E-Commerce is exceptionally popular throughout the globe in the modern era. Clothes, shoes, optics, electronics, and many more products are just a click away from our doorsteps. If technology is making our lives easier, then E-Commerce is the core of it.
E-Commerce is the trading, sale, and purchase of services and products over some electronic medium, for example, the Internet. This also includes the electronic transfer of data and funds between two or more parties. E-Commerce was initiated way back in the early 60s when enterprises began to use Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) for transferring documents regarding their businesses back and forth. The early 90s saw the arrival of online shopping businesses, which is a booming trend today. It is very convenient and easy for anyone to shop for anything right from their living rooms, with just a few clicks. This has evolved more with the appearance of smartphones, where now, users can shop from anywhere and anytime, via a wireless device connected to the Internet. Users can search for almost any goods or services online, without having to go anywhere physically.
E-Commerce websites refer to the online gateways that provide the facilities for online transactions of products and services via means of the transfer of data and funds over the Internet. Back in the days, E-Commerce was partially done by the means of emails and phone calls. Whereas now, using a single website, anything and everything that requires a transaction, can be executed online. Different E-Commerce websites operate for different fields. The most common is retail selling, while others include auction websites, music portals, consultancy websites, etc.
E-Commerce includes a variety of merits, like it enables Global market reach, variety of choices for the consumers, short product or service distribution chains, lesser costs and prices, etc., along with a number of demerits, such as fraud and online insecurity, data privacy issues, the dependence of electronic technologies, etc.
E-Commerce in the field of Optics:
E-Commerce has brought an ideal shift in the way users select and buy glasses online. The online market for prescription optics has gone way up and it is much convenient for the customers to browse and buy glasses online. There are a number of E-Commerce sites that provide an easy and convenient platform for the users to browse a variety of glasses and frames online and choose the best out of them. Nevertheless, building an online store for opticians is not at all easy as unlike regular E-Commerce sites, an online optician requires each and every order to be customized with customer’s preferences, prescription, lens selection, add-ons, etc. It requires the order process, cart and checkout to be entirely customized so that it enables the users to enter their preferences, prescriptions and then choose the lenses which are suitable for them. Further complexity arrives with lenses as there is a variety of selection and types of lenses to choose from. With such an automated order process in place, the optician can be assured that the customer will enter all the correct information and will be sold the correct pair of lenses, after the approval by the Optician.
There is also the option for Virtual try-outs. Users often worry if the glasses they selected will suit them or not. Most people select glasses after trying them on. For this purpose, E-Commerce sites have included the option for virtual try-outs, using the latest Artificial Intelligence and Image processing technologies. The users can either upload their picture or use the webcam to take a picture. And then this technology simply shows the selected pair of glasses on the customer’s face/picture. Due to this, the users can now have a more precise and close view of how well they look in that particular frame that they are about to select. If they like it, they can order that frame with just one click.
Technology for the online opticians is advancing at a very fast pace and the day is not too far when opticians will be able to conduct eye tests virtually. Several opticians are already using tablets to take PD measurements of their patients and it is only a matter of time that a virtual eye test can be done by using the webcam.
E-Commerce in the field of Fashion:
Fashion and clothing are among the top-rated fields of E-Commerce. People tend to dress and live according to the latest trends in fashion, and E-Commerce is their first choice for browsing clothing related to the latest trends and fashion. There is an increased rate of clothing shopping through E-Commerce sites around the globe. The rise in the demands and sales has initiated new trends in the industry. Clothing and fashion are among the three crucial products that users prefer to purchase online. The rate of purchase of cloths through E-Commerce makes clothing the third most popular field for online sales. The reason might be the rapidly developing society, which has changed the lifestyle of people and now they like to save their time as a priority. Moreover, the growth of E-offers has added advantages of shopping on E-Commerce. By just a few clicks of the mouse and keys, users can save a lot of their time because of the services offered by the companies on the World Wide Web.
Fashion E-Commerce is a tough competitive business. Standing out among all the competitors requires the knowledge of what the customers want and the use of several tools of the trade of both fashion and E-Commerce business. Users constantly look for ideas that could make them look and feel better than before. This requires the E-Commerce sites to display all photos and pictures as flattering, clear, and informative as possible. When selling fashion online, there must be multiple pictures of each item from all angles so that the users can have a better look at it before buying. Nonetheless, a zoom feature must also be included on the page for better viewing. It is better to have just one picture on the main catalog of the E-Commerce site, but once a product is chosen, the customer must be able to view some more photos from different perspectives. Online shoppers expect to look better, unique and be admired by the clothing they chose to wear and E-Commerce sites must keep that in their top notes. Users expect to be seduced by the beauty of the E-Commerce website its collections. This is the reason why retailers stir emotions with awesome high-quality and high-resolution visuals. Design, usability, and content customizations require attention for the store to deliver a rich, and intuitive experience.
Online fashion retailers often go through the return rates of 20% to 35%, with the poor fit as the top reason. Free returns are awesome for customers as they can try out the clothes themselves and decide whether to keep it or not, but, unfortunately, it increases costs and management complexity for the retailers. The availability of large-scale customer reviews and tools like virtual fitting rooms and fit guides can reduce returns by up to 40 percent. With the competition increasing and quality becoming pervasive, customers’ expectations increases and they expect to be mesmerized, but once they are, checkout must be fast and convenient. E-Commerce sites must ensure return policy and processes are positive experiences and can actually increase customer lifetime value. Personalization can be used to divide serial returners and hence avoid offering discounts and credits to those that take advantage of such options. Offering virtual styling assistants to loyal customers as a value-add service is also a great way to increase retention and margins. Augmented reality, virtual reality, wearable technology, and connected fitting rooms are also making big impacts in online fashion, providing easy resizing and onsite searches. Smart fitting techs such as Virtusize enable online shoppers to select the right size by measuring the clothes in their closet. Virtual fitting room apps are also available and go beyond smart fitting and let users use their smartphones or virtual reality glasses to carry out 3D body scan which in turn ensures accuracy when customers try on cosmetics, jewelry or other fashions online before making a purchase.
Online shopping not only affects the users’ perception and their shopping methods but also influence the industries and business sectors. Nonetheless, the fashion industry being one of the most bought shopping products on the internet apparently gets magnificent advantages including changes in its number of approaches. It is now obvious that online shopping is useful to organizations and the fashion industry in reducing the cost of real estate and maintaining fewer inventories. It is now easier for fashion retailers to approach the potential consumers on the internet and the retail industry now seems to adopt several shopping methods created by online marketers to maintain a customer base via which a variety of customers can be attracted.
To summarize, E-Commerce websites provide a great platform for users to choose from a variety of fashion, optical and other products of several brands through different retailers in accordance with their interests and trends all over the world with as much convenience and ease as possible.