At ShoppingToday, an e-commerce event about the latest trends in online retail, online travel and finance, various interesting insights were given to offline and online retailers.
First, Cor Molenaar, Professor of eMarketing at Erasmus University, discussed the importance of disruption and emphasized that retailers should not fall behind on the latest trends. According to Professor Molenaar, the future of online retailing will be in mobile websites (not in apps!) and therefore all retailers should create a mobile website as soon as possible. In addition, he explained how physical shops will become important again as online retailers are now starting to work together with local shops to provide one-hour delivery (eg eBay Now). Consequently, he urged online retailers to start thinking about ways to improve their delivery times, potentially by integrating their physical stores with their websites.
Second, PriceWaterhouseCoopers discussed future trends and technologies. According to PWC, five key trends can be identified:
- Big Data and Analytics: Gathering and analyzing customer data and providing the customer with interesting offers at the purchase decision
- Internet of Things: Being connected 24/7 by means of a smartphone
- Digital Payment: eg Google Wallet and eBay’s Paypal
- Digitalization of the shopping experience: Currently we are still talking about multi-channel shopping, while retailers should offer the customer a ‘one-channel experience’, in which offline and online channels become fully integrated
- Digitalization of products and services: How music, movies and books have become digitalized, many more categories will follow
Last, Edwin de Jong, 21-year old founder of Fietsuniek.nl, Omafiets.nl and Bakfietsweb.nl, elaborated on his success story. Indeed, quite remarkably, nearly three years after having founded his business, Edwin already holds over 1% of the bicycle market. His business model is focused around drop shipping. Drop shipping is a supply chain management technique in which retailers deliver goods from the manufacturer directly to the customer. Thus, the retailer does not own inventory. It took Edwin three years to successfully set up this technique.
His key insights:
- Founders should not be too emotionally involved with their business. Indeed, Edwin explained that he did not have any affection for bikes nor for webshops. Yet, he saw an opportunity within the bicycle market and consequently acted upon this opportunity
- It is worth investing in a domain name. Domain names can be quite expensive, but one has to make a tradeoff between paying a high cost-per-click (CPC) in Google Adwords, and investing in a domain name. (Omafiets.nl apparently cost over 50.000 euros, while the CPC for ‘fiets’ is 1 euro)
- Startups should advertise effectively. For his webshops, Edwin uses affiliation, Marktplaats.nl (the Dutch eBay), Google Adwords and makes sure that potential customers can find him on Google (SEO).
My personal key insights from ShoppingToday
- Big Data is the future
- If you want to start up your business, just do it!