The Future of E-commerce

By Tianqi Wang

Alibaba, China’s largest e-commerce firm, floated shares in New York Stock Exchange last year. After publishing the offers, Alibaba had the highest IPO even higher than Facebook. Based on the price of the IPO of Alibaba, some people think this can be marked as the growth of E-commerce.

As the Internet and computers are used widely and become the indispensible necessities in human life, Electronic commerce is also increasing. Based on the increasing sum of business transactions these years, E-commerce is being seen as a future business mode. But does e-commerce have the huge potential capacities as we think? Will this kind of business mode replace the traditional mode in the future? Will it become global in the future?

I think that’s may become possible in the future. E-commerce has the wider platform than the traditional off-line commerce. Off-line commerce needs a huge space to display and sell goods while E-commerce does not. E-commerce is more convenient than off-line commerce. People could buy anything they want online without going out.

But still, the advantages of E-commerce are a double-edged sword. Although there are many conveniences of E-commerce, it still has many limitations. The largest bottleneck problem is logistics. All of the sales depends on the fluency of logistics. The sale process is electronic but the transportation is not. The packages need manpower to transport. Given one simple example, holidays such as Christm as are the peak of shopping, On peak holidays, the transportation could be disrupted due to traffic and laborer’s vacations. So at that time, when you want to buy goods, E-commerce might not deliver the goods on time.

Credibility is also an important issue for E-commerce. People cannot see the real goods instead of pictures and words. Thus, the credibility of the sellers is important. Whether they could trust the sellers or not only depends on the evaluations from other people. But still, this system is not the complete system because customers may not recognize which evaluation is real and which is false. Sometimes customers might buy the wrong goods or goods that are not as same as the descriptions.

Nowadays, E-commerce is still in B2C (business-to-customer) mode. But in the future, E-commerce will be in C2B (customer-to-business) mode. This process will change the sales mode fundamentally . People are more and more connected and there are more and more voices from customers. Customers are replacing sellers and becoming the new sellers.

Also, if E-commerce wants to progress, it needs a platform for the supply chain to share different basic information. If E-commerce changes the supply chain coordination, every part of value chain could be shown on the Internet. The E-commerce should not be isolated from sales to delivery, from customers to sellers. The information could include new arrivals of goods and the credibility of each sellers could be found on this platform.

That’s what I think about the future of E-commerce. Although E-commerce would included a greater percentage of off-line commerce, E-commerce still cannot replace all off line commerce.