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Kristian Willmott Head of Marketing

Facilitating Ecommerce: The new reality

Spanning eight different countries, the Amazon rainforest provides vital natural services to the world at such a scale and significance that there is little it cannot provide. It is not surprising that the champion of Ecommerce chose the Amazon to be its namesake. The pandemic has accelerated a trend of consumers shopping online and has seen investors flocking to Ecommerce companies, such as the likes of Shopify, Amazon and Ocado. This age of digital commerce will revolutionise our way of life, reshape our highstreets and challenge the entrenched norms of our society. It will breathe new opportunities for business which adapt whilst forever blurring the lines between physical and digital realms. However, there are still obstacles to this bull run of Ecommerce. Just like the railways were the veins of commerce in the 1st Industrial Revolution, we will need a comprehensive digital infrastructure at the centre of this revolution. Additionally, facilitating a world of Ecommerce will require smarter and more creative supply line solutions. Our governments need to legislate for change, disrupt the monopolistic instincts of large companies and build a competitive framework which is both fair and protects the interests of consumers. Facilitating Ecommerce will be a mammoth task but one which will be necessary to assure in a new era of prosperity and choice.

Ecommerce will be the primary driver of capitalism in the future, but it is not without growing pains. Firstly, the digital gap between the poor and rich, rural and urban, old and young will need to be bridged for the frontiers of Ecommerce to be extended across the world. On this note, there are still 3.6 billion people who do not use the internet, whilst 10% of the world live beyond the reach of a mobile connection . These digital inequalities will hamper the ability for businesses and consumers to benefit from the growth in Ecommerce. Equally, as Ecommerce opens new doors for consumer choice it is important to ensure that people are not left behind just because they live in rural areas or were too old to be educated in the evolving practices of technological literacy. Secondly, in order to facilitate demand, there needs to be smarter solutions to delivering goods and services. Companies need to be bold in ambition and imaginative. Presently the system of delivering goods is slow, cumbersome and expensive. Lastly, just like the Robber Barons of the past who stifled innovation and extracted supernatural profits through predatorial monopolies, there is growing concern we are falling down this same rabbit hole. Thus, it is more important than ever for markets to remain competitive and open. Governments need to ensure that they do not value national champions over dynamic competition. Equally, we need to ensure consumer data is not turned into a vehicle for lower consumer sovereignty but instead used to improve their experience and service. In light of this, there are solutions along the horizon which business can implement to ensure that they enjoy the full opportunities of Ecommerce and can facilitate growing consumer demand.

Ecommerce has the ingredients to facilitate a world which is hyper-connected and integrated to the touch of a button. Many of these solutions can be found in the sizzling heat of the technological revolutions which are going on across the world. The admission of 5G technology will send us hurtling towards a heavily automated and optimised system of commerce. For instance, instead of seeing Ocardo warehouses packed with workers, you will be confronted with swarms of zipping and swirling robots collecting and processing your Christmas hampers. Furthermore, great improvements are being made in connecting rural areas with webs of fibber optic cables and new technologies beaming internet access from outer atmosphere. These technologies will support the narrowing of digital inequalities and will expand the frontiers of Ecommerce. We are starting to see governments wake up to the realities of building a framework of data protection and a rekindled trust-busting confidence to encourage competition. Delivering good and services will be revitalised with the use of blockchain technology, the humming of drones above our doorsteps and continued progress in autonomous driving.

We have been witnessed to the wonders of Ecommerce; be it through delivery food to shielding loved ones, providing education to children or helping young entrepreneurs access to a whole marketspace of consumers. The only question is not how Ecommerce will overcome these obstacles but when. Do you agree that Ecommerce is a trend here to stay? What other barriers to facilitating Ecommerce are there? How best do we repurpose our highstreets? Just like the Amazon rainforest supports the Earth’s ecosystem, Ecommerce will provide new leaps in business opportunity and support consumer demand.