Today’s Cyber Monday online shopping holidays are “perfectly suited to todays’ connected consumer”, according to AXA IM expert Jeremy Gleeson. He, who manages the AXA Framlington Global Technology fund points that forecasts suggest that consumers will spend even more cash this Cyber Monday (an estimate of $3.81bn) after hitting an all-time high in the US last year, with retailers shifting $3.45bn of goods on one day. Gleeson comments:
Recently, the Chinese equivalent, Singles day 2017, crushed this record seeing e-commerce giant Alibaba sell $25bn of goods – more than what Starbucks make in a whole year! This is being driven by changes to the retail industry underpinned by innovation and the digital economy. The smart phone, digital marketing and finding ways to fulfil the online customer experience are all trends that continue to transform the retail industry.
With 31% of transactions done on mobiles last Cyber Monday ($1.07bn) and an estimated 60% of shoppers using their phones to look up product information , even when in-store, optimised mobile sites have never been more important. Companies’ marketing spend have also significantly shifted over the years, moving from more traditional print and TV ad campaigns to personalised digital models such as search engines (e.g. Google) and social media platforms (Facebook, Instagram, etc.).
Traditional bricks and mortar businesses are increasingly requiring expertise from 3rd party specialists in order to compete and catch up with “digital native” businesses. Convenience for customers has also become priority – the ordering, payment process and delivery should be fast, secured and as smooth as possible. AXA IM analysts says:
Any frictions within any of these steps may influence the final decision to purchase the product and will likely affect the image or reputation of the company.
Finally, as the growth of online sales increases, analysts at AX IM, also see large investment into supply chains which have helped improve supply chain software and warehouse automation helping businesses to keep up with same day and next day delivery.
Whilst retailer’s warehouse activity currently stands at above 90% manual work, it is thought automation could be 5 – 6 times more productive; we expect to see more companies (as Amazon have done) t urn to robo tech to further streamline processes.”