The Boom Is Over for Ecommerce Retailers; A Flatter Holiday Shopping Season Will Be the Start of a New Online Model, Says Amplience CEO
After two extraordinary years of growth, this year’s holiday shopping period will not just be flatter, it’s also likely to see the importance of Black Friday diminished as retailers continue the trend of elongating the entire promotional event. This is the forecast of James Brooke, CEO at Amplience, the leading commerce experience platform.
“The world has changed dramatically in the post-pandemic slump and like-for-like sales for online retailers look terrible,” says James Brooke. “The holiday shopping period is being extended to push promotions out earlier, and I can see Black Friday being just a heightened period of sales rather than the much-anticipated and exciting shopping extravaganza it has been previously.”
This is not the only change that Amplience is predicting as the retail sector’s growth trajectory reverts to pre-pandemic levels. The company has seen investment priorities –
which once focused on personalisation then shifted to digitalisation as shoppers moved online – now move back to omnichannel as stores seek to provide complementary retail services.
“Integrating the physical and online store and orchestrating the consumer experience is top of the agenda for retailers now,” said Brooke. “But also important is investment in core technology that can help to evolve retail infrastructure. Headless and composable commerce are finding favor because they allow retailers to respond to changing customer demands with a level of agility that really moves the needle, particularly during holiday trading. They can also be implemented in modules which makes it easier to realise a fast ROI.”
The economic environment is another factor that is influencing the eCommerce market. Amplience anticipates that while retailers are moving from a ‘growth at all costs’ model to one more focused on customer retention, they are still likely to stop offering features such as free returns in an effort to cut costs. The New Year will also see consumers seeking more bargains, potentially on marketplaces, while there will be a boost in the second-hand online retail sector.
“The downturn, depending on its severity, will drive new innovations from across the eCommerce spectrum. We will see new entrants optimising the talent from tech layoffs and new models being introduced that will shake up the sector,” commented Brooke. “We will also see an emerging Metaverse. It’s small but growing, and retailers will start to dabble, learn and understand how they can work in a virtual universe. There’s work to do to build real-time systems and automation, so this will present some challenges for IT infrastructure.”