Ecommerce is changing and how! Over the past few years, there has been a steady growth in ecommerce. Each year has surpassed the other. Now, we have reached the holiday and final quarter of the year, which is very crucial for the retailers. The ecommerce surge is no longer limited to the US; the UK has also seen a significant growth. South & East Asia, particularly China and India are being targeted as a potential marketplace for online businesses.
The key findings of a recent report by BI Intelligence shows how ecommerce has flourished in 2014 and how even traditional retailers are finding success in ecommerce.
Here is a look at some of the key findings:
- Explosive Growth in Mobile Commerce
In the second quarter, purchases made with mobile devices increased by 48 percent year-over-year (YoY) to nearly $8 billion. This is the fastest rise in mobile commerce spending since Q1 of 2012 and also three times faster than the desktop-based spending.
- Online channels influence offline purchases
Most of the offline as well as online purchases done by consumers were influenced by online research, as per Forrester.
- Conventional Retailers Succeed in E-commerce
Conventional retailers are finally finding success in e-commerce. In Q2 of 2014, growth in e-commerce sales have stabilized at an average of 22 percent for top retailers including Wal-Mart, JC Penny, Nordstrom and Best Buy.
- Traditional Retailers Play Catch up with Mobile
With tablets and smartphones, traditional retailers are trying to catch up with the original e-commerce retailers. The use of mobile devices while shopping has now become a trend and that is what the conventional retailers are trying to cash upon. For instance, Target has more mobile consumer now than Amazon.
- Delivery of Packages to be More by Google, Amazon and other tech companies
Amazon, Google and other tech companies will have a leading role in the delivery of packages this holiday season. To meet the demand of online shipping, UPS and FedEx have committed to hiring 145,000 workers for the holiday season. However, Google and Amazon are handling more of their own logistics by leveraging their services of same-day delivery.
E-Commere Trends in the US
According to an online sales report by Forrester Research Inc, from $263 billion in 2013, US e-commerce sales are expected to grow to $414 billion in 2018, which means a yearly growth of 9.5 percent. E-commerce share of total retail sales was 8 percent in 2013 and is expected to increase to 11 percent in 2018.
A 57.4 percent dollar growth is expected with actual 2013 figure being $263 billion and forecast being $414 billion for 2018.
The Ecommerce Scene for a Few US Retailers
Traditional retailers are quickly adapting to the e-commerce scene. Wal-Mart and Tesco have cut down on their physical stores and are making their presence felt online. They have easily established a harmony between physical retail and e-commerce by changing into a multichannel mode of retailing.
In 2013, Wal-Mart was the 4th largest USA online retailer. Amazon, Apple and Staples were the first three in the list in terms of revenue.
Online retail brands like eBay, IKEA and Amazon are already making it big in ecommerce. They have integrated social media to remain connected with their consumers and provide them with relevant offers time-to-time.
Ecommerce Trends in UK
In the UK, the ecommerce limits are pushed further by mobile. Mobile shopping activities have increased significantly from last year. The UK retail website visits coming from mobile devices have increased significantly from 2012. Apart from using tablets and smartphones for research, a significant percentage of people used them to purchase products online.
UK Brands Expanding Outside UK
When it comes to online retail in Europe, UK is undisputed. Many brands in the UK are trying to expand internationally, US being their first choice. The retailers are also looking at other emerging ecommerce markets like China, India, Brazil, Russia, etc.
Brands like ASOS, Topshop, Net-a-Porter, and Burberry have opened their chains in US. Even small retailers like Matches are also reaching out to the luxury market in the US. ASOS has even planned to enter the Chinese market by teaming up with e-commerce platform provider Hybris.
Ecommerce Trends in South & East Asia
South & East Asia has seen an ecommerce boom unlike any other place. The availability of low cost smartphones and mobile web connections has caused a rise in ecommerce in this region. For every single visit to conventional retailers, online retailers are getting 41 times more visits. India and China are seeing a huge growth in these two locations.
Changes in the South & East Asian Market
E-commerce has surged in China and it is now the second-largest e-commerce market after US. Most of this has happened due to Alibaba. Different brands are making their way into the Chinese online retail market. Many big brands like Nike, L’Oreal, Burberry, etc. have opened social storefronts on Weibo, a huge social platform in China.
In India, Google has launched the Great Online Shopping Festival where different brands are participating and consumers can get great deals during the festival. Microsoft has planned to cater to the blooming e-commerce market in India with a nation-specific site. Even Amazon plans to open a data center in India.
E-commerce is growing by leaps and bounds and countries which were lagging behind are also now catching up slowly and steadily. The growth in e-commerce can be attributed largely to mobile commerce. In the coming years, we can expect that more brands will expand their online stores internationally and not restrict themselves to a singular country.
What’s your take?
Do you think e-commerce growth has been significant in the above mentioned countries? What other brands would you like to see go global? Share your insights in the comments below.
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