Scot Wingo CEO of ChannelAdvisor opened the 2nd day of the EU Catalyst conference in London today. With attendance up around 30% of last year’s catalyst almost 600 online retailers sat down to hear his views of where the market is going.
Scot covered four innovations which he attributes as the main factors driving supersize growth in Ecommerce.
- Amazon – Amazon are raising the bar across the whole Ecommerce experience. Amazon’s performance is making everyone else raise their game. Amazon are opening ever more fulfilment centers around the world and this has the effect of reducing shipping times. Scot posed the question would Amazon ever open “Apple” style retail stores on the High Street where you could buy both Amazon and third party products. The success of Amazon is driving new third party marketplaces to launch, such as Tesco. In order to compete even the very largest retailers need third party sellers in order to add breadth of product to their webstores.
- Local/Mobile – Showrooming, instore scanning for price comparison, is changing the market, shoppers are generally using their smart phones more and this naturally spills over into shopping. There are 26 million smart phone users in the UK and 24% of UK consumers have used a smart phone to access websites while shopping. 50% of smart phone shoppers use their GPS mapping app to find a retail outlet and many text or send images of products they’re considering to friends using their mobiles to share the shopping experience.
- Social – There’s little doubt that social media is growing fast, and almost everyone accepts that it will impact Ecommerce. The only thing that’s not currently figured out is quite how social will play out in the longer term.
- Cross border Trade – ChannelAdvisor are seeing two phenomenons, customer who source products from countries such as China, but then want to sell (and ship product back to) Chinese consumers. The second is customer in countries like China signing up to use ChannelAdvisor as a platform in order to market directly to the Western world.
With the explosion of channels plus social channels combined with increases in cross border trade and mobile technologies, plus most channels having a different offering for each country it’s getting more and more complex for retailers to manage their businesses.
ChannelAdvisor are rolling out localised version of their products to German, Spanish and Italian, along with new features such as Flex Feeds, Facebook Campaigns and third party marketplace expansion. They have just added newegg and Sears in the US and today announced that they’ll be supporting La Redoute in France in the near future.
Whilst ChannelAdvisor are innovating like mad, the implication is that merchants need to do the same. There will be more marketplaces, more channels such as social and review sites to worry about, and that will be replicated in multiple countries.
It’ll be hard work, but an exciting year in ecommerce.