The new digital retail E-commerce reached its prime during the late 1990s. Since then, it has gone mainstream. Recent estimates of retail e-commerce put it at about $1.4 trillion, or about 22% of overall retail commerce. By 2019, this is going to be about $2.4 trillion, or about 33% of the overall retail commerce.
E-commerce was “digital” for the 2000s. But m-commerce (mobile commerce) is digital for 2015. It’s not just a new modality–it’s a whole new experience. Enabling this experience requires a lot of new infrastructure: APIs, BaaS, big data analytics. This is the digital transformation our retailer customers talk to us about.
But something else is happening in this retail digital transformation. The channels (physical, web, and mobile) are blurring. Who has not seen the “Buy online and pick up in store” option in your favorite retailer’s mobile app? This is omnichannel, and it’s also the new digital. Enabling this experience of course requires the APIs, BaaS, and big data we mentioned above to power every channel. In addition, it requires a consistency of experience through common APIs, and new business and data logic to sit in or near the API layer.
APIs: the key to all interactions
APIs are the underpinning of all system-to-people, system-to-system, and business-to-business interactions.How big is this? Mobile commerce is supposed to be $2 trillion by 2019. So APIs will drive at least $2 trillion of commerce. With omnichannel, this number could easily be $4 trillion (all of e-commerce). APIs are that big.
Example, travel. When was the last time you walked into an airline booking center and booked a ticket? Or walked up to a hotel lobby and booked a room? It’s all digital now, and, increasingly, mobile. Mobile travel bookings are growing at 3x the rate of web travel bookings, easily surpassing the latter to be at least $1.5 trillion by 2019. All mobile bookings, ratings, and browsing happen through APIs, so it follows that at least $1.5 trillion of travel sales (out of an industry total of $6 trillion) will happen through APIs.
Now that nearly every aspect of our lives is available online along with a growing number of home appliances such as Televisions, refrigerators, thermostats and even toasters, maybe its time that we all began to take a holistic view of security rather than just assuming everything will be ok.
Expect the boring and safe IT guys that famously said no to many of the modern requests to say I told you so in the very near future. Traditionally IT has taken their thankless roles as custodians or guardians of networks incredibly seriously, and there is an argument that it’s only since we started lowering our guard and going our own way that we are starting to realize the error of our ways.