As we enter mankind’s most digital decade, Wunderman Thompson Commerce (WTC) has released its Futures 2020 report, showcasing some of the biggest current trends in eCommerce.
From an increasingly state-sponsored commerce nation to second-hand selling strategies, here are some of the most interesting developments in retail:
- Amazon will decide a greener or greyer future: Data centres are producing an inordinate amount of carbon – and Amazon is one of the biggest companies responsible for the rise in these data centres. Amazon has not only defined shopping habits but the decisions it takes will define the state of the world’s environment likely forever. This decade will see consumers demanding more from these companies – and buying from those that do good for the world.
- State influenced eCommerce is now a thing: Even as the top two retail sites, Amazon and Alibaba, creep into the bigger global market, their dominance isn’t guaranteed. The Indian government has placed inventory-sourcing restrictions on Amazon and the like; in Cambodia the state has launched its own online marketplace. And state and local governments everywhere are prioritising and funding massive tax breaks for distribution centres.
- Personalised AI will live longer than the person itself: It won’t be long before everyone has access to their own “big data AI” – with the development of an individual’s personalised AI that is sub-contracted. In the not too distant future, could deceased grandparents still be able to make a speech at your wedding or your aunt/uncle still send you presents long after their lives have ended? Customer experience won’t be designed just for computers, it will also let informed and emotionally aware AIs make purchasing decisions.
- A rise in reverse commerce (recommerce): Recommerce – the buying and selling of pre-owned goods – is becoming increasingly popular thanks to young people’s desires to protect the planet, lifestyle imagery and messaging on social platforms. It’s most prevalent in the fast-fashion sector with ASOS and adidas, and not least the Kardashians’ ‘Kardashian Kloset’. Soon enough, every company will have its own marketplace with a strategy on how to re-purpose and re-use products.
Hugh Fletcher, Global Head of Innovation at Wunderman Thompson Commerce, said: “While the future is often hard to predict, there’s no escaping the fact that we are entering a defining era of eCommerce. As the customer becomes increasingly demanding of brands and retailers around convenience, efficiency, ethics and personalisation, companies will have to act accordingly. Amazon is leading the way pound-for-pound at the moment, with the power and scale to expand locally and globally at pace. But as personal data and technology become ever more important, the next few years will see the world of commerce change like never before.”