Andrew Pearl, strategy director EMEA, Profitero, has nine top predictions for e-commerce in 2017:
1. Mobile’s continued ascendancy – mobile already accounts for the majority of search terms and ecommerce transactions in the UK. It’s growth will fundamentally alter the way brands and retailers lay out the digital shelf – specifically through mobile-ready product content and mobile-optimised search algorithms.
2. Delivery will be the key battle ground – a balancing act for retailers – necessity of offering innovative same-day/1-hour deliveries versus growing supply chain costs. Expect ‘same day’ to become standard as well as the rise of Click & Collect in UK and across Europe.
3. Analysis for growth – an absolute necessity – Amazon’s influence will drive traditional brick-and-mortar retailers to increase their digital capabilities across all areas of the digital shelf. A move to predictive analytics for availability, pricing and sales.
4. Rise in direct-to-consumer stores – removing price competition and allowing brands to have direct relationships with their customers.
5. Move from price promotions to driving loyalty – all major FMCG brands and retailers have been talking in 2016 about attempting to move away from price promotions as trading conditions become ever tougher. The key battle will be locking loyalty through delivery passes and increasing brands and retailer relevance in shoppers every day lives – through (6) & (7) here…
6. Growth in Internet of Things opportunities – as a way of locking in all-important shopper loyalty.
7. Increased retailer/branded partnerships / consolidation – creating one-stop shops across goods and services to counter the growing reach of Amazon. Joint distribution facilities / collaboration will also help to increase delivery options while minimising cost increases.
8. Evolution of new payment models – cash-less transactions allowing seamless combination of online and off-line purchases. Pricing comparison for all shoppers and all categories becoming the norm.
9. Political upheaval providing new ecommerce cross-border opportunities – uncertainty in standard trade terms at a global scale (predominantly US and EU) may provide new cross-border opportunities specifically for nimble ecommerce brands and retailers.