The Death of e-commerce and beyond

The latest e-commerce news and trends presented at the world congress in Chicago.

I have just returned from the e-commerce world congress in Chicago where, as I understand, it was announced the death of e-commerce… and that’s a good thing! E-commerce is going to die or at least the expression itself. We went through a phase where companies had the e-commerce independent from the rest of the operation. Nowadays retail must work with digital channels as a fundamental part of its business model. An omnicanality is the new watchword, with the total integration of the consumer’s experience regardless of the channel they use. A purchase may start on the computer, continue on the tablet, and end up in the store, so prices, inventory, and promotions should always be the same. For those managers who are rubbing their hands, thinking that they will already move to this last phase, be disappointed… if they don’t know how to develop e-commerce well, it is guaranteed that they will not do well. Step by step.

It was four days, with ten hours of lectures a day, a lot of information for a single article. Here are some of the new trends:

Big Data: The ability to measure all customer behavior through data analysis. About the potential (and sometimes inconvenience) of this level of analysis was given the example of the father who discovered his teenage daughter’s pregnancy when Target (a large American retailer) started sending his daughter promotions of items for pregnant women and babies. The analysis of the consumer’s profile and behavior led Target to know about the pregnancy before the father did. One of the big stars of the conference, from small to large companies, was the constant concern with decisions based on hard data and the many analysis tools available in the market.

Mobile: That mobile devices are having an impact on everyday life is no longer news, but now we are differentiating by type of device, place of use, etc. The experiences with a phone and a tablet are completely different. The tablet may allow a more content and photo-based experience, while the phone needs more concise information that may also depend on the situation you are in. For example, a customer who, being far away, is searching for a store but if the customer is close by it may be interesting to send him promotions to get him in. If the customer is already inside the store, he can get a map with the location of the products or even, order the products over the phone, which will be delivered at the checkout. Another of the discussions was the advantage of apps compared to mobile sites.

And for those who thought that e-commerce is the future, be disappointed, it is the present and already with a long past. I’ll end with a reminder from a presentation at the conference “it’s time to change our e-commerce because we’ve been doing the same thing for 20 years”. In the next article we will continue with the trends from Chicago.

David Bernardo
David Bernardo
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