online shopping
25 January 2012

The shift towards online shopping

By Manuel Loistl, Germany InnoTour Participant 

There is a huge disproportion between online shopping and offline shopping! Today, less than 5 per cent of all retail sales are made online. And despite the fact that more than 25 per cent of the population has access to the internet, in the western civilization even more than 50 per cent.

But there is a shift happening from offline shopping to online shopping: the figures of online shopping show a steady growth of more than 10 per cent every year. This growth will remain or even speed up as the time we spend online will increase and the experiences built around online shopping will improve. Another effect that will increase the number of items purchased online is the simplification of finding the matching product.What online shopping has accomplished so far is mainly putting up store fronts with great search and filter functions so that the user does not leave the website and gets the product he/she was looking for as fast as possible. But the group of people that really love shopping and everything that is part of the shopping experience is often unattended. Creating great experiences for online shoppers will be one oft he great challenges ahead. And with tablets and soon also TVs in our living rooms, there will be lots of opportunities for new companies in the upcoming years. Image

Although online shops and also shop – aggregators implement search and filter functions, the massive increase of the number of products and online shops makes it really hard to find a matching product. Alone in Germany we have more than 150.000 online shops and billions of products. These figures make it obvious that all the people, that have a tangible need and want to find the best fit, have lots of products to choose from. What they need is a reduction of choice so that the products matching their requirements are easy to find. But besides search engines, that only solve part of the problem,  there is no widely known application to fulfill that need. We have recently seen some concepts trying to solve that problem, like curated shopping or recommendations by the crowd (the concept behind my own company, recommenda.)

I believe that making online shopping fun for those who love to shop and making it less painful for those who don’t, are two key elements of future growth in e-commerce. I’d love to be part of that future with my current company recommenda.