The positive environment impact on E-Commerce business in the UNITED KINGDOM
With the unprecedented advancement of the information technology, the whole world has come under the umbrella of the World Wide Web. The information technology, and its rapid development, has changed the communication system as well as the entire global business scenario in the last one or two decades. Business communication, exchange of information, marketing of products and services, everything is being done using the network technology. The networking technology, and the exchange of instant information through it, has completely erased the geographical boundaries in between the nations, thereby transforming the entire world into a global village. The information technology has taken the pivotal position of the business worlds not only in exchanging information or transfer of funds, but also by opening a new way of doing business. E-commerce is today’s euphoria and is gradually becoming the most convenient way of doing business in retailing. The online purchase of the products is becoming the most convenient way for the customers to procure almost all kinds of required commodities starting from consumer durables, clothing to books. Amazon, Ascos, Flipkart, Snapdeal, Argos, Alibaba, Ebay are only few companies to name with, which are doing business of billion dollars by online outlets and the e-commerce is gradually going to be the biggest retail market in all over the world.
In UNITED KINGDOM, 82 per cent of its 65 million people use online outlets to purchase a considerable amount of their required commodities, and with the increase in the number of offers by the online companies, the use of online shopping is gradually increasing day by day. In 2014, online sales in UNITED KINGDOM was a whooping 110.3 million EUros which accounts for more than 10% of the total retail sales in all over Britain already. According to the research of Daily Mail, 82% of the British citizens regularly go for online shopping and this is highest in 28 member nations of EUropean Union. Much of this sale is the result of frequent use of smart phones and the orders using mobile phones that is m-commerce. The online business registered through mobile devices increased by 138% in 2012 alone.
During 2011 each per capita spending through online purchase was 1083 GBP per annum in UNITED KINGDOM and according to the report of the BCG (Boston Consulting Group), 24% of the total retail market of Britain will be under the control of online retailing sector. There could be various reasons for the growth of e-commerce at the most rapid rate in the UNITED KINGDOM amongst the EU nations, but probably the main reasons are widespread computer literacy, comparatively higher density of the population in comparison to other advanced countries ( A higher density of population means low cost of delivery and other transportation costs required to store and deliver the goods), wide spread use of the debit cards and credit cards ( almost 70 % of the online shoppers in UNITED KINGDOM use the plastic cards for their online shopping and most of the rest use the PayPal services). One important factor for such a steep growth trajectory of online retail marketing in UNITED KINGDOM is the confidence of the customers in online transactions because of the reason that the online retailers operating in the State are subject to the Distance Selling Regulations Act which legally binds the online retailers to allow the customers to return the goods sold within seven days of the sale. Thus the British customers know that after getting the product, if they are not satisfied with the performance of the product or if the product does not conform to the quality standard as promised by the company, they can return it within seven days of their purchase, subject to the nature of the product. Another factor is the rapid adoption of the state of the art internet technology by the UNITED KINGDOM customers and the affordable cost of the internet service in the State.
Thus UNITED KINGDOM is one country in the world, where the e-commerce is booming and is going to be the most dominating way of retail marketing in the near future. The reasons have been various as discussed above with the obvious reason that such online shopping saves a lot of time and travelling hazard on the part of the customers. With the development of any new trend, it has become important today to judge the effect of such new trend or technology on the global environment and the eco system of the world. Environment being under real threat because of the development drive of the human society, it becomes very important to judge whether any new practice or technology could prove to be sustainable so far as the environmental impact is concerned. Since the development of e-commerce is comparatively new to other way of doing business, the positive or negative impact of e-commerce on environment is yet to be determined from every aspect. However, definitely some direct and indirect, positive as well as negative impacts are there on the national and global environment because of this young means of doing business using the internet technology and World Wide Web platform. UNITED KINGDOM retailing market being one of the fastest growing e-commerce markets in all over the world; the environmentalists are continuously trying to judge the two types of effects on the environment of the UNITED KINGDOM. Here we will discuss only the positive impact of e-commerce on the environment of UNITED KINGDOM.
E-commerce have a profound positive impact on the environment on the basis of the fact that online shopping enables people to order and receive their goods by sitting at their house, which definitely reduces the driving of a considerable number of customers to shopping mall thereby reducing the polluted emissions from the vehicles. Lead time of delivering the goods, is important and hence most of the warehouses are located at the place of transportation, which also reduces the emission because of the less transportation of goods from warehouse to the place of transportation. The number of warehouses required is also reduced as well as the number of shopping malls, thereby reducing the pressure on the place requirement for the warehouses and the shopping malls, which of course has a positive impact on the environment. Usually the online selling depends upon the JIT (Just In Time) system and hence it requires less inventory to be maintained in the warehouses. This has got two positive effects for environment. One, the number of warehouses required is reduced and the other is the wastage of the products are also reduced. E-commerce has also increased the lifespan of the goods by letting them to be used by the other people as second hand goods. There are many online companies like Quikr,com which purchase the used products and offer those to the customers who are willing to use the second hand items. Thus a large number of products got their life span increased and thus reduce the wastage considerably. The more the malls, the more the warehouses and more the transportation drive, the more is the expense of energy, the less is the cleanliness of the cities. Thus e-commerce increases the health and hygiene condition of the city and the nations which uses e-commerce frequently. However, e-commerce has also some negative impacts on environment. But till date the positive impacts of e-commerce is weighing out its negative impacts on the environment, though the true natures of negative as well as the positive impacts of the e-commerce on the environment are yet to be estimated perfectly.