The E-Commerce industry is in for a disruption. What with the FTC (Federal Trade Commission) investigating Facebook for abusing personal datas, more data control regulations will be set up. And something that close to your heart. Trump might be taking action on Amazon for anti-trust soon. So, what do we expect to see from this “implosion”? Like the goal of maturing businesses, only one word that describe the scenario of the whole e-commerce ecosystem….the quest for sustenance!
1. Businesses Will Use More Of Their Own Websites
Companies that traditionally rely on Amazon for revenues but got suspended will find ways to make a comeback. So are new e-commerce startups that become aware of Amazon FBA bullish stance on sellers and resellers alike. These are the players that become aware about the high risk of over reliance on powerful third party platforms like Amazon and eBay. Remember the days when blogs and websites used to count on Google Adsense for income? Then Google became hawkish and started penalizing bloggers for crimes like false clicks that didn’t necessary came from the bloggers themselves. When bloggers tried to appeal, Google treated them like dirt. “Just admit that you are wrong and please, don’t argue” is the inherent message that sellers get.
Don’t get me wrong. Amazon will continue to grow because it has acquired a critical mass, unless the higher authority decides to break it up for reasons like the antitrust act. Brands need to be self sustenance by protecting themselves and building their own e-commerce presence. Amazon will fight hard to preserve its own, and that means you are responsible for your own survival.
2. Acceleration in Deep Learning
The influx of Chinese sellers into Amazon and eBay will inevitably drive away genuine sellers in these popular third party sites. The reasons are simple. When unethical sellers propagate and dominate the Amazon ecosystem, hitting below the belt is becoming the norm of the day. Fake reviews and counterfeits are rampant in Amazon nowadays. Looking at the current situation, even the powerful e-commerce giants appear powerless in preventing further victimization on genuine sellers.
Known for the ice cold dealings with appeals and complains, the trend could only turn to deep learning. These giants will speed up the use of AI and deep learning technology to filter counterfeit sellers from real brand builders; real reviews from fake ones and of course genuine complaints.
3. The Rise Of Suppliers From South East Asia
Entrepreneurs used to be reliance on Chinese suppliers for merchandise and private label products. Unfortunately, Amazon opened the Pandora box by courting Chinese suppliers aggressively to fend off new competitions from China like Taobao, Alibaba and 1688.com.Can you compete directly with a manufacturer in pricing, when it enjoys China’s support in various incentives like rebates in logistic and state loans?
Dropshippers and e-commerce businesses that used to count on the Chinese manufacturers will need to look elsewhere. When a vacuum is formed in the supply chain, others will come to fill the gap. The recent trade war between US and China has bred new unprecedented growth in South East Asian economies like Vietnam, Malaysia, Singapore, Phillipines, Indonesia and Thailand.
4. Online to Offline (O2O) Disruptions
In reent years, we have seen the onslaught of the traditional brick and mortars business by their online competitors worldwide. Even up till 2018, offline retailers were immersed in a global blood bath. In 2017,in the US, 75% of consumers reportedly do their shopping in Amazon most of the time as compared to other channels. Even big retailers like Walmart are building their very own e-commerce platform.
2019, will see a new trend emerging. As Amazon and the rest of third party e-commerce gang continue to neglect genuine brands and ethical sellers, these brands need to differentiate. One avenue is to bring back the brick and mortar storefront. I must emphasize that the offline retail must come from a new revolution, offline 2.0. This is where the online business will be linked together with the new offline storefronts in terms of commercial data exchange and in sharing of resources. Brick and mortar retailer may make a comeback with a vengeance. This new phenomenon is essential for the success of next generation e commerce business because the excess inventories need to be rid off the soonest possible, from the integration of both offline and online channels.Read more about Online To Offline Strategies.
5. Human Like Chat Bots
How many times have you come across chat messengers that asked you to search your own answers form their FAQ database? Aren’t we sick of seeing that? What’s stopping intelligent chatbots with deep learning capability to come into the e-commerce scene in 2019. We already have voice-enable softwares like Alexa and Siri, dont we?
Business teams that emphathize with. customers’ needs will integrate human like chat bots to support their own e commerce. Frankly, I dont see real human teams making a comeback to backend support because, the AI process is irreversible.
6. Virtual Scenarios
There are new apps on augmented reality and you will be sure some major sites like Amazon, Facebook or Instagram will be racing to apply this technology into their business. It’s all about customers experience.
Amazon is coming out with a virtual changing room soon. The app enables users to try out dresses with a virtual mannequin that is expected to improve customers’ experience. This in turn will enhance data collection to the site.
7. Shipping Companies Will Innovate As The Integral Part of The E-Commerce Movement
Google and Tesla are racing for the safest diverless car to be put on the road. If I put myself in the shoes of the CEOs of major logistic companies, driverless deliveries will be the top agenda in my innovation list.
Of course, we are not only talking about technological breakthrough here, but more about the life blood of the e-commerce value chain. The cost of transportation. Until teleportation science makes its way into the logistic world, we will still betting on ships and trucks to deliver our products safely. Transportation cost has and will always be the main competitive chip that make or break a business. We should be seeing more incentives from logistic companies for the purpose of e-commerce. Companies like UPS, DHL, FedEx and the likes of them will be fighting for a piece of the cake. You have the volume, you dictate the terms.
These red flags, depending how you look at them, could very well be the leverage that you need to be part of the ecosystem of e-commerce. Me myself, is looking at the possibility of incorporating this business model with my trading model. Well, still thinking about it. What do you think?