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The globalization and culture behind e-commerce

The globalization and culture behind e-commerce

Table of content

Globalization through electronic marketplaces is changing the global dynamics of buying and selling products and services. The culture behind e-Commerce is built every day. How important are globalization and the Internet in this global phenomenon?

Globalization, a phenomenon that began on October 12, 1492 with the arrival of Christopher Columbus on American soil, what scholars and the world decided to call the "Discovery of America", changed forever the conception of the world market. The figure of mercantilism was created through the triangular market, a fate that the great powers of the time had been waiting for, since maritime development was already on the rise among trading societies. 

This globalizing process of societies has passed through several important milestones, the first, as we have already said, the meeting of two cosmologically and politically different worlds; then we would see the globalization of ideas through two revolutions: the French one at the end of the 18th century and the industrial one during the 19th century; the next one is, as some analysts have decided to call, The Great War, which encompasses the First and Second World Wars and the Cold War, a conflict that permeated the whole world; and, the one we are interested in and will explain in this blog, the one that happened in the early 1980s with the creation of Arpanet, a project that started in the intelligence offices of the US Army and university laboratories in the American country. What the world would come to know as the Internet. 

Globalization through electronic marketplaces  

Let's start by explaining what are electronic marketplaces? There is no better example in the Internet universe than these windows of the world market to explain globalization. According to the White Book of Marketplaces, from the Mexican Association of Online Sales (AMVO), "Marketplaces are virtual malls whose value proposition is to unite sellers with buyers. These channels are important players in e-commerce because they manage to have the best offers in the market and invest millions of dollars daily to generate demand, attract traffic to their sites and achieve sales opportunities".

An important factor in the growth of electronic marketplaces around the world has to do with m-commerce, which refers to all transactions made through a mobile device. In fact, by 2021, according to Visual Capitalist, there are more mobile connections than people in the world. A warning to entrepreneurs who have not yet implemented e-commerce in their businesses. 

We did a mapping and found that m-commerce has accumulated a significant share of global e-commerce sales. In 2021 it accounted for 65% of total retail e-commerce sales worldwide. Those that have best adapted to these new dynamics have been Asia-Pacific in total e-commerce sales through mobile devices with 79%; followed by the Middle East and Africa with 65%; Southeast Asia with 63%; and in fourth place Latin America with 48%. 

What is happening in Latin America with e-commerce? According to the Statista portal, e-commerce is expected to exceed 105.5 billion dollars by 2025. Those who lead this conjecture, taking as reference 2021 to 2025, is Brazil with a growth of 30 %, they will go from a percentage of 21.4 electronic transactions to 27.8%; followed by Mexico, Argentina and Colombia. A phenomenon resulting from the strict contingency measures for the COVID-19 pandemic. The boom in online sales has brought some relief to the world's economies.

Let's talk about Amazon, an American e-commerce and cloud computing services company that generated during the first quarter of 2022 total net sales of approximately USD $116.44 billion, surpassing the USD $108.52 billion of the same quarter of 2021. A company that is already positioned as the second largest company in the world -only behind Apple- with a growth of 34%, according to the Brand Finance portal. Most of Amazon's revenues in the first months of 2022 were due to net sales of services.

This U.S. marketplace, the world's largest, was founded on July 5, 1994 in a Seattle garage by Jeff Bezos. The business started as a small online bookstore run by him and his now ex-wife MacKenzie Scott. 

Just $10,000 was enough to launch a business that today, according to the Statista portal, by February 2022, is positioned as the leading online marketplace in the United States, representing almost 57% of desktop traffic in the marketplace subcategory. In second place is Ebay with nearly 14 % based on percentage of visits. 

That speaks of the welcome that consumers in the world are giving to these new market economies, among other things, for the benefits of buying or selling online: logistics, payment facilities, cost reduction, access to products anywhere in the world, warranty processes, social networks as windows of sale and reliability. 

The culture in marketplaces 

The culture behind this global trend has to do, for example, with language. We have come across some foreign words adapted to Spanish, what is commonly known as 'Spanglish', for example, Bid translates as ofertar/pujar, which in marketplaces slang would translate as 'bideando', i.e., I am bidding. 

There are other maxims within the culture that could well be understood on platforms such as Amazon and Mercadolibre alike, for example, foreignisms such as 'stock', which translates available quantities of a product; 'QR' code, a combination of squares and lines that accompany a product so that it can be read through a mobile device and provides information about the product; 'El Link de Pago', a practical and fast technological payment solution for users. 

Around Amazon, a language, a culture has been created, for example, the Buy Box, a box on the page that contains product details and provides the option to "add to cart", this, says the description of the service, increases the possibility of selling a product. However, users must meet certain standards to have this window enabled: performance statistics and order volume.

Also, when it is said that a sale was made by FBA (Fulfillment By Amazon), it means that the logistics are done by Amazon. The seller will be in charge of sending your products to the assigned Distribution Center, where they are sorted and stored. When a customer makes a purchase in your store, Amazon ships the item and takes care of it, including, if necessary, handling a return. 

In the same way, the A+ Content, is a plus that Amazon gives to its users. It consists of a graphic description of the product. It’s important that the brand is registered, as it is one of the conditions for accessing this service. 

Finally, according to Visual Capitalist, the global e-commerce market is expected to reach 4.2 trillion dollars in revenue by 2025.

The challenges are gigantic, for example, the evolution of artificial intelligence and augmented reality as an index of technological disruption that aims to change the online shopping experience. Will these technologies know how to adapt to the global dynamics of e-commerce? Adidas, for example, implemented in its online store the augmented reality technology, in which it places intangible objects next to real-world objects through the camera of the mobile device, thus allowing the user to see, in real time, the sneakers he/she is going to buy. 

Diego Prieto
Press Officer

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