eCommerce in the Nordics is flourishing. Last year sales across the region hit an estimated 21.7 billion euros, with Swedish shoppers contributing 8.2 billion euros alone. In a recent study, two thirds of the population across Norway, Sweden and Denmark reported to have shopped online in the previous month (and just under half in Finland). It’s a market famous for the success of its exported brands like H&M and Ikea, synonymous with great quality, value and style.
Spoiler alert: This was the best commerce conference I’ve ever been to. The quality of content and overall experience was so high I’m sad to leave. So the award for BEST COMMERCE CONFERENCE GOES TO: Recode for Code Commerce.
It's hard to conceive, and yet it makes perfect sense. With Forrester's most recent B2B eCommerce sales forecast estimating a modest 6-8% year-over-year growth for the next 5 years, Amazon's gone and done it: 900% increase in 2 years.
“By 2020, more than 50% of online sellers will either list their products on marketplaces or sell third-party products on their core commerce sites” predicts Gartner. Despite the prevalence of the marketplace model across the world, for many in the retail industry, marketplaces mean Amazon.
And put simply this couldn’t be further from the truth.
As we wave goodbye to the summer holidays, lament that our next bank holiday isn’t until December and mummerings about Peak Season become harder to ignore.. It can mean only one thing….Event season is almost upon us.
As we get back into the post-summer activity we can start to look forward to the new ideas and insights that come with the event season. It’s at this time of year that the UK retail industry comes together to debate the most pressing topics at the front of everyone’s mind wherever you work across the value chain. Not only is it a great opportunity to hear from the brightest minds in tech, eCommerce and CX… it’s also the perfect chance to network with peers and forge new relationships.
Grocery retailing is being profoundly transformed. It’s predicted that within a decade, grocery shopping as we remember it will be unrecognizable. Amazon’s acquisition of Whole Foods in 2017 marked a milestone in the evolution of the grocery store, bringing an eCommerce first, technology-driven approach to a sector noted for its digital latency. The Food Marketing Institute and Nielson together estimate that 70 percent of consumers will buy at least some groceries online in the next five to seven years. In fact, online grocery sales are predicted to reach $100 billion by 2022 in North America alone.
It’s been a challenging few years for the retail industry, and apparel retailers have been among those hit the hardest. And while there may not be a single explanation for why this is, there are a few key drivers. For one, it’s no longer fashion brands that set the trends, rather customer expectations are now driven by influencers on Instagram, Snapchat and other social media platforms. Compound that with competition from emerging, more nimble retailers and eCommerce giants such as Amazon making a play in the space, and you have the perfect combination for friction and challenges.
The UK retail market has experienced a turbulent few years with major household names issuing bankruptcy warnings. Last week it was announced that U.K. retailer, Homebase, was set to close another 43 stores amidst struggling trading conditions. Chief Executive Damian McGloughlin was quoted as saying: “Launching a CVA has been a difficult decision and one we have not taken lightly. Homebase has been one of the most recognisable retail brands for almost 40 years, but the reality is we need to continue to take decisive action to address the under performance of the business.” It’s since been speculated that Amazon is primed to pick up Homebase real estate to facilitate growth in their on-demand delivery service.
In a time of unparalleled flux, UK and US retailers have something in common. They are increasingly looking for the next point of differentiation to stay relevant to their customers. As consumer behavior evolves, many are seeking ‘experiential’ or ‘service-based shopping’, and this new way of conducting commerce could just provide the beacon of hope the industry needs.
Whether the impending end of the summer break fills you with joy or dread (no judgement here!), there’s no denying back to school shopping has become big business for retailers. This year, spending on the second highest retail peak in North America is expected to reach $27.5B (when combined with back to college shopping that figure soars to $87B), equating to a spend of $685 per household.