E-commerce Predictions, 2016 – 2019: Digital Buying Comes of Age
A new generation of innovators and disruptors in e-commerce technology and services is emerging to challenge incumbent players and business models. This is happening all over the world, in countries where e-commerce is relatively mature as well as in countries where it is still nascent. And thanks to technology advances such as digital payments, cloud computing, and mobility, the barriers to entry for e-commerce vendors are lower than ever.
As a result, implementers have never had it so good or so easy. For example, an artisanal jewelry maker in India can set up an online store herself using low-cost or free software, or via a third-party online marketplace based in her home country or overseas, and reach customers around the globe. On a larger scale, a manufacturer headquartered in the United States can move its customer and supplier relationships online, expanding its potential reach from a handful of one-on-one local relationships to tens of thousands worldwide. While selling on marketplaces is not new and moving B2B sales online isn’t earthshattering, the variety of options available and the speed at which one can get up and running are unprecedented.
This globalized and competitive environment offers tremendous potential, considering that e-commerce is still a small fraction of total retail and wholesale commerce. In this report, Jill Finger Gibson presents five predictions for the next three years and explains their implications for market participants. Her insights will help buyers, vendors, and service providers understand where the opportunities and challenges lie.