Press Release - Patrick Munden, May 3 2017

Ecommerce Platform Research

Ecommerce Platform Research


  • Research from global ecommerce consultancy Salmon, a Wunderman Commerce Company, finds that directors at wholesale, retail and manufacturing companies are looking to voice interface technology, new platforms and virtual/mixed reality in the near future
  • 61% are currently investing in IoT (Internet of Things) enablement, with 69% planning to invest in robots and 60% in machine learning in the next five years
  • New wave of technology will be key to increasing sales and improving customer experience in next five years
  • E-commerce, multichannel and digital directors say IoT enablement is biggest priority (35%) to drive sales and better CX
  • 74% say they plan to switch ecommerce platform in the next 12-18 months

London, UK. 3rd May 2017. Enterprise-level ecommerce directors at wholesale, retail and manufacturing companies are looking ahead to automation, IoT and virtual reality to help them …increase their sales margins and dramatically improve customer service and experience.

Global ecommerce consultancy Salmon sought to learn what drives businesses in Europe to choose one digital platform over another and the challenges, technologies and trends they will be investing in over the next five years. The research found that 61% are currently investing in IoT and believe IoT enablement is the biggest priority (35%) as a business.

With the wealth of technology opportunities open to wholesalers, manufacturers and retailers nowadays, ecommerce, multichannel and digital directors across the continent are looking further into the future to innovate their services and sales.

As voice-interactive Amazon Echo and Google Home edge ever closer into consumers’ households, businesses seemingly want a slice of the cake for their sales and customer experience issues, with 53% planning to invest in voice interface technology over the next five years. Similarly, almost three in five (59%) plan to take advantage of virtual/mixed reality, 69% in robots and 60% in machine learning by 2022.

While technology presents a clear advantage for ecommerce businesses, over a third (36%) believe that they find it difficult to commit to new technologies through fear of investing in the wrong area. In this vein, 47% think that they have invested in tech that has been a waste of money.

It’s clear, though, that many ecommerce businesses aren’t ready for the future just yet: 29% don’t have the technology in place to cope with emerging trends in the next five years and 20% lack the tech to keep up with the niche players. Some are also fighting against the tide while trying to implement new technology with 30% saying that a major pain point when implementing an ecommerce platform is the businesses resistance to change.

Coping with more data is also a concern, as 92% of organisations agree they need to be able to better analyse consumer data, while 48% believe organising their business to react quickly to change will be a major challenge in the future. It will come as no surprise that 74% say they plan to switch ecommerce platform in the next 12-18 months, clearly recognising the importance of a platform that is ready to meet the future needs of the business and its customers.

Patrick Munden, Global Head of Retail at Salmon, said: “Ecommerce is undoubtedly one of the most exciting and rapid developing industries, and it’s vital that companies continue to innovate to boost business and consumer demand. Exploring the latest technologies is no longer a nice-to-have but a must-have for any businesses expecting to drive sales and improve their customer experience. This latest research shows that, whilst many perceive technologies such as wearables, mixed/virtual reality and voice interfaces as the preserve of the tech-savvy consumer, wholesale, manufacturing and retailers are now investing heavily in this space.”

Munden continued: “With 74% of businesses looking to move platform to meet future needs, it’s important to remember that technology is just one part of the equation – who you work with to help implement that platform has a huge impact on its success. Almost all respondents cited experience by far as the most sought-after trait, with 94% citing the ability to understand their vision and help develop it as important. However, it’s not about a partner simply saying “yes” all the time. 91% said they want a partner that can challenge their thinking.”



About the research

The survey was carried out by Censuswide, an independent and respected research company. Respondents were gathered from 276 B2B and B2C enterprise-level ecommerce decision makers across the UK, Germany and Belgium & Netherlands. The survey was carried out in April 2017.

Download the 2017 Ecommerce Platforms Research Report