The Outlook for Global E-Commerce in 2018

The United States, United Kingdom, Middle East, Asia, and China appear to be key revenue sources for online consumerism. Websites such as Alibaba, Amazon and Noon have become significant competitors for online currency in their respective home country and abroad.

Analysts project that the total value of e-commerce in the UAE could reach $10 billion in 2018. Moreover, in the global shift to e-commerce, China and Asia are seen as the trendsetters. Journalists reported that in 2009, Alibaba introduced an online shopping effort known as Singles Day in China. It is observed annually on November 11. In 2016 alone, on Singles Day consumers placed 657 million orders with sales estimated at $18 billion.

Growing concern over the prospect of false sales reporting from China resulted in that Government passing legislation that would levy significant fines on websites knowingly engaged in placing false reviews or false advertising. The minimum penalty charged is reported to be $30,000.00. In China, Singles Day is the busiest shopping day of the year.

The country of India appears to have been more cautious in its embrace of e-commerce. The sole reason seems to be customer resistance to use bank cards for making online transactions. Meantime, in 2017, shoppers in the UK spent over $120 billion via e-commerce, which is seen to be an “increasingly powerful engine for growth” by analysts.

Proponents of e-commerce who have relied on strategies such as volume email and price wars to push their goods and services are said to be confronting a public reality that says enough is enough. The focus may be emphasizing the creation of one-click shopping by using artificial intelligence and machine learning to serve consumers more efficiently. Amazon is cited to have taken measures to move in this direction with its repeat customers. Price wars or emails may not disappear entirely but used with strategic planning.

In the USA, major retail outlets are reported to be facing employee layoffs, declaration of bankruptcy or closure. Estimations state that retailers employ 10 percent of the American workforce. Furthermore, from October 2016 to April 2017, about 89,000 persons were discharged from general merchandise stores according to statistics. This number surpasses the employment figure for those working in the US coal industry.

The outlook for global e-commerce is expanding as it meets the challenges to become consumer friendly and device friendly.

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