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Trends: top 6 trends in the development of global e-commerce

The volumes of e-commerce around the world have been steadily growing in recent years. In 2020, in the context of the Covid-19 pandemic, online commerce passed a new stage of development in various sectors of the economy. The influx of new customers, optimization of business processes in online and offline stores, new formats for presenting products have become a catalyst for the growth of online commerce. However, this segment has not yet reached its peak and continues to grow continuously. We have highlighted the top 6 trends in global e-commerce that will allow you to better perceive the current changes and assess the immediate prospects for business.

The influx of new customers, optimization of business processes in online and offline stores, new formats for presenting products have become a catalyst for the growth of online commerce. However, this segment has not yet reached its peak and continues to grow continuously. We have highlighted the top 6 trends in global e-commerce that will allow you to better perceive the current changes and assess the immediate prospects for business.

The largest e-commerce market is the US market. According to UNCTAD data, in 2019 the total volume of the e-commerce market in this country was more than USD 9.5 trillion (about 45% of the country's GDP). The world top 10 in terms of online commerce includes four companies representing the United States at once - eBay, Walmart, Offerup, Wish and Amazon. The leader among these companies is Amazon. The company is among the world's top 3 in terms of electronic trade (over $ 575 billion). The restrictions caused by the Covid-19 epidemic allowed the company to almost double its growth rate (38% in 2020 versus 21% in 2019).

Trend # 1: personalization of sales and development of commerce via social media

US companies pay particular attention to the personalization of online sales. Following the American giants, trading platforms around the world began to pay special attention to interaction with customers. Online sales personalization is the key to customer satisfaction. Customers and companies who shop online want help choosing the right products and appreciate the individual approach.

In the modern world, personalization is carried out on the basis of a comprehensive analysis of the client's personal information, his demographic characteristics, online behavior, purchase history and many other data related to online shopping. The key aspect here is the company's presence on social networks. Today, social networks of organizations have replaced the search for companies and products in exhibition catalogs.

Social networks become a global showcase for products and companies. In such conditions, the advantage is the use of chat bots, which can promptly provide advisory assistance to the client, regardless of the time of day and location of the client.

According to Statista, in 2020, more than 710 million people in China prefer online shopping to classic shopping. Chinese consumers are very open to modern technology and and are well versed in them. This number of potential users makes the Chinese market one of the most demanded in the world.

Trend # 2: evolution of B2B e-commerce segment

Personalization is useful in commerce and between companies. It contributes to the creation of long-term relationships between partners by analyzing and using data on suppliers, dealers, and other partners. Contrary to the opinion that e-commerce is often sales to the end consumer (B2C sector), the bulk of e-commerce is in the B2B sector.

In 2019, global B2B sales amounted to $ 21.8 trillion, or 82% of total e-commerce. B2B is the most important area of ​​online commerce in the United States, the leader in e-commerce. The segment's share in this country is about 87% or 8.3 trillion US dollars.

Today, one of the key trends in the B2B sector is self-service. Companies want quickly find the information they need and complete transactions without having to call sales or wait for replies to emails. Self-service can also benefit the seller. This frees up employee time and can improve customer satisfaction and sales by being able to get advice at any time via chatbots.

Thus, the B2B segment, which is dominant in the global Internet commerce, is increasingly introducing tools from the B2C segment with an emphasis on the behavioral data of business partners, modern technologies and social networks. These processes will lead to the simplification and acceleration of transactions between companies, reducing the differences between the business models of B2B and B2C-segments.

Trend # 3: strengthening Chinese online platforms in the B2C world trade sector

B2C e-commerce market has grown over the past five years more than 3 times. 2019 sales totaled nearly $ 4.9 trillion. The leader in terms of the volume of B2C e-commerce in the world is China, which over the past ten years has made a breakthrough in online sales to the end consumer and significantly surpassed many competitors.

The rapid development of the branch, coupled with a large and growing digital consumer base, has contributed to the emergence in China of a large number of online shopping platforms of various kinds. Immediately 3 representatives of the country entered the top 5 of the global ranking of online trading platforms. Alibaba Group's TAOBAO and TMALL marketplaces are the largest in the world with a total turnover of more than $ 1.2 trillion.

In 2019, the Alibaba group of companies held 56% of the e-commerce market in China. Today, the Alibaba Group platform operates in more than 200 countries, and the list of products includes over 100 million items in 40+ categories. The second largest Chinese marketplace is JD.COM. This platform brings together over 300 million users in Asia and Europe.

Trend # 4: the formation of dedicated e-commerce zones

The rapid growth of Chinese marketplaces and their global expansion have contributed to new strategic decisions by the Chinese government to create special e-commerce shopping zones. China was the first country launched a similar project. Special zones of e-commerce represent a system of preferences and simplified document flow, customs clearance for cross-border trade through e-commerce.

