Ecommerce is a weird category that seems to be getting weirder. It was by far one of the first things to take off when people started adopting the Web. People were relatively comfortable buying thi...
|Scooped by Martin (Marty) Smith|
Not sure I agree with the negative tone. Yes US Ecom is hanging right at 10% of total retail, but ecom growth has been much more robust than bricks and mortar. Granted, 1% growth on a HUGE number is more money to the bank than 15% growth on 10% of that same number, but the lines will cross.
Look at the UK where ecom is 15% of total retail. The UK has much higher gas prices and is a smaller economy, but does anyone believe gas is going to go substantially lower anytime soon?
I agree with Sarah's discussion about mobile and its impact being ignored or made to play second chair to social. I think Social + Mobile = another 5 points off of US retail's total.
The other thing Sarah doesn't discuss is the tendency for overly competitive brick and mortar to turn people off with Crazy Eddie like screaming. My boss at M&M/Mars used to say some places were "over stored and under peopled" while others were the reverse. He argued Kansas was over stored and under peopled.
It feels like everywhere is over stored and under peopled now that every strip mall everywhere has the same 5 big box retailers (how they continue to make money I have no idea) and 6 restaurants. The web's retail promise still outstrips its grasp, but cool new things are brewing.
Ecom 2.0 is about many things including the impact of predictive analytics, dynamic rendering, feeding personas with branching AI-like algorithms and moving closer to merchandising and retailing in real time.
VC is investing in many ideas that support Ecom 2.0 such as business intelligence tools, predictive analytics and Big Data. Many of these tools have LARGE and IN CHARGE presence in Ecom 2.0.
I applaud the concentration on Ecom 2.0 and look forward to the next post in the series. As a former Director of Ecommerce I think there will be enough new Ecom work to go around for the next ten years (easy). Will Ecom ever be 50% of total retail? X groceries and other hard to franchise verticals and yes that level of penetration in gifts, electronics and books is possible.
In fact, it may be more helpful to tackle the issue vertical by vertical since some verticals such as health care and groceries have shown stubborn resistance to ecommerce's charms.
If Amazon eliminates the wait with same day shipping that too could move another 5 points. Amazon was stragely absent in this first post. Amazon is the most Ecom 2.0 play I know beause they've tuned their algorithms to within a short toss of Google's. With hundreds of millions of pages in Google, even after Panda and Penguin, Amazon's retail dominance online is hard to fully fathom or argue.
Has Amazon innovated at the rate of Google or Facebook? Not even close, but their singular innovation, Kindle, may end up trumping all at least as far as books are concerned. The real reason Amazon dominates is their partner network, a network upset at least momentarily by the nexus created by an expanding network of distribution centers. Here in North Carolina it is impossible to be an Amazon affiliate thanks to our trip over the big bucks to pick up the small state government.
As Amazon expands their DC network nexus will exist everywhere and so state sales tax will follow. The imposition of state sales tax could slow Ecom 2.0, but Ecom growth will continue to outpace the over stored and under peopled brick and mortar retailers.