"New" technologies dominate the e-commerce market
While consumers now do 25% of their total spending online, in five years this number is likely to rise to 37%. What the e-commerce market will look like in 2024 is difficult to predict, but the experts from research platform ShoppingTomorrow do see a clear common thread: The 'new' technologies, including artificial intelligence, smart assistants and voice-driven devices, ensure a completely new customer journey. This is evident from the book produced by ShoppingTomorrow and presented today at the Thuiswinkel.org New Year's reception.
An unprecedentedly large group of 630 professionals have spent eight months studying 23 topical issues related to online and offline shopping behavior in the B2B and B2C markets. The studies are brought together in the book ShoppingTomorrow: Window to the world - Verleg je grenzen (Download the chapters in English). This book is no less than the fifth edition of the research program and the vast majority of expert groups have studied new technologies in the past year.
Window to the past
When the research program started in 2013, people looked at the year 2020. An important question then was: “Do trading platforms have the future?” In the intervening years, the e-commerce world has clearly changed, and this is a question that we would not even consider now. The all-powerful platforms have expanded and improved their services, and they are clearly here to stay. With their winner-takes-all characteristics, they dominate the market, and experts see platforms as one of the most disruptive developments from now until 2025, in addition to artificial intelligence and blockchain.
Window to the present
These "new" technologies, such as artificial intelligence, smart assistants and voice-driven devices, ensure a completely new customer journey. Customers are no longer loyal to one brand but go for the best and most seamless experience. Shopping is becoming more competitive and international. The vast majority of customer experiences today are a combination of online and offline processes in which a customer unconsciously and implicitly switches between channels. It is difficult for companies to get a grip on this. There are still plenty of opportunities to offer customers a personal, relevant and flexible experience. As a retailer, whether you are selling to consumers or businesses, you will have to distinguish yourself by ensuring a unique and excellent customer journey through as much data as possible.
Window to the future
This year, ShoppingTomorrow had the theme Window to the World. Although it was announced at the end of 2018 at the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) that the Netherlands is the best e-commerce country in the world, we can still learn a lot from other countries. “The e-commerce market has not yet reached its peak and we must all come up with new and better methods to provide the customer with an optimal customer journey. Using technology in the right way makes it easier not only for consumers, but also for ourselves”, says Inge Demoed, ShoppingTomorrow program manager. An AI strategy is a must. Artificial intelligence is not a hype, because practice has long shown that it is retail reality. Yet we still have to catch up in the Netherlands. Research from Capgemini (2018) shows that only 1% of companies have reached the correct AI level.
23 topics and practical advice
The ShoppingTomorrow book contains 23 topics, ranging from blockchain to secure e-commerce, from city logistics to digital identity and from sustainability to cross-border business. With the practical tips and advice, you as a retailer can push your own limits and make your company, but also the earth, a little better tomorrow.
“Like every year, the ShoppingTomorrow program helps me and my fellow experts to recalibrate our existing knowledge and gain new knowledge about the rapidly changing e-commerce world. This book is the wonderful result of this sharing of knowledge, with which the retailer can gain new, relevant and essential knowledge”, says Hidde van der Heide, Marketplace Manager at Difrax.
Experts and people involved in ShoppingTomorrow receive a free copy of the book. Other interested parties can download all the individual bluepapers for free or order the book (the bluepapers can be downloaded in English for free, but the book is only available in Dutch).