E-commerce is thriving. Especially in the consumer electronics, fashion, and home and living sectors, online trade is increasingly outstripping brick-and-mortar retailing. In addition to the major core industries, segments such as health and we...
E-commerce is thriving. Especially in the consumer electronics, fashion, and home and living sectors, online trade is increasingly outstripping brick-and-mortar retailing. In addition to the major core industries, segments such as health and wellness, FMCG (fast-moving consumer goods), and hobbies and leisure are catching up. This means big opportunities for retailers and brands that can target the right consumers online with an effective strategy. E-commerce professionals and marketers will find the latest e-commerce news, analysis and trends in our stories, which cover everything from personalization and omni-channel strategies to shop systems.
End of the road for brick-and-mortar?
People buy from people – and even e-commerce can’t defy this sales mantra. Online retailers with brick-and-mortar DNA are posting the strongest e-commerce growth. Online and offline obviously go hand in hand and can be mutually beneficial. Online advertising in brick-and-mortar retailing can boost sales through the ROPO (research online, purchase offline) effect, while the growth in marketplaces can also complement brick-and-mortar trade. Instead of silo thinking, e-commerce providers should look at the big picture of how their customers get information and purchase, in-store and online. Whether online retailers can reach their target group, optimize funnels and personalize content in the best possible way depends in no small part on the e-commerce system.
E-commerce shop systems spread their wings
From specialist brick-and-mortar businesses through to pure-play Internet retailers, a good shop system is essential for e-commerce success. Many solutions, large and small, are now available. If you want to run an e-commerce shop alongside your website, then you can get started with a shop plugin such as WooCommerce for WordPress. Large professional sellers benefit the most from an on-premise shop system. For everyone in between, either a SaaS solution such as Shopify or an open source shop system such as Shopware or Magento are useful. Which e-commerce system fits depends mainly on the online retailer’s (sales) targets.
Online marketplaces gaining in e-commerce share
eBay, Real, Hood, Amazon and Rakuten – online marketplaces are exerting increasing pressure on conventional e-commerce webstores. Pure-play Internet retailers, i.e. merchants without a brick-and-mortar presence, are especially losing market share to marketplaces. Amazon and eBay are also establishing themselves as price comparison websites, which is giving them a further competitive advantage over pure players. According to industry speculation, Amazon’s share of online retailing in Germany accounts for more than a quarter of e-commerce sales. However, the shopping giant does not release precise figures. With the triumphant advance of marketplaces, online advertising is also experiencing a bit of a renaissance. Amazon Advertising, Amazon’s advertising division, is already generating billions in sales.
The future is digital and mobile
The digitalization of retailing has only just begun. In many industries, e-commerce accounts for less than half of retail sales – offering billions in potential growth. With the establishment of 5G connectivity, e-commerce is increasingly moving to mobile devices. Platforms such as the app from American company Wish are trying to redefine online shopping for cellphones and make it even more attractive. Online retailers have to promote and develop the necessary digital knowledge in-house if they are to survive in a changing market.
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