E-commerce is one of the biggest changes coming to retailers, and will likely impact how many conduct operations.

Retailers will need to step up e-commerce efforts over the next few years as customers begin to favour online shopping systems over visiting retail stores. In addition, competitors moving into the e-commerce space with strong offerings are likely to challenge businesses.

E-commerce essentially deals with online retailing, and simplifying the buying and selling relationship between retailers and consumers. For some businesses, moving to a solely online retail environment is becoming an option to keep costs down.

A recent study conducted by Inside Retail in conjunction with eReady Partners found some interesting results when investigating the current spread of e-commerce.

In Australia, over 91 per cent of SMEs are being affected by e-commerce, while just 54 per cent have developed both the business and system to the point at which an online transaction can progress. The potential revenue businesses are missing out on due to lack of proper sale systems could be massive.

Interestingly, 91 per cent of the survey respondents believed e-commerce was impacting their traditional business. This will likely lead to a substantial shift in business practices over the next year as retailers move to e-commerce systems.

For many, integration into traditional models won’t be difficult, and shouldn’t require substantial capital investment. Businesses neglecting the e-commerce surge will likely face significant troubles over the next few years.

“Almost every retailer is affected, only half have started to do something about it and almost all of those are not doing enough,” a spokesperson from Inside Retail said.

Retailers will need to make decisions in the near future about the best way to approach e-commerce, and take the appropriate action.