SGS Helps Companies Understand the Increasing Importance of E-Commerce

Top Quote E-commerce is becoming a major factor in global consumer sales. SGS guides companies through the changes, detailing the advantages and potential problems of this new form of selling. End Quote
  • (1888PressRelease) October 17, 2017 - Major consumer markets around the world are changing because of the increasing importance of e-commerce. In the US, online shopping accounted for $394.86 billion in sales in 2016, 11.7% of all sales. This is a 15.6% increase on sales in 2016 and represents almost 42% of all growth.

    In China, 26.1 trillion yuan of sales in 2016 were related to e-commerce, a rise of 19.8%. China accounts for 39.2% of global e-commerce sales and there is plenty of room for growth. Currently, 731 million Chinese people are online, 53.2% of the population, and it is reported 63.8% of these people shop online.

    Stimulation for this shift from in-shop retailing to online shopping has been helped by flash sale event days, such as Black Friday in the US. Black Friday is traditionally the day after Thanksgiving and has long been associated with the start of Christmas shopping. In recent years, there has been an expansion of this idea that has significantly benefited online retailers. Black Friday is now so successful, accounting for $3.35 billion in sales in 2016, it has been adopted in other countries, such as South Africa, the UK, Romania, India and the Netherlands.

    China’s Alibaba Double Eleven festival, however, dwarfs the success of Black Friday. Now in its eighth year, Double Eleven generated 120.7 billion yuan in 2016, up 32% in 2015. Double Eleven’s success comes from one of the main advantages of e-commerce – you can buy products from any country without leaving your armchair. In 2016, 37% of Double Eleven sales were from one of 235 foreign countries, with global brands dominating sales.

    Consumers like the convenience of shopping online. They can avoid pushy salespeople and choose from products available all over the world. It also fits around their lifestyles, giving them access to the best deals at any time of day or night. E-commerce lets people save time, save money and have access to greater choice.

    The rise of e-commerce is assisted by the increasing dominance of the smart phone and tablet in online sales. In 2016, $1.21 billion of Black Friday’s sales were made on mobile devices, a 21.6% increase, and during Double Eleven, 81.87% of purchases were made using mobile devices.

    Consumers are aware, however, of some of the disadvantages of e-commerce. For example, buying online means you cannot try before you buy, a major inconvenience when buying clothes and footwear. If a product doesn’t fit, then the product must be returned, which can be difficult, time-consuming and costly.

    Some companies, like Amazon, are trying to address this problem. Its online dressing room allows customers to try clothes and only pay for the ones they keep. This is all part of a more interactive online shopping experience that allows the customer to ‘feel’ they are in a real store.

    Another major disadvantage of e-commerce, for both businesses and consumers, is the opportunities it opens for fraud and identity theft. Customers are rightly concerned that their financial details might be intercepted and cloned, and the anonymous nature of online selling means it is easier for unscrupulous sellers to either collect payments without providing the goods, or provide fake goods instead of genuine products. Businesses must find ways to promote the authenticity and quality of their genuine products to thwart the criminals. One approach is to promote product standards as a gesture of quality and authenticity.

    Businesses must be ready to accept the increasing dominance of e-commerce. They need to find ways to exploit this trend, while protecting their customers and brands, and improving the shopping experience. One way they can achieve this, is to make sure product standards are promoted and understood by consumers.

    SGS Softline Services
    SGS offers a range of services to help businesses manage the changing retail demands of e-commerce. As the world’s leading inspection, verification, testing and certification company, their team of committed professionals help businesses safeguard quality and performance, whilst ensuring a product complies with relevant international, industrial and regulatory standards.

    Through a network of over 40 internationally accredited laboratories around the globe, they provide a comprehensive range of physical, chemical and functional testing services for components, materials and finished products. They provide a fast and efficient service, helping businesses achieve the tightest of turn-around-times.

    SGS can also partner with companies using their own digital platforms, helping them set up a tailor-made quality system, which retailers can then fit into established models. This will help businesses successfully exploit the full potential of online retail.

    Learn more about SGS’s Softline Services: []

    For further information contact:
    Chris Yeung
    Assistant Key Account Manager, Softlines
    Tel: +852 2774 7404
    Email: ( @ ) sgs dot com

    About SGS
    SGS is the world’s leading inspection, verification, testing and certification company. SGS is recognized as the global benchmark for quality and integrity. With more than 90,000 employees, SGS operates a network of over 2,000 offices and laboratories around the world.

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