Exactly as predicted by e-gurus 15 years ago, e-commerce is hotter than ever. Whether in mature markets, where consumer spending is shifting online, or in growth markets where rapid urbanization and increasing (mobile) internet penetration are unlocking new shopping habits, shoppers are ‘e-commercing’ it up.
Some obligatory stats:
Now, consumers' current 'online' experiences are of course fundamentally different to those during the early dotcom boom: e-commerce is no longer just about choice, price, convenience, reviews and ratings, but also about everything that consumers look for in any purchase: status, the right product and a compelling experience.
So, time to learn about and profit from the latest innovations that are transforming e-commerce, and ultimately, reshaping shopping behavior. Both on and offline.
Four themes jump out:
For consumers who are constantly connected, buying online is simply another option, rather than a wholly separate and distinct medium.
Featuring sub-trends like SCREEN CULTURE, ALL THE WEB’S A (SHOP) WINDOW and ON TO OFF / OFF TO ON.
Going ‘online’ now means immersing oneself in (and enthusiastically adding to) a rich, personalized, social web.
Featuring sub-trends CASHING IN ON CURATION, SELL-YOUR-OWN STORES, RETAIL INVESTMENT and AT YOUR SERVICE.
All the barriers initially holding e-commerce back (e.g. correct fit, secure payments, convenient deliveries) have been significantly reduced, if not totally removed.
Featuring sub-trends PERFECT FIT, DELIVERY DELIGHT, LIFE: SUBSCRIBED and PERFECT PAYMENTS.
Consumer expectations at large are now set online. Endless choice, instant gratification, total transparency, seamless collaboration, the list goes on…
Featuring sub-trends like NICHE RICHE, CROWD CLOUT, TOTAL TRANSPARENCY, ETAIL-TAINMENT and EXCLUSIVE EXPERIENCES
Even in this monster Trend Briefing, with its four big themes and various sub-trends, we’ve only scratched the surface of (R)ETAIL (R)EVOLUTION: content commerce, celebrity curators, Facebook’s ‘want’ and ‘own’ buttons, shopping from the newsfeed, paying with tweets, cash on delivery, online pop-ups and more were left on the cutting room floor.
But our biggest challenge? Trying to stick to just ‘e-commerce’. Because, as we showed in our Trend Briefing on RETAIL RENAISSANCE (and touching on it again here in E IS FOR EVERYWHERE), all shopping increasingly takes place within an e-commerce ecosystem that includes not just online and offline, but mobiles, tablets and TVs too.
Hence (R)ETAIL (R)EVOLUTION: all commerce is being affected by e-commerce, and in return e-commerce will be affected by the same general trends that define consumer behavior across all mediums, online and in traditional retail.
So keep watching, keep learning, and most importantly keep (or start!) doing!
In the meantime, we'll be hard at work on our next Trend Briefing! Make sure you're subscribed