Pre-Christmas Thoughts: The impact of the internet economy

It’s only a couple of days until christmas and the end of the year – and this is always a good time to stop, calm down and take a look back from another perspective. Here is a first summary of topics that were of interest to me – from an absolute personal point of view and definitely incomplete…

Monetary impact – a recently released study of the McKinsey Global Institute took a closer look at the impact of the internet economy. The whole of the internet economy accounted for 21 percent of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth in mature economies over the past 5 years. Big companies are the driver and utilize the internet in many ways, but the individual consumers and small entrepreneurs were the real beneficiaries of the internet’s empowering influence.

More users – the sheer number of internet users is rising every day. Connections become available wider in the whole world. With Smartphones and cheaper computers it’s possible to connect for more and more people on the planet. Today nearly 2,1 billion people are using the internet, that’s around 30% of the world’s population. In the years from 2000 to 2011 that equals a growth of 480%. Also the number of available broadband connectivity – wired and wireless – is growing steady.

More turnover – already back in 2009 e-commerce was responsible for around 12% of turnover in EU27 businesses. In Germany alone the turnover of e-commerce businesses was around €23,7 billion in 2010, with a projected turnover of €26,1 billion in 2011. On the global scale J.P. Morgan sees the growth of e-commerce market for 2011 at $680 billion up 18.9 percent from 2010 revenue. With continuing growth we will come to an amazing $963 billion by 2013.

More shops – Every day new shops open their gates. All bigger brands are already in to e-commerce and sell online. The ones that are not plan to go online soon. Nowadays there are barely companies that do not want to sell online. According to statista.com already 26% of businesses in Germany make their complete turnover with e-commerce. What is often missing are good concepts to transfer an offline brand into e-commerce. Also the problems remain: bad usability, slow sites, no focus, bad service. So there is still loads of potential for improvement.

Big getting bigger – The big player stay big. Or even grow bigger. The isn’t too much movement in the top 500 list. And if you look at the latest news Google goes to new terrain to attack amazon. The big internet companies are diversifying and spread their business into all areas of digital life. Still there are loads of prospects for smaller companies to find their niche to be successful.

Going mobile – it’s not a real trend to go mobile, but the way it happens in the moment is interesting. Worldwide we now have well over 5 billion mobiles.  And the number of smartphones is rising at amazing speed. In the US the number of Smartphones is already 38% of mobiles. And as we reported, new methods of of payment and connections to commerce keep coming to smart phones and classic mobiles. Also the uprise of the tablet PC’s adds up to the mobility trend. It is projected that by 2015 there will be over 300 million tablets shipped compared to around 500 million PC’s.

Technological diversification – In the last years we have witnessed the uprise of several new e-commerce systems. Magento is one of the most prominent examples of the uprising systems. But besides the public focus there is a huge number of systems available to shop builders. Open or closed source, self hosted or serviced, PHP or Java – you name it. If you look at this Wikipedia comparison you will see only some of the systems available on the market. Also the technical focus is shifting. For nearly a decade the PHP / MySQL duo ruled the open source systems, but at the horizon new techniques like node JS and NoSQL team up to provide new powerful possibilities.

Overall it has been a pretty dynamic year so far. Also for 2012 we will provide you insights and reports about what’s happening on the innovative and disruptive side of e-commerce.

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