I do love to network at tech events, and I also do love to sit down and listen when it’s worth. At Echelon, I’m rarely disappointed.
The morning session on the ‘Future of e-commerce’, by Singapore online grocery store RedMart Co-founder Roger Egan proved insightful, making both a synthesis of all what’s been happening recently with Apple, Alibaba and Uber, while also providing a lot of reasonable (or not!) predictions for the coming years.
To give a few words on the context, Echelon is the biggest tech conference in Southeast Asia, which took place a few days ago in Singapore, and RedMart is one of the top e-commerce companies in the region in online groceries, with US$12M raised so far, 200 employees in a bit less than three years.
E-commerce is eating the world… and there’s still room for disruption
It’s never useless to get a refresher on e-commerce and online shopping stats. This graph – stopping in 2011 – shows how much online shopping is booming, and also what industries remain to be shaken up by startups. Food & Beverage looks like a tough one, but hey, who said it would be easy anyway?
As Roger Egan stresses, e-commerce beat brick and mortar on every point, from price (no space to rent or idle employees), product range (no physical limitation to ware houses) and of course the experience (no queues, no heavy bags for groceries).
And it’s a vicious circle. Once online shopping starts in an industry, there’s no going back, as better prices/range/experiences keep people online, increase cost of maintenance of shops with less revenues.
Southeast Asia is quite an untapped US$330 billion market with less than one per cent of shopping actually taking place online. Little wonder that companies like Rocket Internet, Alibaba or Rakuten all invest here.
Evolution of e-commerce trends
This is when having a co-founder of a success story makes a difference, they know what they talk about and are able to simplify the complexity of announcements, investments and acquisitions happening at a fast pace these days.
First, you can see the field of e-commerce as a game of platforms (yes, I also wanted to write “of thrones”). These two pictures show how different it works for:
Recent e-commerce trends in the industry includes:
Future e-commerce trends: Tech companies will win in any case
Last but not least, Roger Egan played the game of predictions and gave a few cool insights and bets that we share here:
These trends should be a tool for you to use and ask yourself where do you position yourself and potential lines of future disruption.
The author of the article is Martin Pasquier, Founder and Lead Explorer, Innovation is Everywhere
The views expressed are of the author, and e27 may not necessarily subscribe to them.
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