5 shifts in Online Sales

5 developments that can make the difference!

eCommerce has become an ever growing and evolving vertical that has come a long way since its inception in the late 90s. People are increasingly buying online and the trend towards mobile devices is steaming ahead the eCommerce market, estimating a growth of  further 4.4% by the end of 2018 on an international level. 

Experts say the hottest emerging markets in the near future of online sales look set to be Russia, Brazil, Turkey, Indonesia, India, Netherlands and Singapore with “old“ players like Amazon or Aliexpress and “new“ players like lazada.com or shopee.com taking the lead. 

We are continuously looking into developments in online sales – find here 5 shifts that can make the difference in the near future. 


1. Amazon and Alibaba will go head to head

People would be forgiven for being fooled by Amazon’s massive 49.1% of the market share of US retail spending, but this does not mean that they are the only option for third-party sellers. In the US, Walmart seems to have taken up the ball and keeps battling for a stake in online sales as a marketplace. 

And more and more, Chinese eCommerce giant Alibaba is going head to head with Amazon in international markets, like Southeast Asia, India or even Europe. Interesting to see, how this will evolve and how it will turn international eCommerce to a new level. 


2. The rise of the chatbot

The invention of chatbots has given online consumers the opportunity to get answers from a brand or a seller immediately, without any long waiting times for replies to emails or having to hold on a telephone line. 

Nearly all sophisticated chatbots can answer direct questions about the brand or product. Most of the popular chatbots can be linked to Facebook or Skype so that the user does not need to install any extra software to have their question answered. With chatbots growing at an incredibly fast rate, it looks as though they will change the landscape of eCommerce in 2019. 

In the future, chatbots might be an additional way to test the legitimacy of online sellers. It is likely that only legitimate online sellers will have all of the information available to make chatbots work, whereas fraudulent sellers may give incorrect answers.


3.  Marketplace search engines will get more powerful

The algorithms used by companies like Amazon have now evolved to be able to pick up on natural language and give you a more thorough result when searching for a specific product. 

And more and more marketplaces give the opportunity to search using images or photos. With the increasing power of artificial intelligence, search engines might one day fulfil the promise of anticipating someone’s every wish. 


4. Voice Commerce

The popularity of smart speakers like Amazon Echo or Google Home was always going to have a knock-on effect on the eCommerce market. Smart eCommerce companies have ensured they work compatible with smart speakers. Meanwhile, 22% of all smart speaker owners have used their tech to order groceries online. With many “smart” products becoming available for the home, 2019 looks set to be the year that eCommerce targets the voice activation market in a big way. When you pair this with the fact that the smart speaker market is currently growing at a rate of 48% per year, this means a huge audience for eCommerce companies. 


5. Social shopping

Both Pinterest and Instagram introduced the idea of direct social shopping to their platforms in 2018 - meaning consumers can see a product on their newsfeed and buy it instantly. It still remains to be seen if this will boost eCommerce as a companion market or work against it as a competitor, but the main aim of the process, to get people to shop online, is a great thing for anyone in the marketplace. Social media networks open up the internet for many users who would not use the internet for other things like shopping, so it is a great way to get people to try out entry-level eCommerce before they move on to using online marketplaces like Amazon and eBay.

Further to this, Facebook and WeChat have corned the social selling market in a big way. Facebook integrates with a number of different eCommerce platforms, and although it is often the case the customer will be taken to a third-party site, Facebook’s dominance in the industry means that eCommerce company’s products are a lot more likely to get seen.

With China seemingly leading the way in social shopping, they also have a growing marketplace, Pingduoduo, which is growing quickly but unfortunately plagued by counterfeit problems. 


We help you in all areas of brand protection and distribution control

If you are a brand and you would like to monitor online sales on a national or international level with a tailor-made approach customized to your needs, we are looking forward to hearing from you.