E-commerce trends 2013-14

By June 27, 2013 5 Comments

I just read the following good list of e-commerce trends for 2013-14 on Quora:

  • Commodotisation of online stores. Even lower barriers of entry for anyone looking to build an online store (or sell something) led by solutions like Shopify,WooCommerceGumroad and Tictail.
  • Consolidation of niche online stores that focus on long-tail products by larger marketplaces e.g. & Referly. Possibly leading to more mergers and acquisitions by larger online or offline retailers.
  • Customisation for each shopper. Intelligent & real-time data leads to condition based events that are unique to sub-sets of users or individual users. e.g.GoSquared + contests/recommended product at a special discount
  • Mobile purchases will increase led by better checkout experience from responsive sites.
  • More physical retailers will learn to harness online real-time data in their physical storefronts especially social currencies like positive tweets.
  • Online stores will differentiate by offering more of the standard offering e.g. daily deals and include mechanics that are harder to replicate e.g. videos and live events with high production values
  • Influencers will get more prominent tools to curate beyond what Pinterest or blogs currently offers. Making it easier to reach out to specific demographics and market segments at the top of the marketing funnel, see Your mix of inspiration
  • Shift to higher value density products (e.g. nutritional goods, skincare products and make-up) and fast moving consumer goods (FMCG) by retailers as market saturation peaks for Fashion.

It’s a good list. I would put more emphasis on mobile and add something about niche markets, community, brand and direct relationships with the manufacturer. As Amazon and other large players leverage their scale to drive prices down new entrants will seek to compete by leveraging support from their community, building fun and engaging brands and capturing the margin taken my retailers. This strategy is difficult to execute but large value will accrue to those who succeed.