Traditional e-commerce may soon be dead

Does that sound unbelievable? If it does, we understand. After all, online retail is currently booming everywhere, from India to Latin America.
Shopify alone hosts 200,000 e-commerce stores where solopreneurs and large corporations alike make a killing. Meanwhile in North America, e-commerce doubled in size these last 5 years.

eCommerce vs. mCommerce: the differences

The term e-commerce applies to the traditional online retail market. Specifically, e-commerce refers to sales processed through desktops and other stationary devices (like smart TVs). The industry is new – most of its growth has happened in the last 20 years – but already large, with Amazon Prime alone having nearly 70,000,000 worldwide monthly subscribers.
In the last few years, e-commerce has been increasingly shifting to mobile devices. At the moment, 62% of all worldwide e-commerce traffic comes from smartphones and tablets. In high-tech countries like Japan, these devices presently drive over 50% of all sales. Since mobile e-commerce is becoming so important, it’s often referred to as m-commerce, which is shorthand for mobile e-commerce.

E-Commerce vs. M-Commerce Growth Trends

For starters, m-commerce is young. Very young. As recently as 2010, it basically didn’t exist – and commerce was already valued at $150 bn in total sales.
Since then, m-commerce grew by 700% between 2011 and 2013… And another 45% in the last year alone.
E-commerce may have more worldwide sales for now, but in all these countries, m-commerce revenue is either beating or on par with desktop-driven sales.
And this is us talking about just direct sales. We’re not even talking about the $2 trillion in retail sales that mobile devices influenced in 2016.
If we were, we’d have to address the fact that many people make buying decisions on their smartphones and tablets before finalizing purchases on desktops – and m-commerce’s advantage would be even more evident.

To summarize:

• In the developed world, m-commerce is beating (or close to beating) e-commerce

• In the developed world, m-commerce is beating (or close to beating) e-commerce

• If we factor in $2 trillion in “influenced sales”, m-commerce may already be ahead of worldwide desktop-based retail

• M-commerce is mostly driven by 3 high-growth, high-ROI demographics dubbed “the future of e-commerce”: millennials, moms and multiculturals. These demographics are highly influential: according to Facebook, “everyone will soon be doing what they are doing”, which makes m-commerce the key to having superior marketing.

PC sales are falling – and it’s pretty definite they’re not going back up.

For example: in 2016, PC sales fell by over 5% for a total of 269.7 million units shipped. A year before that, Apple sold 231.5 million iPhones.
That’s Apple’s smartphone nearly overtaking total desktop computer sales – and when you factor in other manufacturers, it’s clear that desktops (and perhaps tablets as well) are on their way out in the consumer space.
Don’t get us wrong: desktops are still an important part of today’s e-commerce. They’re also going to stick around for businesses, entrepreneurs and professionals who need larger screens.
But the key point is, desktop e-commerce is clearly shrinking – and we may soon stop seeing them outside of work environments.


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