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What are the Forecasts for the E-commerce Industry?

by
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December 4, 2018
Revenue, Profit, customer service, SEO, Customer Experience, Design, UX, Shopping Cart, Social Media

In recent times, due to the advent of technology, online shopping has gained a lot of popularity worldwide making it one major online activity, however, the usage differs by regions. Statistics have shown that in 2016, an estimated 19% of all retail sales in China occur via the internet while 6.7% in Japan. Furthermore, statistical data also reveals that desktop computers are still the most popular device which is being used in placing an online shopping order but mobile devices are catching up. Data from statista reveals a progressive rise in sales; one billion U.S dollars from 2014 to 2018. The same data predicted a rise in the year 2019. What are these forecasts that could result in increased e-commerce activities?

1. Shaping the Future of E-commerce.

In the year 2015, a growth rate of 13.3% and an e-commerce turnover of £455.3 billion was recorded. It was predicted that the e-commerce turnover for 2018 would keep rising and was forecasted to reach £500 billion marks.

As stated by Marlene Ten Ham, e-commerce Europe’s secretary-general, the full potential of the European e-commerce market has not yet been fully explored. Out of all the European population, only 43% shop online while only 16% buy products from another country. Statistical data reveals that the fastest growing e-commerce markets are Ukraine (35% compared to 2014), Turkey (34.9%) and Belgium (34.2%); in terms of e-shoppers, Germany and the UK are the greatest markets with 51.6 million and 43.4 million respectively.

However, to fully explore the full potential of the e-commerce sector in Europe, some factors or barriers need to be broken down, such as legal fragmentation, taxation issues (VAT) and Logistics. These are problems that have been identified, and solutions are underway, the year 2019 will bring great progress in this area reshaping e-commerce.

2. Mobile is the New Normal.

Mobile devices are getting a lot of popularity and that is why you’ve probably seen your mobile traffic outpace that of desktop or at least close to it. According to data from Adobe, over 2017 Black Friday and Cyber Monday, 46% of all BFCM traffic came through mobile devices. However, only 30% of all sales closed there. This implies that people browse for products using their mobile phones but still place orders using a desktop.

The increased availability of mobile devices in recent times has made online stores spend substantially on ensuring their site is mobile friendly, and the primary purpose is to increase sales. Companies around the world who don’t want to be left out or outpaced include mobile e-commerce design and optimization. So ensuring your site is responsive and mobile friendly will position you for the future of e-commerce.

In the e-commerce industry, convenience is the number one driving factor, so making sites mobile friendly and checkouts easy-to-use is critical since the world is moving towards convenience.

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3. International e-commerce will take a new turnaround.

In an attempt to increase sales, many enterprises will struggle to capitalize on the future of international e-commerce opportunities. A forecast according to McKinsey shows that a whopping 1.4 billion people will join the global middle class by 2020 of which 85% of them will be from the Asia Pacific region. Any CPG and retailers who are already part of this will have a competitive advantage in meeting demand.

The reason for this turnaround is that each country presents a different set of limitations, market favourites, and security challenge. For instance, a country like Nigeria with a high demand for U.S e-commerce products may be risky to fulfil. The risk should not be a reason to turn a blind eye to such an opportunity. Instead, find a creative way to bypass the hurdle and trusted partners. A good example is Mall of Africa which is a service that helps curtail the risk and stress of selling products into Africa due to high fraud level.

In the year 2019, a lot of e-commerce activities will be directed towards the developing countries due to high demand. However, challenges like the issue of fraud could be a problem.

4. B2B e-commerce is outpacing B2C by over $5 Trillion.

You might not have invested in a wholesale e-commerce platform yet, however, you have probably given it a thought.

After all, B2B e-commerce statistical data speak for themselves. Statista revealed in 2017 the gross merchandise volume of business-to-business e-commerce transaction is projected to amount to 7.66 trillion U.S dollars from a low of 5.83 trillion U.S dollars in 2013.

Furthermore, B2B survey respondents have an average conversion rate of 10% which is over three times higher than that the 3% of B2C e-commerce executives.

However, this opportunity comes with its unique challenges. Every B2B e-commerce buyer is also likely to be a B2C e-commerce shopper. For instance, having purchased a product at Amazon, they will also be conditioned to want a similar experience (fast, direct, convenient and easy operation with no resistance between search and checkout). They will always prefer to buy at the website and not with the help of a sales representative.

2019 comes with a lot of opportunities for the e-commerce industry. Self-service B2B e-commerce is a must for every company progress because it saves time, increases sales and is convenient for customers.

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