Osama Bedier spoke at Web 2.0 expo yesterday about the change necessary in ecommerce. He pointed out that the process of adding items to a shopping cart, filling out 25 text fields and then waiting for a product to arrive at the front door hasn’t changed in 15 years.

We’ve been thinking about the shifts in eCommerce that are germinating in the market. Here are a three.

eCommerce experience trumps retail experience. eCommerce used to mean finding a better price on a commodity product. Customers harvested the efficiencies of scale Amazon and others provided as savings.

Today, consumers shop online for different reasons. Many eCommerce companies compete not on price, but by providing better than in store experiences. Companies like Rent the Runway (dress rental), Rumba Time (watches in all shapes and colors) and Warby Parker (low cost fashionable glasses) offer customers great deals but even better value through product diversity and convenience.

Mobile phones inform and enable commerce. Paralleling the shift from price comparison to improved experience on the web, mobile ecommerce is shifting from barcode scanning for price comparison to better experience in and around the store. This is taking the form of mobile loyalty cards, deals created and delivered on-the-fly for users to smooth demand at restaurants and even in store mobile payments. 

Because mobile phones have both the unique identity of the user coupled to a payment mechanism coupled to location, the mobile phone is the most significant agent of change. Additionally, SMBs witness better return on investment from mobile campaigns than others from the initial data I’ve observed.

Collaborative consumption. I’ve written about collaborative consumption extensively for the MIT Entrepreneurship Review because I believe the more efficient allocation of resources will cause tectonic shifts in supply and demand.


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