A Sting CD is the first documented online purchase. That was 20 years ago. By end of this year, e-commerce sales will hit US$1.5 trillion, as per eMarketer.
The growth numbers are mind-boggling. According to a study by Bigcommerce, an e-commerce provider that helps businesses sell more online, it took 18 years (1994-2012) for e-commerce sales to hit US$1 trillion worldwide. But only two years to get to US$1.5 trillion (2014). The prediction is that the numbers will hit US$2 trillion in 2015.
Time is ripe for SMBs to shine
Now it has become extremely easy to launch an e-commerce store, thanks to various tools available in the market today. What used to take developers weeks-months, now takes 30 minutes, says Bigcommerce.
This is essentially due to SaaS (Software-as-a-Service) technology, which helps automate processes that used to be complicated: credit cards, payment wallets, shipping, taxes, etc.
There is a fundamental shift underway towards best-of-breed platforms, enabling SMBs to compete with large merchants.
In 2013, the SMB e-commerce market in the US was US$76.76 billion. The study says this is a significant growth segment and will go beyond US$100 billion in 2015.
It predicts that SMB e-commerce will exceed — for the first time — Amazon and eBay worldwide revenues combined.
e27 reached out to Bigcommerce to get Asia-specific numbers, but it said that the study looked specifically at e-commerce globally and used the US as a case study.