Article: Online retailing is currently going through a period of double-digit growth. It may be anyone’s guess what’s going to drive future growth in the sector, but there are already a few indications of where things are headed for e-commerce companies. Let’s take a look at a few likely scenarios.
After the initial optimisation growth of flash sales, social recommendations, subscriptions, advertorials, crowdsourcing and enhanced targeting of customers, what can we next expect next?
Good old-fashioned bricks-and-mortar retail is making something of a comeback for starters, with in-store mobile commerce beginning to appear in many high streets. Here, improved technology such as more widespread access to broadband, faster mobile and better displays promise a much smarter shopping experience.
But it’s mainly in the field of e-commerce that we’re going to notice some remarkable changes. It won’t just be an improved version of what it was, it will be essentially different. Consider the emergence of creative trends such as 3D printing communities. ‘Creative commerce’ or c-commerce is something to look out for in the near future. The buy-and-sell marketplace of old will increasingly give ground to the create-buy-and-sell ‘makerplace’, which will be far more dynamic.
Content is a commodity
Content is now being increasingly consumed by the people who create it, from music and news to art and video. Blogging is a typical example of this trend. With simple-to-use tools like Twitter, Tumblr and WordPress around, generating and sharing ideas and content has never been easier.
The objects we’re familiar with from our daily lives are reflecting this desire on the part of consumers to get actively involved with a product before they buy it. Participatory design and the growth of the Maker Movement are early warning signs of this shift towards c-commerce. It’s already becoming routine to see crowdsourcing of fashion item designs. There are lots of easy-to-use customisation platforms also available for consumers to easily personalise the likes of T-shirts and sports equipment.
A number of factors have come together at this time to fuel the dramatic rise of creative commerce. The idea itself has been around for some years in the form of craft workshops, custom tailoring and the like. The driving factors now include such powerful propellants as 3D printing accessibility, open source software and increasing internet connectivity. Another factor is the relative ease with which start-ups can find their natural niche in the market.
It won’t be very long before anyone with a bright new idea will be able to market their innovative product on demand. This will be achieved without the intervention of battalions of expert middlemen telling them how it has to be done and taking a slice of the profits for their pains.
Carlo Pandian is a freelance blogger interested in e-commerce, business and start-ups. He is currently working on a E-book about QuickBooks small business accounting software while he’s looking to learn more about coding and PR. When he’s not online, Carlo loves playing badminton and chilling out in the beach.