eCommerce is dead

eCommerce is dead, long live eCommerce.

It’s not that eCommerce is going away any time soon, in fact Comscore reported today eCommerce sales in the US went up 9% YoY, but that number still represents about 6% of total retail sales. If you are a retailer, it could be a grave mistake to allocate 6% of your attention and resources to online commerce.

In the last few months the distinction between online commerce and the rest of commerce has been blurring. Today it does not exist anymore. This is why, at last week’s Forrester Consumer Forum, Brian Walker suggested it is time to drop the “e” from eCommerce.

Consider the following facts:

  • In the US online influenced retail sales are projected to top $1 trillion in 2010.
  • 51% of all retail sales will be made online or influenced online by 2013. 
  • While eCommerce represents 8-9% of retails sales, over 50% of all retail sales are influenced online.  
  • Multi-channel is dead. Customers expect a consistent experience across all-channels : online, in the store, mobile, etc.

There is no separation between online commerce and offline commerce. Clicks and Mortar is gone. Customers today increasingly research online and buy offline.  Online in a fundamental part of every purchase experience. There is no eCommerce anymore, online is a core part of commerce in general.

The future of eCommerce is not as a standalone channel, but as one of the many channels working together “ 
– Brian Walker, What Every Exec needs to know about the future of eCommerce Technology

We don’t talk about electronic calculators or digital phones anymore.  There is only commerce and it spans online, retail and mobile.  In the same way, social will be dead soon. Soon there won’t be social commerce, social collaboration or social CRM. Soon the world will acknowledge everything is social and social will be dead too.