Our thoughts from Channel Advisor Catalyst

  • 90+ Marketplaces World Wide but Amazon continues to gain market share.
  • China to be first market to hit 1T sales online.
  • Alibaba is 2.5x entire UK ecommerce.
  • Consumer choice could suffer due to marketplace dominance.

As expected most of the Channel Advisor keynote was dominated by Amazon statistics as it continues to gain market share (27% of the UK market / 40% of DE market). In fact, whilst ecommerce in general continues to grow at a pace Amazon accounts for 55% of every $ of growth in the US.

Global ecommerce represents ~$1.9T – expected to grow to $4T by 2020. Prior to that it’s expected in 2017 that China will be the first market to exceed $1T.

Amazon continues to make in-roads as the destination site for shopping and research. Last year 44% consumers started search on Amazon – this has grown to 55% in 2017. This hurts traditional search engines and we believe that the reliance on a commission charging marketplace could be limiting the consumer choice. Channel Advisor believe that an Ad model will represent the next big thing for Amazon as they try to usurp Google as the de facto landlord for product search.

Brands are now coming online at an accelerated rate. Sometimes built upon a marketplace platform – Anker is a great example. Others are looking at creating transactional branded sites where they can control the customer experience.

Channel Advisor CEO, David Spitz, highlighted logistics as one of the next major battlegrounds. Amazon continues to exert their authority with some incredible FBA statistics. In 2016 2B FBA orders were shipped – enough to fill 183 Buckingham Palaces; 25% of all UK warehouse capacity; and if stacked on the Old Trafford pitch the tower of boxes would reach 6 miles high.

Our opinion:

At Pricesearcher we are worried about how some of these trends affect the consumer experience – especially Amazon pushing to become the origin of product search whilst promoting an ad sales model. As an unbiased and ad-free search engine for prices we are able to present the customer with the full picture including retailers direct, brand sites, marketplaces and even price comparison sites.

Whilst we agree that Amazon will continue to dominate the ecommerce landscape (possibly even reaching Alibaba levels of 80% of the market) in the UK, consumers looking to discover new products and great prices; and retailers looking to drive higher traffic volumes to their site are going to need to embrace new ways to start their shopping and research journey.

Over the next few years we believe, just as Skyscanner has become the destination for flights, Pricesearcher.com will be able to deliver the best choice for consumers and the highest converting traffic for the retailers – For free, forever.

About Thomas J. Vosper

Head of Retail Operations at Pricesearcher - an unbiased search engine that is an ‘Always On, Always Free’ source of highly engaged shoppers that thousands of retailers are accessing for free and without development resource. After cutting my teeth at Amazon for over six years I moved to a more senior role leading blue chip engagements at Tesco’s marketplace. I then launched InPost UK’s first outbound retailer in summer 2016.

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