Technology has given today’s connected consumers unprecedented access to goods and services across the world. But what does the rise of e-commerce mean for companies, consumers and investors?
What is the Connected Consumer?
Significant advancements in technology over the years have played out in favour of today’s consumer. Widespread availability of internet means that today’s consumer is in a better position to make more informed purchase decisions anywhere, anytime, on any platform. Businesses must also evolve to keep pace with consumer demand, and fintech is increasingly important for companies to improve how they interact with their customers. Keeping pace with technological advancements will enable companies to engage their customers more deeply in a digital economy.
What is the Digital Economy?
The rise of smartphones has given consumers globally unprecedented access and choice when it comes to shopping. Digitally-savvy companies now offer a broader selection of goods, faster delivery, secure payments and 24/7 mobile access. E-commerce represents the part of this new digital economy that consumers are most familiar with today, and the internet retail market is expected to grow at an average rate of 14% per year over the next five years1.
Ecommerce penetration is rising
of retail transactions are done digitally today; a number only likely to rise2.
of consumers surveyed in 2018 plan to make purchases on mobile - versus 40% in 2017 – with mobile usage a likely driver of digital growth overall3.
of total retail sales by 2020 forecast to be accounted for by digital-native millennials, who are entering their peak spending years4.
What does this mean for investors?
Traditional businesses are reaching a critical juncture where they must adapt to the digital age or be disrupted by more digitally-savvy firms. Retailers are rapidly adapting to the needs of these connected consumers to make shopping quicker, easier and more personalised. We believe this represents a significant structural opportunity for investors seeking long-term growth. Digital-native millennials are also reaching their peak spending years, while older, wealthier generations are also increasingly connected and comfortable shopping online.
Investing in the digital economy
We see these trends as creating opportunities across the entire e-commerce value chain as traditional businesses embrace the digital economy. We refer to these opportunities as the four Ds:
- Discovery – companies that help people find products through search engines, or digital marketing platforms.
- Decision-making – e-commerce companies, web portals and mobile apps which provide consumers with convenient and reliable product choices.
- Delivery – companies creating fintech solutions to keep pace with consumers’ increasing expectations of simple payment processes, or using automation in order fulfilment for same-day delivery and returns.
- Data & Enablers – digital companies which help traditional businesses migrate to the digital world.
Why now for the digital economy?
The digital economy revolution is still in its early stages, and there is a growing number of new business segments emerging. For instance, the ‘Sharing Economy’ comprises high-profile companies, which are currently private, that will likely list in the coming years, expanding the investable universe and diversification opportunities.
All investments involves risks, including the loss of capital.
What is Fintech?
Technological transformation is changing many aspects of how we live and work, and this is particularly true when it comes to financial services. Discover what this means for investors.
Our Digital Economy strategy invests across every stage of Connected Consumers’ ecommerce journey, from product discovery and decision-making to payment and delivery, as well as the companies enabling digital transformation.
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