Despite the economic crisis, the e-commerce in Spain hasn’t stopped to grow in the last years. This is in part thank to Millennials, the generation which grew up with Internet and uses it regularly. But selling through the Net means much more than opening an online store or uploading a series of products to a marketplace like Amazon or eBay.
What are the future challenges for e-commerce? How to reach more people? In this article, we offer the keys to understanding the trends and potentials of e-commerce.
Customers in the Internet age
Internet offers an extraordinary environment to expand the customer base. Not only it has removed physical barriers, allowing selling anywhere and at any time. The digital switch-over has made it possible for consumers to obtain such a large amount of information, to enable them to make much more conscious choices about what they want buy. And, as if it were not enough, the generalisation of social networks has offered increasingly channels for consumers to transform themselves into “influencers”, democratizing the decision-making process and creating a virtuous circle of “peer to peer” information search and reception.
According to data provided by Google, “50% of customers who perform a local search from their mobile phone visit the store within a day”. For a salesman, then, is fundamental to move between the physical and digital environment. So, it is necessary to define multi-channel business strategies, what is called Omnicanality. As Quipu website explains, the demographic of online consumers in Spain is mainly made up of people with university degrees, on average between 30 and 45 years of age, although online shopping among people over 50 years of age is also growing at a high rate.
The perfect customer: Millennials
If there is a global demographic trend actually hot in trade, that’s Millennials. This generation, the generation of people born between 1980 and 1995, is imposed in 2017 as the most important group of consumers worldwide. Millennials are the ones who will account for half of the world trade this year. Their generational pressing is disruptive. The Millennials are the first generation to have real trust with Internet and everything it offers: social networks are the main channel of communication and expression; the digital medium is the main source to collect information and act accordingly. In the U. S., among the Millennials, online shopping overcomes 75%. This is the generation that no longer knows taxis, but moves by Uber, which no longer uses cash, but pays through apps on their smartphone or any other type of virtual currency.
The emergence worldwide of “Generation Y” not only affect consumption, but also production and business innovation as a whole. Millennials allowed disruption of the world economy. Companies, such as Uber or Facebook and others located in Silicon Valley, are in general products of this generation. But innovation is not limited to these large high-tech companies. Today, Millennials are indispensable in any company to understand consumers and to develop effective and efficient marketing strategies. The advent of Internet in the last twenty years has had the effect of shortening distances and drastically cutting times for new generations. An effective communication policy must therefore be necessarily short, direct and with as little mediation as possible.
“A baby boomer usually considers that, to reach a result or to propose something different, there must be a method or some time must elapse. Millennial is located in the immediate and tests different channels to reach an end, without questioning in excess. This “simplicity and practicality” helps the company to transform itself faster, says Marco Antonio Sánchez.
Marketing in the e-commerce age
Internet has allowed another feature among new generations: it unleashed the creation of virtual communities that are no longer based on physical environment, but rather on shared values. The effective marketer will necessarily have to design their campaigns considering these values, and the segmentation of the ads will have to go through there.
And if in Spain in recent years, despite the crisis e-commerce has not stopped growing, we have to thank in large part this generation. Because this generation is connected 24 hours a day through its smartphones, it means that the new frontier of digital commerce has to be moved there, to mobile commerce.
The mobile commerce
M-commerce, omnicanality, these are just some trade challenges for continuous updating. As Elena Arrieta [@elenaarrieta] writes in Expansión:
Selling through the Internet goes far beyond opening an online store, launching a destocking campaign through a collective sales portal or uploading a series of products to a marketplace like Amazon or eBay. The omnicanality to which the retail sector aspires has important implications in the logistics chain, and it requires an extra effort to take care of the relationship with the user.
In the online age, each person’s prescription capacity has multiplied. Similarly, social networks act as a loudspeaker for any complaint about a brand, regardless of who was responsible for the incident (the distributor, the marketplace, the computer system…).
Through the network, an impressive and continuous amount of useful information is accumulated, in order to make business decisions. If Big Data are already a fact, the new challenge is Machine Learning, in other words artificial intelligence capable of anticipating consumer demands.