No doubt about it, e-commerce continues to grow and while it represents a burgeoning share of total retail sales, there are still significant hurdles to overcome.
“We’re in the midst of a profound structural shift from physical to digital retail,” noted Jeff Jordan of venture capital firm Andreesen Horowitz.
eMarketer reported, for instance, that e-commerce growth by quarter was about five times that of store locations in 2013 and 2014.
Yet there are headwinds.
Market research firm Market Track said companies that want to succeed in e-commerce must operate successfully amidst these risk areas that could undermine snaring and retaining customers:
• Volatility – Prices changing with increasing frequency and predictability;
• Non-compliance – Pricing and promoting brands and products outside established guidelines;
• Illegal/illicit activity – Counterfeiting and unauthorized resale;
• Size/scope – More retailers, resellers and products available online than ever before.
JDA Software Group also conducted a survey of more than a thousand online U.S. - based shoppers last year. Of the approximately 35% who bought online and elected to pick up their purchases at a store, about 50% experienced problems in initially getting their purchases. Wayne Usie, a JDA senior VP, said it may suggest that retailers might find it challenging expanding their e-commerce... Read more
Remember that term, ‘banker’s hours’? It connoted traditional opening hours of most banks in the United States from the mid-19th century until the late 1960s – usually 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Bank tellers will also soon become an endangered species as there are fewer banks, fewer branches nationwide. Bank of America’s Marc Warshawsky, a digital products executive, said his company processes over 175,000 checks each day that are done via mobile phones – no need for a bank branch or ATM. As mobile and automated technology rapidly evolves, banks are further compelled to change how they market themselves, and how they interact with customers. As transactions within bank branches continue to decrease, noted American Banker, banks are expected to spend more of their marketing budgets on digital and video messaging.
Consulting firm Accenture covered the topic in depth in their 2015 report entitled, ‘Digital Banking: Stretch Your Boundaries Toward the Everyday Bank’. Accenture said that as technology continues to turn the banking industry on its head, “social, mobile, analytics, cloud and the Internet of Things present both disruption and opportunity.”
Those disruptions and opportunities have already manifested themselves in many ways. Banking industry boundaries are blurring as platforms... Read more
Because it’s still relatively new, most consumers - and marketers - probably don’t have a clear understand of bitcoin. But it’s really the blockchain – the technology underpinning the digital currency – that could have a huge impact on financial and consumer markets.
Gil Luria, a financial technology analyst with Wedbush Securities, estimates that 20 percent of U.S. GDP – about $3.6 trillion – is generated by industries that could be disrupted by blockchain technology. And Aite Group, a market research consultancy, predicts that capital markets will spend $75 million this year alone on developing blockchain technology, reaching more than $400 million in four years.
So what exactly is a blockchain? In brief, it acts as a globally-distributed ledger that logs transactions.
Here’s one concise explanation from Re/code:
“A blockchain is essentially a record of digital events – one that’s “distributed” or shared between many different parties. It can only be updated by consensus of a majority of the participants in the system. And, once entered, information can never be erased. The bitcoin blockchain contains a certain and verifiable record of every single bitcoin transaction ever made.”
Regardless of what you think about bitcoin, the blockchain itself has so far... Read more