Such zones already operate in 37 cities in China, which contributes to the liberalization and facilitation of international online trade between countries. The success of the Celestial Empire is already being accepted by a number of Western countries, and interest in this trading format attracts an increasing number of multinational corporations and international brands.

Trend # 5: attention to environmental issues and sustainable development

Nowadays, consumers from both developed and developing countries increasingly began to focus on issues of ecology and environmental protection, study the policies of manufacturers and trading platforms regarding the rational use of resources, leveling the negative impact on the planet's ecosystem. According to research by GlobalWebIndex, 4 out of 10 buyers are willing to abandon a purchase in the absence of environmental data from the company.

For manufacturers today, an important task is to convince consumers that their activities do not harm the environment. This can be facilitated by obtaining certificates of environmental friendliness of production and finished products from various environmental organizations, an active marketing campaign for doing business with zero impact on nature, etc.

Increasingly, the so-called "green" stocks, bonds and indices began to appear on international financial markets, companies form and submit reports on sustainable development and reducing the negative impact on the environment. All of this will have a powerful impact on consumer choice in both the offline and online sectors in the coming years.

Trend # 6: development of visualization and augmented reality technologies

Among the e-commerce trends of recent years, it is worth highlighting the growing popularity of video and audio content for product presentation. Videos are clearer than text and graphic formats, attract attention and convert customers. More than 60% of users prefer watching a video about a product, making a request with an audio message or a voice command.

A more modern approach to presenting their products can be augmented reality technology. Modern VR and AR technologies attract new customers with their uniqueness and scale. The development of augmented reality technologies and their integration into online commerce allows the buyer to solve the issue of remote presentation, fitting, visualization in the current conditions and in a specific space. According to research, more than 40% of consumers are ready to purchase products at a higher price if they had the opportunity to test it virtually.

Development of e-commerce in Eastern Europe and Belarus

In Russia, the volume of the e-commerce market in 2020 amounted to $ 35 billion, which is 44% more than last year. The volume of export of Russian goods through electronic platforms has also grown by almost one and a half times. Today it is valued at $ 1.16 billion.

There are 9 state-owned electronic trading platforms successfully operating in Russia for state customers and commercial enterprises. They are determined by the results of a special selection and work according to the rules enshrined in the Federal Law "On the contractual system in the procurement of goods, works, services to meet state and municipal needs." The choice of the platform, taking into account the specifics of the subject of purchase, is carried out by the customer independently. For suppliers, accreditation on the public procurement e-marketplace is free of charge. About 80% of purchases in quantitative and value terms are provided by 3 electronic trading platforms: Sberbank-AST trading system, Unified electronic trading platform, ETP RTS tender.

Among the main electronic platforms that organize purchases for commercial organizations, can be distinguished the B2B-Center electronic trading system, ETPRF, the All-Russian universal trading platform (Lot-online), EETP OJSC commercial purchases, the electronic trading system, Fabrikant. Each trading platform independently determines the rules for participation in the auction, the procedure for accreditation, and the participation fee.

As for Belarus, the e-commerce market in our country in 2020 showed a record growth. According to the site, Belarusian e-commerce grew by 40% and amounted to 2.3 billion rubles. The share of e-commerce in the country's retail turnover amounted to about 5%, and the share of the Belarusian population that actively purchases online increased to 30%. This indicator is significantly higher than the values ​​in countries such as Georgia, Kazakhstan, Russia, Ukraine, Turkey, Argentina, etc.

According to the UNCTAD e-commerce index, Belarus ranks 35th out of 152 countries. The B2C E-commerce Index ranks countries on the security of Internet access, the reliability of postal services and infrastructure. Belarus ranks high 32 in the Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) Development Index.

Development of Internet trade by FEZ Grodnoinvest residents 

FEZ Grodnoinvest residents are actively involved in e-commerce, discovering new markets for themselves. For example, Conte Spa JLtd. and Plant Optic JSC are widely represented on the Alibaba Group trading floors. Belkard JSC participates in many industry platforms, including Volvo Group and PSA Group. Other residents take part in trading on electronic platforms in Belarus, Russia and Kazakhstan.

FEZ residents do not stay behind the Internet trade trends and successfully develop their own online stores: Conte Spa, Makey, Terrazit Plus, ZOV-Plita, ZOV-LenEuromebel, Shinaka Mebel Bel.

If you are interested in cooperation or if you have other ideas and suggestions, you can always contact the Foreign Economic Activity Department of the Administration of FEZ Grodnoinvest by phone. +375 (152) 41-23-17 or e-mail: