With e-commerce redefining the retail landscape and consumer behaviours, new opportunities exist for retailers to embrace the omnichannel era of marketing, a leading analyst has said.

According to Xian Wang, global content director at Edge, an e-commerce analytics company, gaining more control over the omnichannel retail space is a major priority for brands as they navigate an era of unprecedented upheaval in consumer shopping behaviour.

“More recently there is the development of intermediaries – payment and social platforms, delivery aggregators – that change the way consumers discover, research, identify and then transact,” said Wang at the recent APAC Ecommerce Accelerator Summit in Shanghai, which was run by Edge.

“We are not just in the forefront, but leading a once-in-a-lifetime generational change,” she said. (For more, read WARC’s in-depth report: How retailers can win in the e-commerce era.)

In this “exciting phase”, growth for global retail chains will be driven by e-commerce, even as store-based retail continues to account for the majority of sales. E-commerce will account for 29% of global retail chains by 2022 and drive 53% of the growth, Wang noted.

“In fact, within e-commerce, the third party marketplace will account for around 15% share of the global chain retail by 2022 and will see the fastest growth of around 17% in the same period,” she said.

There is a huge opportunity for omnichannel retail strategies in emerging markets, where traditional retail is less developed. E-commerce will develop alongside modern store-based retail in ‘digital-native’ markets such as China, India or Nigeria.

“They are accustomed to using online payment systems. Alongside this, infrastructure development, such as logistics and mass-mobility, further push the e-commerce market forward. In fact, store-based retail will never [reach] the level of saturation in digital native markets as they have in developed traditional markets such as the US and the UK,” Wang said.

Wang advised marketers to consider the specific need of the markets in which they operate.

“For someone in charge of South-East Asian market or the APAC market, their mobile strategy, digital strategy, decisions to allocate resource budgets and go-to-market strategy will [all] need to be tailored accordingly,” she said.

Sourced from WARC