Trends in e-commerce

Trends in e-commerce

trends in ecommerce
Extensive digitization means that people in economically poorer regions also have access to the Internet

How has online retail changed as a result of the Corona crisis and what long-term consequences could arise? Which trends are independent, but also dependent on them, in e-commerce now and in the future?
What influence do digitization and automation have on e-commerce and what skills and requirements are relevant for future career starters in this area?

These are the questions Prof. Dr. Richard Geibel and Robin Kracht, from the E-Commerce Institute of the Fresenius University in Cologne, answered below.

The demand for online shopping has grown steadily over the past few years. The corona crisis that occurred at the beginning of the year also accelerated this development considerably. This can be explained as follows: On the one hand, people have not been able to shop in retail in recent months due to the restrictive Corona regulations. On the other hand, many people were also very careful and considerate, i.e. people didn’t want to buy the products they needed in stores. So both together led to an extraordinary “boom” in online trading, which continues to this day. Those providers who make both shopping options available to customers (omnichannel sales) were best able to get through the crisis, as the losses in brick-and-mortar retail could ideally be offset by income from online retailing.

Statistically, it can already be determined that many items such as groceries, drugstore items, toys and hobby items were purchased online more often than the average. It is also noticeable that it is no longer just slightly comparable products that are bought online, but also increasingly individual and high-priced articles (commodities).

This also indicates a long-term change in buying behaviour, because once customers find that online purchases can be made faster, more conveniently, more easily and nowadays also more safely, they usually stay with them and are very unlikely to happen again return to past behaviours.

The focus is on mobile optimization

central, new challenge that arises due to the increased online orders is returns management. More will be returned due to more orders. This not only leads to smaller margins for the providers, but also has a heavy impact on our environment. The question of the most sustainable and “smart” return management possible is therefore currently the central focus of optimization measures in e-commerce.

Where there is a lot of demand, new trends arise more frequently.

Many companies in the e-commerce sector are currently driven by the fact that customers are increasingly using the Internet on different devices. This means above all smartphone, tablet and desktop devices. In particular, the focus on mobile devices is increasingly being strengthened. The statement “mobile-first” means that the shopping experience should first be adapted and optimized for smartphones. It also enables even easier access to target customers. A high increase in usage can also be observed in this area. There is also an increasing trend towards the use and continuous improvement of assistance systems and voice commerce (such as Apple Siri or Amazon Alexa). These systems simplify and shorten the search time for users. Thanks to continuous data collection and processing, these systems will get better and better in the future and will save users a lot of time when searching for products online.

Clear process sequences must be established

The entire area of ​​e-commerce will continue to expand considerably in the future, which also means that sales will continue to grow. It is becoming easier, faster and cheaper to meet needs, which means that shopping on the Internet is a matter of course across the board. Some branches of industry are already significantly further developed abroad than in Germany, for example, the food trade. This development will have to be followed more closely in Germany in the near future.

The digitization and automation of processes or process sequences play a decisive role in this.

Far-reaching digitization gives more and more people access to the internet – even in economically weaker regions. Therefore, on the one hand, there is a need for mobile optimization. Because people in poorer regions usually only have a smartphone and not also a desktop computer. On the other hand, increased demand also increases sales and page views in the online shops. This means that a smoothly functioning technical basis must be in place, as well as clear process sequences must be established. Automated processes in the merchandise management system help here, but also particularly in data analysis and processing. Current marketing measures and campaigns are increasingly being carried out on the basis of data collection because this enables a greater chance of success.

The digital change has expanded the area of responsibility in e-commerce

When looking for a job with a focus on marketing or sales, beginners are likely to come across opportunities in the area of ​​e-commerce more often. Modern and varied tasks characterize this job profile.

The most important thing to get started in this industry is certainly a fundamental interest in online trading and digital transformation. Of course, this is indispensable for every profession when personally ambitious goals are set.

In general, however, the fields of activity in e-commerce are very diverse, so that there is a special offer for each area of ​​interest. Possible areas of responsibility are: determining the range and product selection of an online shop; Operate price optimization; Monitoring of sales processes; Creation, initiation and monitoring of advertising and marketing measures; Manage a comprehensive warehouse, customer and financial system, etc.

The digital change has significantly expanded the area of ​​responsibility in e-commerce and offers additional optimization opportunities. Due to the increasing purchasing power on social media platforms, the marketing focus has shifted more towards social ads and influencer marketing – also known as social commerce. Accordingly, it can also be a great advantage to be an expert in e-commerce and to incorporate your own expertise into a company.

Prof. Dr. Richard Geibel is Professor of Entrepreneurship at the Fresenius University in Cologne. He is responsible for the international Master’s degree in Digital Management and heads the Entrepreneurship Competence Center.




Robin Kracht_Trends in Ecommerce

Robin Kracht is Head of the Digital Transformation and Alumni Department of Digital Management (M.A. B.A.). Since the end of 2018 Kracht is responsible for the management of the E-Commerce Institute Cologne together with Prof. Dr. Geibel.



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