[COVER STORY] E-Commerce is Tough; Creating Market Share is Tougher


“Successful positioning invites customers’ attention to a brand or product relative to competitors.”

Nearly 20 percent of the sales in retail account for e-commerce and it is projected to grow by 25 percent in 2025, which is $11 trillion in five years. No dispute that e-commerce is becoming an indispensable part of retailing with impending digitization and technological advancements in the industry. Today, there is a scope for every retailer or product manufacturer to start their e-commerce venture.

Nonetheless, the desirable market share and positioning of e-commerce companies – estimated 12 million across the globe – is obscure next to the dominant players, such as Amazon, Alibaba, eBay, Rakuten, etc. Since co-existence is not well appreciated in the business world, the only choice is to keep the competitive spirits high no matter whether you are a newcomer or an established enterprise.

Discuss Customer Experience, Not Pricing

Experts say, “to stand up against the competition, e-commerce enterprises should enhance customer experience instead of reducing the product prices from reasonable levels. However, dynamic pricing should be appreciated.” Most e-commerce companies are presumably paying high costs for infrastructure, logistics, IT, and payment services. Reducing the margins of revenue not only invites failure but also ceases their potential for futuristic investments.

If surveys are reliable, the e-tail business is growing at a record pace and a large chunk of buyers are added every year with bigger buying potential and bargaining power. According to Statista.com, “as internet access and adoption are rapidly increasing worldwide, the number of digital buyers keeps climbing every year. In 2020, over two billion people purchased goods or services online, and during the same year, e-retail sales surpassed 4.2 trillion U.S. dollars worldwide.”

These trends simply suggest that organizations should work on a war footing and focus on improving investments in user experience – starting from product search to delivery.

Easy Search, Filtering, and Fast Delivery

For an e-commerce customer, the experience starts from the moment she or he chooses to open an e-commerce portal or a mobile app, not to mention that m-commerce has about 73 percent market share. So, the e-commerce companies should aim to win the foremost battle of listing products and convenient filtering and navigation features based on the keyword input. Voice-based searches and image scans are add-on features in the latest platforms.

The caliber of an e-commerce business is put to the test, time and again, in the delivery of products to customers. Every customer will seek fast and on-time delivery of products even if it has to import from another country. Therefore, the establishment of logistics infrastructures (incl. warehousing, shipping, and handling) should be based on a well-thought-out plan – the same applied to the return of products. As multiple agents are involved in this process, efficient coordination is needed; failing which, is nothing lesser than losing a customer.

Customer Retention is More Important Than Ever

Loyalty isn’t an impressive term any longer in free-market societies and even loyal customers should be ideally labeled as regular or returning customers. Regular customers help a business thrive even if that is small in number. Experience of buying a quality product and its smooth delivery influences a buyer to revisit the portal whenever the need arises. That underlines the importance of what types of products are to be listed and how efficiently they have to be presented to potential customers.

Smartphones overwhelmingly impact the buying practices of customers as they give customers extremely personalized experiences of using shopping apps. From product comparison to live tracking, everything is easily possible in shopping apps. Apart from that, payments are flexible through smartphones if that is done from debit/credit cards and unified payment interface (UPI) apps.

With efficient tracking and analysis of user data, the marketing teams can reach customers uniquely in terms of running customized ads, offering exclusive prices, sending push notifications on viewed or cart items, etc.

Reports said, the mandate of Apple, along with iOS 14.5, raised the eyebrows of marketers as it categorically states that apps must show their users a pop-up and track them only if they decide to “opt-in,” or to “allow tracking.” It appears that tailored cross-platform advertisement campaigns are not possible anymore as Apple wishes to bring in another layer of safety net for user data.

When you look on the bright side of it, online shoppers’ data needs to be safeguarded, and so does their buying behavior. Users’ data (combining PII) are valuable beyond becoming dashboard insights in a third-party application. Anyways, marketing professionals should figure out more creative concepts to retain customers.

AI, Data Analytics, and Automation

AI-powered tools are gearing success in several areas, such as chatbot customer support, product suggestions, logistic handling, delivery-process notifications, etc. In addition, e-commerce companies can invest further to analyze data (excluding PII) to arrive at solid conclusions about the buyers’ interests, nature of buying, payment patterns, etc. Based on these parameters, they can persuade customers to buy relevant items at exclusive pricing.

Similarly, e-commerce ventures, especially warehouse and logistic companies, are attempting to automate their operations from packaging to consignment shipping with shared benefits, such as increased profit, elevated reputation, reduce workforce, quick process completion, etc. However, the significant questions are: Is it cost-effective? Who can afford to have it?


The incurring cost to e-commerce business is based on numerous levels including staffing, platform, cloud solutions, infrastructure, and logistics. Not all e-commerce businesses can afford to handle all of them within their organization but can get them on lease or contract.

We often come across marketplaces that simply operate e-commerce websites, take care of staffing, install IT systems, and rely on suppliers, external warehouses, and logistics service providers to handle the rest. Whereas large e-commerce enterprises (i.e., Amazon, Alibaba, eBay, etc.) handle much of the tasks within the organization and outsource some for convenience. Such e-commerce companies would be dominating the industry and tactically superior to others.

Shopify Disruption: It is an e-commerce platform that helps customers, predominantly independent retailers, build online shops quickly. Shopify serves 1.7 million merchants globally.

Immersive technologies (AR and VR) are expected to involve in the e-commerce sector as they promise to provide customers with a virtual experience or preview of the product in their environments.


Commercial transactions on the internet would bring significant changes in the retail industry besides transforming economies worldwide. With extensive sourcing, storage, warehouse, and shipping potential besides investments, some enterprises would rule the market while others strive to succeed. One thing is certain, each of them should consistently improve and enhance the customer experience in their platform. Because that can make the real difference!

Leave A Reply