Deciphering the lasting e-commerce developments from the more transient ones can be cumbersome in such a fast-paced industry, where buzzwords abound. In anticipation to our next, and final of 2016, #FinAndTonic that will be held on the 13th of December, we are proud to share the key 2016 e-commerce trends you need to keep an eye on.
Our members and partners will find the full report with an in-depth coverage ofthe trends, opportunities and threats along with a landscape overview in their dedicated portal.
Marketplaces play the role of adults: they are a structural shift to be reckoned
The marketplace, or third-party platform can no longer be qualified as “just” a hype. It has emerged as one of the major 21rst century commercial paradigm, offering a much easier, cheaper and global way to trade.
In the UK, the European country that is regarded as one of the continental frontrunner when it comes to e-commerce, Redshift Research has estimated 95% of online retailers are selling via marketplaces along with their own sites, making marketplaces not just a trend but a structural shift.
Their main advantages reside in the ease of serving new markets at a low-cost, irrespective of the third party being a wholesaler, a franchise partner, a distributor, an entrepreneur or a local retail SME.
With a varied, though not necessarily extended, mix of products readily available across categories, retailers enjoy valuable selling windows to promote their brand(s) within the marketplace ecosystem, in addition to being able to cross-sell and up-sell their merchandise and brands.
With some retail markets maturing and growth plateauing, players that embrace a low-cost, digital-first internationalization strategy via marketplace or pure-play e-commerce platforms open their horizons of new-market, unreachable otherwise.
Mobile-commerce is still a teenager: promising, super active but still under development.
The mobile-commerce trend followsthe path of its Marketplace parent. With more than 1.2 billion people accessing the internet via mobile devices, m-commerce transactions are only expected to grow. Forrester Research expects them to jump from their $115 billion level in 2015 to $142 billion this year.
That is, despite the challenges mobile-commerce face such as weak conversion rates (caused by smaller screens, harder-to-find product details and finicky credit card form fields which may disincentive shoppers to proceed out) and slow download times.
The comparison with teenagers holds strong though: even if they still need to be polished and mature further, their parents are hopeful and proud of their offspring. The rate of growth of m-commerce sales follows the same logic: out of its infancy, looking toward some hurdles to be solved, it vows strong developments.
Indeed, the bulk of mobile sales concern only a few categories, which means that most shopping categories are under penetrated and have a long way to go to experience success in mobile commerce.
Social-commerce is the infant
Social commerce comes after its elders. Retailers are very much looking towards the opportunities lying ahead while still figuring out how to best drive sustainable e-commerce purchases via social media.
They understand the possibilities behind greater peer-to-peer and group-based interactions, aware that friends’ recommendations (and to a lesser degree, a strangers’s) play a powerful role in shopping (according to Gartner, 74% of consumers rely on social networks to guide their purchases.), but no definitive, proven model has yet emerged.
Amid the manifold trends that make the landscape evolving so fast, consumers are growing increasingly savvy and demanding when it comes to not just what they want to buy, but also their shopping experience. Digital stores are thus not enough and keeping the pace with their demanding expectations should drive the efforts of market makers not just at the purchase action, but also before, during, and after the shopping experience.
Let’s have a drink on it, join our #Fin&Tonic on the 13th of December.
Read the full report by accessing your member zone.