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Put on your ponchos: The new wave of e-commerce has arrived – FreightWaves

Summary

Over the past few decades, e-commerce has grown from a puddle to a lake to a sprawling ocean. In 2000, the U.S. transacted about $27.5 billion in e-commerce sales. By 2010 that number had grown sixfold to nearly $170 billion, and last year, U.S. e-commerce sales totaled about $763 billion, nearly $200 billion more than 2019.

But for all the shifting and repositioning of commerce from the physical world to the digital, there have also been churning waters within the ocean o…….

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Over the past few decades, e-commerce has grown from a puddle to a lake to a sprawling ocean. In 2000, the U.S. transacted about $27.5 billion in e-commerce sales. By 2010 that number had grown sixfold to nearly $170 billion, and last year, U.S. e-commerce sales totaled about $763 billion, nearly $200 billion more than 2019.

But for all the shifting and repositioning of commerce from the physical world to the digital, there have also been churning waters within the ocean of e-commerce. As shopping online becomes more and more consumer-centric, brands have realized that one size no longer fits all, and that’s caused the meteoric rise of three new forms of social e-commerce — influencer marketing, live shopping and conversational commerce.

Whether buyers and brands are ready or not, a new wave of e-commerce is here, and everyone had better put on their ponchos.

As brands try to capitalize on shifting consumer shopping habits, influencer marketing and live shopping have become key methods of engagement. Like many things, these two trends took off during COVID as the pandemic accelerated consumers’ shift to digital shopping.

“Last year, at least, it wasn’t something brands were actively looking for or seeking out,” Eric Dahan, CEO and co-founder of marketing agency Open Influence, told Modern Shipper. “I think this year is really sort of the first year where brands are trying to dabble with live shopping.”

Already Amazon has released Amazon Live, TikTok has gone all-in on its live shopping offering and Instagram is experimenting with its own live shopping program. Given the size and influence of those players, it’s clear that a new era of e-commerce is knocking on the door.

Dahan said that Apple’s iOS 14 update, which was released in September 2020, also had a huge impact on emerging forms of e-commerce like influencer marketing and live shopping. A defining feature of that update was the switching of Apple’s (NASDAQ: AAPL) data-tracking policy to an opt-in system, rather than an opt-out, which has had a couple of effects.

“One is you’ve seen a decrease in return on ad spend just because the ads aren’t as effective or efficient in how they’re distributed,” Dahan explained. “The next is reporting is all over the place. Because of the update, it’s hard to track. It’s really hard to attribute where sales are coming from.”

As a result, brands have gradually become less dependent on ads, instead emphasizing the customer journey. By creating a vacuum of data, iOS 14 has made brands focus on owning the consumer experience from beginning to end so that they can reliably track and analyze data.

This year is really sort of the first year where brands are trying to dabble with live shopping.

Eric Dahan, CEO, Open Influence

While these social forms of e-commerce are relatively foreign to the U.S., they’re very familiar in …….

Source: https://www.freightwaves.com/news/put-on-your-ponchos-the-new-wave-of-e-commerce-has-arrived