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The Future of E-Commerce



The CIM Manchester branch and Manchester Digital teamed up to host an event at Manchester Business School (MBS) on Tuesday 10th April, entitled The Future of E-Commerce.  Refresh PR was there to report on the event for the CIM Manchester blog, so we thought we’d share the details with our e-fans too.

 

A busy lecture theatre at the University listened as Tony Kane from Touchpoint Communicatons (and current IMRG chair) began by providing insight into key e-retail milestones.  Reminding us that the first iPhone arrived in 2007, YouTube in 2005 and the Amazon Kindle in 2008, he was able to quickly demonstrate just how much progress has been made in such a short amount of time.  Clearly shopping habits have been transformed by technology, and quickly too: 74% of consumers are now likely to buy flights and holidays online, and six in 10 use it to do some form of grocery shopping.

 

The IMRG provides in-depth information and data on the UK e-retail industry.  Through its knowledge base it provides data in 56 countries together with economic, internet and demographic indicators.  From this base, Tony was able to provide key stats to the audience.

 

From 2000 – 2011 UK shoppers spent £300bn online, and in 2012, 1 million British jobs will be either directly in, or supporting, e-retail.  This progress means that 50% of UK customers expect to shop online by 2020, according to IMRG.  Some other facts we gleaned from the event include:

·         The Government is currently looking at how the UK can grow via export-led, e-commerce growth

·         Optimal Government support could increase growth by 1.5m jobs/500k business in 2015 and 3m job/1m business by 2020

·         To support this the Government continues to roll out broadband to rural areas, provide support and incentives for start-up businesses, and look at legislative issues

·         The barriers to this international development remain trust (62% of people fear fraud in ordering goods from European countries) and confidence (that the order will be fulfilled)

·         Best Practice guidelines and a Trust Mark standard are being considered to reveal legitimate retailers (and those unregulated too)

 

Globally, world internet users will reach 3.7b in 2015 and the BRIC countries are taking the lead with China’s B2C e-sales up 130% in 2011.  However, the UK remains the second B2C e-sales market behind the USA, with Japan ranked third.

 

Finishing by showing the audience the popular YouTube video by Erik Qualman - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fpMZbT1tx2o – Tony’s talk certainly provoked a lot of debate afterwards.

 

Following Tony was John Hinchcliffe, ex-marketing director at NBrown amongst other top companies here in the North West.  John’s very entertaining, and very informative, talk focused on e-marketing to the silver surfers – the 50-65 year old audience which is booming online. 

 

Providing case study examples from the world of fashion, not only did the audience learn more about the buying habits of 40, 50 and 60+ year olds, we were also treated to a quick analysis of just how wrong it is to show off those bingo wings – ladies beware! 

 

John finished his talk with an overview of markets he expects to experience significant growth online in the coming years.  Why not consider ‘the really old’, those aged 80+?  After all, in 10-15 years, the silver surfer boom will be in this age bracket, and will still be shopping online, if businesses can provide the products they require of course – it’s time to act now!  In addition, how about segmenting that 50-65 year old group? 

 

All in all, it was a worthwhile event - and we've enough stats about the rise in E-Commerce to convince us of where the future lies!

Tagged with: E-Commerce, F-Commerce, PR, Public Relations