Five Things You Need To Know to Prep for the Future of E-Commerce

Despite the presence of well-established online retail giants like Amazon and Zappos, the e-commerce world is a still rapidly shifting and developing space. In many ways, brands and consumers alike are still catching up with the potential that the technology available to them allows. Here we’ll take you through five of the big things that could change the e-commerce game.

1. The Fight Against Showrooming:

This March, a specialty food store in Brisbane, Australia gained international notoriety for posting a sign in their store announcing that visitors would be charged a five-dollar fee for browsing without buying. Why? To combat showrooming, the practice of looking at products in-store to then purchase for less online. According to Adweek, 60 percent of consumers are intentionally showrooming and less than ten percent of consumers are buying from the same website as the store they are using to showroom. For digital natives (i.e. Millennials) that number drops to less than five percent. The browsing fee plan of the Australian store may have been misguided (charging people to browse your goods is not a permanent solution to the problem if you want to keep people coming to your store), but the fact remains that big-box and small business retailers alike are trying to combat showrooming. Best Buy says that the practice is “now dead to [them]’ thanks to year-round price matching policies, a method which Target has also adopted. Brick and mortar isn’t going anywhere, but it is certainly going to have to adapt to a world where buying online is starting to make more sense to many buyers. Which brings us to…

2. A Mobile App Revolution:
More and more of e-commerce will be going mobile. A recent study from comScore also found that 86 million Americans are using their smartphones to shop…

 
 

Want to talk to us about the article
or dive into a custom study?


The Newsfeed

“As a graphic designer, without the arts being available to me in school I would have been lost as a child and where to take my career path. The fact that schools are cutting art programs is heartbreaking.”—Female, 24, NJ

Applebee’s is putting down the sriracha and giving up on trying to appeal to Millennials. The brand has decided their newer menu items—like a “triple pork bonanza” sandwich—and attempt at a “modern bar and grill” reinvention has “alienate[d]” Boomers and Gen Xers. They’re shutting down more than 130 restaurants and bringing back initiatives from before their attempted “pendulum swing towards millennials,” all-you-can-eat specials and 2-for-$20 deals. Other brands are creating new spin off chains to appeal to fast-casual lovingMillennials, that “[lack] the associated baggage of the old.” (Inc, NPR)

Adults-only ball pits, bouncy houses, and giant slides are sweeping the U.K. Millennials seeking a break from adulthood are flocking to places like Wacky World’s “massive bouncy-castle obstacle course,” which started out as a children’s event. The founder received so many requests that now every event has an 18-and-over slot, and has expanded to 19 cities. This “trend for arrested development activities” is caused by nostalgia, but the influx of marketing and branding leveraging the emotion could be popularizing these playgrounds for adults. (The Guardian)

Facebook is responding to the trend of asking for birthday charitable donations by integrating it right into the platform. Users in the U.S. can now trade in all the “HBD”s they get on Facebook for donations to the cause of their choice: well-wishers will be notified of the birthday along with the selected non-profit, and get the chance to donate. Facebook will ask users which charity they wish to dedicate their day to two weeks in advance, allowing them to choose from 750,000 organizations. (TNW)

Appear Here is the Airbnb of pop-up shops, giving brands their perfect temporary store for the new era of retail. The company finds short term retail space, and has worked with big-name brands like Nike and Net-a-Porter to open “experimental activations” or “test new products.” As brick-and-mortar continues to suffer and long-term stores close, Appear Here says physical retail is still needed, but to “tell a story.” The pop-up industry was valued at $50 billion in 2015, and provides a more low-risk, flexible option to avoid the retail wasteland. (Glossy)

Millennials & Gen Z are turning a profit online and on mobile by re-selling their retail. Thredup, Poshmark, and Depop are just a few of the most popular brands cashing in on the resale economy’s $18 billion market, and some shoppers say they are making $300 a week on the platforms. Some are also using social to sell, often in conjunction with apps or sites, including Snapchat, Facebook Groups, and Instagram. College students on a budget are reportedly especially drawn to resale, thanks to convenience, value, and access to luxury at a lower price. (FN)

“Adult means being entirely independent. I pay my own bills, make all decisions in my life, and feel very in control.”—Male, 20, NY

Sign Up Now

Subscribe for premium access to our content, data, and tools.

Already a subscriber? Sign in.

Upgrade Now

Upgrade for full access to the best marketing tools for understanding the next generation.

View our Client Case Studies