This is an exciting day for my co-Founder Philippe Corrot and I. We founded Mirakl almost seven years ago because we saw that online marketplaces were going to disrupt commerce forever. We co-founded Splitgames, which was acquired by Fnac, and then went on to operate Fnac's marketplace successfully. We referred to it as their Miracle. We left because we realized we could build a Mirakl for many more companies.
“They’ve actually got Holiday decorations in the supermarket, can you believe it, it’s only just October!?” Every year it’s the same. One minute we’re enjoying light evenings and family BBQs, the next we’re unearthing scarves and complaining about Christmas songs in the shops. But for those of us working in the retail industry, planning for the peak season actually begins months in advance.
We’ve gotten used to seeing the headlines about the “death of the high street,” “retail stores facing an apocalypse” and other equally scaremongering predictions. It’s been refreshing this week to hear that retail stores could be facing a renaissance, led by Amazon of all companies! Instead of dissipating, the role of store has evolved, and smart retailers should be examining how they can embrace this growing trend favoring experiences over products.
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.