Wx_Facebook_Google-vs.-AmazFor years, Amazon has been viewed as the cream of the crop when it comes to fast, dependable delivery. With their pristine reputation, more and more larger brands integrated their products into the Amazon shopping feed and innovations like Amazon Prime made online shopping more and more common.  However, Amazon’s reign at the top has a formidable challenger as Google now has their own plans to dominate the online shopping space with Google’s Shopping Express.

Google’s Shopping Express is only available in limited areas as it currently services Manhattan and Los Angeles. The catch with the service is that Google Shopping Express will make same day deliveries of the products ordered. Big retailers like Target, Walgreens and Babies R’ Us are integrated into Google Shopping Express and thus far the demand has been overwhelming. So overwhelming, in fact, that the Manhattan delivery service needed to cut short the day and stop making deliveries due to high volume.

Overall, I see this as one of the best moves that Google has made in some time. It has intrinsic value that provides immediate revenue. Google has the power of their own search engine to promote this service and while Amazon is testing drones for immediate deliveries, Google is in fast motion with this new initiative. This ability to order and receive items on the same day has already begun to change the landscape of online shopping.

I predict a day where retail stores become less and less visible and are primarily just locations for people to compare products they want to purchase before ordering them online. Yes, in most cases, those purchases will be made through mobile devices – and, obviously, the deliveries will be made the same day.

While I think there is enough room for both Amazon and Google to exist in this fast growing marketplace, over time, I expect each service will become exclusive providers of product for different retailers. This ability would enable both companies to prosper, and force consumers to utilize both options based on what product they wish to purchase.

Online shopping has been rolling along in Europe like in the US and much of the rest of the world, both in emerging and developed markets. This is a trend that is showing no signs of slowing down despite still a shaky economic state around the globe and especially in Europe. A consistent bright spot though has been the growth of ecommerce and now with predictions out from Forrester, mobile commerce (or mCommerce) looks to be headed for steady growth as part of that sector as well.

The process of mCommerce specifically through the smartphone (not including tablets) will represent just under 7% of online sales in Europe by 2017. This translates to €19.25 billion or $23.49 billion. As a side note, this statistic illustrates how large the overall market is for online shopping in terms of sales. It is simply an exploding sector of business. These numbers will only look more favorable when shopping from tablets is factored in as well.

The Figures By Year
The report is called the EU Mobile Commerce Forecast: 2012 to 2017 and is clear in its predictions. The following is the set of figures for mobile commerce in the retail, ticket, and travel sectors for the represented span of years.

  • 2012, 2.74 euro, $3.34
  • 2013, 4.62 euro, $5.64
  • 2014, 7.42 euro, $9.05
  • 2015, 10.76 euro, $13.13
  • 2016, 14.66 euro, $17.89
  • 2017, 19.25 euro, $23.49

The average spend of each buyer in this market is expected to rise as well from €201 in 2011 to €227 in 2017, but surprising that is not where the power of the growth comes from. Rather, it is in the increase of overall volume of mobile shoppers that particularly seek lower-cost items.

Reasons for Growth
There are a couple factors in play with this growing trend. First, smartphone growth is a large catalyst as more and more users are adopting the new technology. Reports vary regarding the actual adoption rate for the smartphone across Europe but it is roughly between 45-50% in Western Europe.  Beyond the simple increase in the device’s penetration, is the comfort level that consumers will ascertain in the coming years getting more familiar with the processes of using the device for mobile shopping.

It will be become more convenient and shoppers will trust it to greater degrees. As this occurs, mobile shopping will reach mainstream adoption by 2017 and at that time the population that will be buying products will be 79 million up from 7.6 million in 2011.

Additionally, the report indicates that impulse purchases like books and DVDs will be a driver of this growth and location is a big motivator for items that make location relevant like ticketing.

Businesses in this market need to understand that this is a trend that is only going to develop further. Companies that are already engaged in e-commerce should develop m-commerce capabilities if they have not already done so, and businesses who have neither should initiate the development of both. This depends largely on the aims and ability of a particular company to support adding these web solutions, but there is positive potential for many businesses across the spectrum. Those companies selling impulse-buy type products, as detailed earlier with book and DVDs, are especially positioned to receive benefit from this activity.

E-Commerce and SEO agencies that work to redevelop shopping platforms and bring increased numbers of online visitors to it to ultimately increase sales are also positioned to assist in this positive trend. Drawing in the mobile shopper requires a varied tool set that is unique to the standard online shopper because the experience is inherently different.

Reach out to me directly at rbuddenhagen(at)webimax.com or @ryanwbudd for more information about mCommerce growth in Europe or how your business could benefit from adding mCommerce solutions.