Aldo Agostinelli

According to the latest report about “E-Commerce 2017”, issued by Casaleggio Associati, e-commerce has been growing steadily worldwide. In 2016 it generated over $200 billion more than in 2015, for a total worth of $1.915 billion. China and the USA top the list of countries with the highest turnover respectively with about $899 billion, corresponding to 46% of the global electronic e-commerce, and an estimated $423,34 billion last year and a stunning +15,6%. Read it in Italian.

In Europe e-commerce has grown by 13%, with an estimated turnover of € 509 billion and about 296 million people making their purchases online. Although 57% of European internet users shop online, only 16% of small and medium businesses sell online, and only 7,5% sell online abroad.

Even in Italy e-commerce is doing quite well: in 2016 it recorded a +10% compared to 2015, with a turnover of about € 31,7 billion. The report describes our national e-commerce as consolidated and of a capital intensive type which means that “those who own or can generate some capital grows, those who can’t will perish or, in the best of cases, is taken over”.

The difference between our companies operating online and the foreign ones, is ours lack of funds. While in Germany, France, Great Britain and Spain, hundreds of millions of Euros are paid in, in Italy companies receive max €5 million. And this may negatively affect our e-commerce in the long run.

As far as global players are concerned, their leadership seems to be undisputed both locally and internationally. Nationally, the biggest names such as Amazon are stealing market shares also in the traditional retail sector, while globally they tend to work as mediators to whom merchants who wish to sell internationally shall go to. Then, marketplaces such as Amazon, eBay, Alibaba or Tmall have become the references for customers who want to purchase foreign products and sellers have to deal with them.

In the near future, also, the Asian-Pacific area is to become the battlefield of the war between two of the e-shopping giants Alibaba and Amazon as proven by billions of dollars that both competitors are investing there. Alibaba has already taken over Lazada paving its way to Singapore and further (Lazada Brings Alibaba’s Biggest Bazaar to Singaporean Shoppers), while Amazon has bet 5 billion dollars in India and is ready to take Australia by storm by opening one logistic hub in Sydney and one in Melbourne. And this is logically causing a turmoil among Australian retailers .

Such war is not taking place only on the web but also in between the digital and the real world. If global players are getting stronger and stronger, traditional retailers are losing their strength progressively. According to the aforesaid report, over 8.640 shops could close down for good in the US by the end of this year. As already said before, it is time that traditional retailers found new strategies!

What do you think about the war between traditional retailing and e-commerce?  Tweet @agostinellialdo.
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Aldo Agostinelli