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The Future of Commerce

July 2021

Investments into digital technologies and industry 4.0 are transforming economies and consumer behaviour. The briefing examines how digitalisation manifests in manufacturing, mobility, education and consumer lifestyles to improve business efficiencies, laying the foundations for a digital economy.

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Key Findings

Once viewed as the store killer, digital may emerge as the saviour

The digital transformation is rewiring retail, challenging long-held beliefs in the industry, including the role of the store in the path to purchase. While the digital transformation was the driver behind such change, it also could be the solution.

Retailers and brands continue to revaluate relationship

Retailers and consumer brands have long had a symbiotic relationship. Continued tensions over profit margins and who owns the consumer relationship have led both to increase their exploration of new business models that reduce interdependence.

Digital will become the default channel for shopping

Although 76% of all products are expected to be purchased in store come 2025, more purchases will likely be digitally influenced. Consumers will become more reliant on the online channel to discover, research and purchase goods.

E-commerce will emerge as the industry’s growth engine

More than half of absolute value in the global retail sector over 2020-2025 will come from e-commerce. In value terms, this expansion equates to the total amount of products sold across online just five years ago.

The next generation of e-commerce is instant

Success hinges on reducing the time from when a need is identified and fulfilled. In practical terms, this is about positioning goods closer to customers before an order, but also generically means serving them up with what they want when they want it.

Scope
Key findings
The Future of Commerce
Exploring The Future of Commerce
The Future of Commerce in-depth
Rethinking the store
Digital as the default
Virtual hits mainstream
Know your customer
New rules of the game
Siloed shopping
Great reset on the last mile
Quick commerce
The Future of Commerce in focus
Companies are meeting the needs of consumers using various strategies
Re-evaluating the role of the store: Beautycounter’s store blends offline-online experience
Becoming omnipresent: Shopify benefited from the surge in small shops going online
Prioritising new routes to market: Taobao Live cements position as live selling leader
Prioritising new routes to market: Nike shows the upside of reducing reliance on wholesale
Utilising the power of data: Unilever’s Graze leverages data for product development
Utilising the power of data: Amazon’s Subscribe and Save keeps consumers purchasing more
Rethinking the last mile: Zásilkovna launches innovative locker concept in Eastern Europe
Rethinking the last mile: Weezy promises delivery in less than 15 minutes
The Future of Commerce
Key industry takeaways
Challenges to overcome
Become tomorrow’s next leader
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