E-commerce continues to be a growing part of the Canadian retail landscape.
The effects will be felt across the entire supply chain, by brands, manufacturers, distributors, retailers and consumers alike, said the company.
“Merchants are continuously investing to better meet consumer expectations, and mobile continues to be a huge enabler,” said Charles Desjardins, Absolunet partner and executive vice-president. “We hope the … report helps retailers, brand manufacturers and distributors gain valuable insight and helps them choose the right strategies and partners to bridge the e-commerce gap.”
Here’s Absolunet’s top trend list:
- Activist consumers: the rising pressure of ethical commerce. Consumer values will strongly influence purchasing (and merchant) behaviour: wasteful packaging, the environmental cost of two-day shipping, ethical brands.
- The end of free returns? Retail’s $400-billion-a-year elephant in the room is about to hit a tipping point: returns have increased 53 per cent since 2015.
- Sales taxes: the tax-free party is over for consumers and merchants. Consumers will have to pay applicable sales taxes on all their purchases, and merchants will have to manage sales taxes in multiple jurisdictions.
- Mobile e-commerce gets faster as progressive web apps blur lines between sites and apps. Mobile e-commerce is about to get much, much faster and more fluid.
- Social media gets transactional. Consumers will be able to buy directly on social platforms.
- The QR code strikes back. No longer app-dependent, the QR code will fulfil its potential and help brands provide product information.
- Major retailers become marketplaces, too. Retailers will fight Amazon by becoming just like the e-commerce giant: a digital marketplace.
- In-car e-commerce: shopping on the go. The new ‘drive-to store.’
- Retailers will hire their first AI employee. AI will help retailers and merchants create more and better product content, improve SEO and merchandizing.
- Product content syndication. Brands and manufacturers reclaim control of their product content.