Online retail will in the next 10 years continue to gain popularity in both developed and emerging markets, DHL said this week in its DHL Global E-Tailing 2025 study.
DHL has therefore urged logistics companies to play a key role in providing vital supply chain management solutions that are able to evolve with consumers’ changing shopping habits.
The study explores future scenarios with alternative views of what eCommerce globally could look like for consumers and businesses in the near future, depending of various economic factors.
The four possible scenarios are, according to the report:
Hybrid consumer behavior in convergent worlds of retailing:
A strong global economy and stable middle class establishes a true model of “Everywhere Commerce” where smartphones and tablets remain consumers’ constant companions.
Interactive displays are ever-present in city streets, serving as interfaces to the virtual world, and the retail sector targets customers through a variety of channels, such as these interactive displays, as well as offers their goods online and in stationary stores, which results in consumers being able to access and purchase products at all times.
Artificial intelligence in the digital retailing sphere:
The global economy thrives, despite exhibiting significant volatility in preceding years. A highly developed digital culture evolves in this scenario, which sees all products being sold online, and consumers receiving support of virtual consultants, which will not only check the authenticity of a product and monitor purchase and delivery, but also place the actual order online.
Self-presentation in virtual communities:
The world economy experiences rapid growth and the increase in wealth creates an affluent consumption-oriented middle class, whose values have shifted away from work and more towards leisure.
Niche retail websites, which offer selective and a dynamically-changing assortment for individual lifestyles, becomes the focal point of regional and global lifestyle communities primarily driving online retail.
Collaborative consumption in a regionalised retailing landscape:
A crisis scenario whereby consumer consumption patterns develop after the global economy suffers another financial crisis. Under these circumstances, a high degree of protectionism brings international retailing to a complete standstill. The powerful shift of the economy leads to a substantial change in consumer habits and results in consumers buying locally, as a rule.
It is clear e-tailing will continue to boom, Sumesh Rahavendra, head of marketing for DHL Express Sub Saharan Africa/e-tailing, said in a statement.
“Currently, eCommerce already makes up 8% of the overall trading volume in Europe. Depending on the scenario, this share could rise up to 40% in developed countries and up to 30% in today’s emerging markets,” Rahavendra explained.