The internet has revolutionised so many aspects of our daily life, but one of the biggest things that has changed is how we buy things. Thanks to e-commerce, we can do all our shopping from home. Over the last ten years, more awareness of security and added fees have changed things. These are some of the biggest developments to e-commerce.
The Nature of Data Privacy
It wasn’t all that long ago that the thought of giving your credit card number and mailing address over to a computer was seen as reckless. We mostly take for granted how sharing data is part of using the internet, including e-commerce. When data breaches occur, we can receive a rude awakening about how sensitive our information is and we may want to invest in some kind of security software. There’s also the understanding of how much data websites have about us, based on our purchases. This influences things like what sort of advertising we’re exposed to. If you’re embracing the convenience of e-commerce, you also need to accept that companies know a lot more about you than you might be comfortable with.
Taxes and Fees Have Been Established
E-commerce has made it easier than ever to get items shipped, whether it’s across town or across the world. With that convenience comes the complexity of figuring out how various fees factor in. Goods ordered internationally may be checked by customs to ensure that they comply with a country’s laws. In the European Union, each EU country has a sales threshold. In the UK, while it’s still part of the EU, if you have your inventory in the UK, you can sell inventory in another EU country without registering for VAT (Value Added Tax) until you reach that threshold. It is still unclear how UK taxation would change after Brexit. Overseas isn’t any better. With the Wayfair ruling changing how tax is collected in the US for e-commerce sales, it means more money can be pulled into the states for each sale. As e-commerce becomes the norm, we can expect to see more rulings about taxes and imports.
The rise of smartphones is just as impressive as the rise of the internet. We’re at the point where pretty much everyone is connected at all times. Online purchases have been made incredibly easy and convenient, which is one of the benefits of this shopping method. All you have to do is just pull up your phone and press only a few buttons to buy something. Retailers have also been jumping in on this trend, enabling contactless payments and other mobile purchasing technology. Shoppers do need to be careful with this technology though, as the increased ease and convenience also makes it far easier to overspend.
Although e-commerce has definitely changed, it’s not going away. Any kind of widely used technology is going to experience evolution. Though not all changes are equally welcomed, we need to examine how each of these came about and what they could mean for the future. E-commerce is a relatively youthful medium, and there are still all kinds of places it could go.