An interview with Wijnand Jongen, president of the E-Commerce Europe and Chairman of the Dutch E-Commerce Association. He has been working in ecommerce sector for more than 25 years. Wijnand is also the author of the book The End of Online Shopping, which was translated and published into 10 languages.
The overwhelming adoption and use of the Internet have resulted in people’s lives unfolding online more than ever. Wijnand Jongen uses the term “onlife” to refer to this phenomenon.
The key of the new retail model is the combination of online and offline. We call the process of the combination as “onlification”. The whole society and the whole world are turning “onlife” right now.
For customers, that want their demands to be met at anytime and anywhere. Customize service is essential to the future online retail model.
This is both an opportunity and a challenge for enterprises. As the coverage of online retail continues to increase, from every business to every step in the specific process, this economy is intelligent, shared, platform, and circular. On the one hand, companies need to make good use of the characteristics of the online economy, but also need to consider how to improve meeting consumer needs.
E-commerce platforms have become a stepping stone for overseas import and export
At present, most European retailers use e-commerce. E-commerce has become the main means of overseas import and export. However, to stand out on the global stage, using one of the biggest ecommerce platforms to offer and sell your product is the best choice. Although e-commerce platforms can help companies open up overseas markets, the economies of scale provided by the platforms cannot be achieved by small retailers themselves. The logistics infrastructure of different countries is different, how to integrate and deal with this will be important for the success.
Current status and advantages: According to the data from World Economic Forum, nearly 42% of ecommerce transactions worldwide occurred in China, and this number was 1% ten years ago. The high penetration rate of mobile devices has provided more transaction opportunities for e-commerce; online payment has become the norm in daily life.
Issues to take into account:
- Understanding cultural differences. When entering a new market, you must first understand its market forces and policy frameworks
- Focus on customers: understand your target audience, their behavior and preferences, not only to meet their needs, but also to create them.
- Pay attention to the accuracy of logistics information and tax implications
Challenges under the new coronavirus
Mr. Wijnand Jongen believes that the new coronavirus crisis has accelerated the transformation of the retail industry, whether it is online or offline. Businesses need to be tougher and more flexible. Small businesses need to be agile, making better use of digital channels; websites, online stores, and social media platforms. Instagram influencers post shopping links for their favorite products to increase brand awareness and promote sales. Especially during the epidemic, these celebrities engaging in live broadcasting selling goods seemed to have gained a lot of popularity by the public. He mentioned, that from the perspective of purchasing power, the younger generations are the future for the retail industry. During this crisis, many retailers have realized that they have to close their brick-and-mortar stores. It is a reminder that our normal lives will change from now on and companies will need to develop and prepare for this are of change.
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