Under pressure, a creative and demanding e-commerce!
2024 Editorial Under pressure, a creative and demanding e-commerce!
With a highly flexible technological base and an ability to go where we least expect it, e-commerce will never have a definitive form. It is the first symptom of what is happening in the world, the first adjustment variable for customers. Whether it's reinventing itself during a health crisis, rethinking its channels in the wake of a geopolitical crisis, managing meteoric growth followed by a brutal slowdown, adapting to inflation and, of course, doing all this in an environmentally responsible way, e-commerce has not finished evolving or surprising us. It may have run out of steam by 2022, but it is still in action, driven by innovation and consumer expectations. It's smart and adapts everywhere, all the time. In concrete terms, in terms of business, FEVAD data reveals that French online sales in 2022 reached €147 billion. Again according to FEVAD, between the first quarter of 2022 and the first quarter of 2023, e-commerce sales will increase by €7 billion, with growth ranging from 11.8% to 20.2%. The signs are green....
... BUT with great power comes great responsibility:
We don't want to dampen the mood, but let's face it, we've entered the age of permacrisis. Consumers and customers are being affected by a continuous stream of crises of all kinds, and for purely economic reasons they are paying ever greater attention to them, which makes them particularly demanding. To sum up, in the face of these permacrises, e-commerce has to prioritise its actions, optimise its budgets and at the same time manage its stretched resources... a real balancing act. And what about the impact of the ecological transition on the sector? The transformation of business models, the evolution of professions, the demand for transparency, the need for sovereignty - this is not just a change that e-commerce is undergoing, but a veritable revolution. Those who don't approach it with the right tools and the right mindset will be left behind.
The machine is both well-oiled and increasingly permeable:
A return to the fundamentals of data and an increasingly "by design" approach to customer relations are leading to an increasingly impeccable customer journey. But the explosion in generative AI is reshuffling the deck, as we move from a question/answer, solution/problem approach to one of automatic and permanent improvement, with exponential possibilities and risks. Everything communicates, nothing is without consequence, and this augurs better user experiences and greater responsibility for retailers.
Creativity at the heart of everything:
Exposed to the contradictory demands of customers, e-commerce has no choice but to think outside the box in order to develop the right message, the best offer and the product or service that is most in tune with the times. If it wants to stand out in the ambient noise of this societal environment full of constraints, it has to be creative! When Le Slip Français launched a pre-order campaign for pants to bring down the cost of raw materials, when Petit Bateau launched its second-hand instore and online offer from 2021, when the SNCF broke everything (website, app, etc.) to rethink its customer journey, when Printemps opened the first virtual store to appeal to GenZ... they're trying, they're experimenting, they're getting out of their comfort zone. Creativity is the ability to imagine AND implement, and e-commerce is certainly creative.
Torn between the rationality required for high standards and the irrationality induced by creativity, e-commerce is under pressure, and that makes it better!
We have the opportunity and the responsibility to support this inspiring, innovative and resilient market, and to accelerate alongside it over the last 13 years, with creativity and high standards.
The pressure's on! See you in Monaco!