This annual publication offers a wealth of information on the trends and developments taking place in the m-commerce and c-commerce sectors. The publication provides analyses of the issues surrounding the growth of e-commerce, including e-banking, e-payments and online advertising. Information on mobile commerce developments are also provided, including m-payments and m-banking, included statistics and forecasts for both the e-commerce and m-commerce sectors.
Based on the growth of internet and mobile users alone, it is hardly any wonder that e-commerce and m-commerce are thriving. Despite the economic downturn, online spending is proving resilient and even buoyant in most markets. New communication and software developments are making it increasingly possible for retailers to offer a seamless shopping experience using all the available shopping channels - mobile devices, computers, bricks-and-mortar, television, radio, direct mail, catalogues, and so on. In our existing climate of digital interaction, the concept of a ‘Sharing Economy' is gaining momentum. New developments are following in the footsteps of those entrepreneurs who created sites where people share their houses and car spaces. We are now increasingly seeing sites aimed at people who need people for odd jobs, at short notice. Uber was perhaps the first on the scene here. It is still operating in a narrow market (taxies), but other companies are entering the much broader job market, by using e-commerce, offering business opportunities to increasing larger groups of people.
Mobile shopping is one of the hottest topics, and the m-commerce market is growing at a staggering rate. While this boom will of course taper off eventually, m-commerce will remain one of the leading growth areas for some years, driven by the younger generation and its mobile-centric lifestyle. With consumers relying more and more on their smartphones when shopping online, m-commerce will continue to grow faster than overall e-commerce, therefore accounting for an ever-increasing portion of the e-commerce market.
The enormous success of m-commerce is linked to apps, which are becoming more and more popular. Apps are convenient, safe, quick, and simple to use. In the global m-commerce market, shoppers are already using apps in preference to browsers. Increasingly, commercial models will be linked to these apps - which will lead to further spectacular growth in m-commerce. BuddeComm sees the development of m-wallet apps, in particular, as a major breakthrough for the m-payment sector.
The digital economy has brought about huge changes in the publishing industry - from digital printing presses, to indie authorship, to e-books. One of the downfalls is that self-publishing has become too easy, so that the market is flooded with low quality, poorly edited books. This has given self-published e-books a bad press. The dilemma is a thorny one, with many different interests at war. In the end, the consumer must be the one to rebalance the market.
In early 2015, the press was filled with reports that the physical book market had made a comeback and that e-books had had their day. But according to statistical data, while sales of print books rose slightly in 2014, e-book sales rose even more, further increasing their share of the overall book market.
Advertising and Marketing in the Digital Age
The advertising scene has undergone radical change and is still changing. With profits down between 5% and 10% on an annual basis, the performance of the traditional advertising market is under constant pressure. Data analytics is exposing the weakness of these traditional advertising business models and, like all of the other sectors affected by the digital economy, this means that these business models need to change. As they become more aware of the power of big data, advertisers are demanding hard, quantitative data on their campaigns. Increasingly, campaigns are now linked to outcomes. These are predetermined and tested against the results, and payments are made to advertising agencies based on the success of these campaigns, which are becoming far more cost-effective.
Social media companies are becoming increasingly important website publishers. Compared to commercial broadcasters, these companies have one important difference - they have valuable data on their consumers, which they are monetising in a big way. Although consumers are happy to share data with companies operating in the digital economy, they are most unhappy when these companies disrespect their wishes for privacy. On the other hand, many companies involved in big data analytics are disappointed with the results. So a better system could be a win-win situation for both the demand and the supply side.
While online sales have been growing at around 20-30% annually, the overall market share was still under 10% of the overall market in early 2015. Many users cite the reasons of availability, convenience and pricing as well as delivery options as some of the reasons for purchasing online.
There are many choices from offshore e-tailers offering low cost deliveries, with onshore businesses that operate a retail web presence providing service and communication at a local level. Low start-up costs and minimal barriers to entry have seen many enterprises including bricks and mortar stores and online only stores successfully operating in the direct sales to consumers market.
Australians are one of the world's biggest users of online banking. EFT (electronic funds transfer) is very popular in Australia, and the BPAY consortium, owned by Australia's Big Four banks, is widely used to pay bills. However, the more consumer-driven developments such as m-banking took longer to emerge. After decades of procrastination, and ultimately pushed by development from companies such as Apple and Google, the era of m-payments has now taken off in a big way, with all four banks now facing breakneck growth in m-payments. Further expansions are expected in other sectors of m-banking as smartphones and tablets are quickly becoming customers' preferred way to interact with their banks. By the end of 2015 it is expected that m-banking will have overtaken the online banking in the number of transactions done electronically.