Ecommerce: the most exciting, fastest growing industry in the history of the world
Al Gore shared some interesting thoughts today in the keynote session at IRCE 2013.
Gore called ecommerce the most exciting, fastest growing industry in the history of the world. He sees the future as limitless. He pointed out that ecommerce is growing even in the midst of economic strife; revenue is growing 15% YOY in the US and 30% YOY in Asia.
Whatever business you’re in you need to think global; your customers are global, your competitors are global and they are made up of the Internet connecting billions of people. There will soon be 50 billion smart devices connected throughout the world collecting data that can be used to understand which products and services consumers and businesses are interested in.
There are 7 billion people in the world today; the earth’s population has quadrupled in the last 100 years. We’ll add another billion people in the next 14 years. Experts say that population will probably level off in the 9-10B range, they are not sure. We do know that there are $2B people today that are in the global middle class. We have seen the greatest reduction in poverty in the history of the world so the middle class is growing with the simultaneous growth of population overall means that those 2B people in the global middle class will become 4B in the middle class within 12 years. Within 17 years 5B people in the global middle class. So if you think your business is doing well today, if you keep innovating the opportunities are boundless.
We currently have 1.5 billion smartphone users (all of these statistics come from Kleiner-Perkins research) today, and of the 7 billion people in the global population we already have 5 billion people with regular access to mobile phones. Those 1.5 billion people on smart phones today will soon translate to 5 billion people using smartphones as they become more affordable. Gore pointed out that “Metcalf’s Law” (Bob Metcalf is the inventor of ethernet while at Xerox PARC) sets the value of a network at the square of the number of devices connected to it so if we double the number of devices connected to the Internet over the next few years we are squaring the economic value of those connected devices.
This growth in the middle class and access to the Internet should only accelerate the growth in ecommerce the 10-15% growth we are seeing today should only increase or in the very least continue on at this rate for quite some time.
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