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The future of eCommerce: what’s next?

One of the biggest names in the eCommerce world, Amazon, is almost 25 years old. In just three years from now, they're projected to capture almost half of the market. But, far from achieving everlasting dominance, entrepreneurs and retailers the world over should realise that the eCommerce market is still in its relative infancy. To stay competitive in an increasingly dynamic marketplace, it's critical to cut through the noise, and analyse long-term trends to realise where the future of eCommerce really lays:

1. eCommerce sales are growing - but 'brick and mortar' stores still dominate the market

eCommerce currently accounts for about 12% of total retail sales. That's a massive increase from just a few years ago - but it still represents only a tiny fraction overall. These market conditions are a tremendous opportunity for new entrants to disrupt existing industries and replace old-school competitors. There's a lot of market share to be gained. In the fashion world for example, online-only retailers like Boohoo and ASOS are taking over the market, displacing retail giants like M&S and House of Fraser, who are being forced to close stores all over the UK.  

2. Unleashing the power of eCommerce automation

Shopify has revealed incredible new tools like 'Flow' and 'Scripts', which are all about removing the opportunity for human error. Soon, you won't have to rely on emailing, multi-system communication or cobbling together processes. You'll be able to specify workflows, set promotions within exact bounds, or use consumer buying data to create personalised shopping experiences - all utilising the power of automation. This represents a huge opportunity for retailers to improve service, sell more online, cut costs, and sell more products.  

3. A new, global middle class?

Research from McKinsey Consulting shows that 1.4bn people will be joining the global 'middle class' over the next five years - and 85% of these potential customers will be from the Asia-Pacific region. This enormous increase in wealth unlocks an entirely new marketplace. Savvy retailers should start to focus on ensuring they have trusted partners in the region, a robust supply chain, and the expertise to navigate different trade and customs laws.