routine more cost-efficient and flexible.

Have some strategy for enhancing customer experience

Customer experience is the sum of all efforts that you have made to satisfy your customer. It influences the whole customer lifecycle, including key factors like customer service, product quality, and post-purchase feedback services. That is why it is of vital importance that e-commerce companies create the best customer experience management by providing customer experience tools that follow up on all consumer interactions. The goal of customer experience strategy is to fill the gap between the intended customer experience and the actual one.

Implement new technological solutions

From the point of view of digital transformation, the next step is the introduction of new technologies into your company, so be aware of their pros and cons. Think beyond your current tools and start implementing such new-generation technologies as AI for the product recommendation, machine learning for automation, human-machine cooperation, and cybersecurity for safe transactions. These represent the latest and fastest-developing technologies of our times, so it is inevitable to implement them as long as you wish to stay in competition.

As Gábor Laczkó, co-founder of Stylers Group put it:

”In addition to the findings of the survey carried out during the lockdown, the international projects of Stylers have clearly highlighted that possessing fundamental technological knowledge serves no guarantee for maintaining the competitive edge of a company. We can only benefit from the opportunities given by digitalisation; if faced with new challenges, our business will retain the right attitude and react proactively to overcome them. What can be seen clearly is that innovation is being postponed at a lot of companies, merely because they are incapable of estimating the risk of security breaches arising from mass-scale home offices, or the extent some data-driven software can boost efficiency, including business results, when all these amount to a huge competitive advantage.”