Competition

The rise of online-only distributors will continue and hasten, even for luxury goods, as brand owners find it increasingly hard to justify obligations requiring distributors to have an actual shop. We should also expect further action from the German competition authority in ecommerce markets, and possibly also from the UK CMA which has specifically strengthened its tech expertise.

Regulation

The ubiquity of the internet and smart phones has seen online marketplaces thrive like never before. These market places take many different shapes and forms and regulators are looking closely at all of them and trying to respond. The year(s) ahead will see regulators start to stamp their authority over these marketplaces and the outcomes will not always be favourable for operators.

Personalisation

The retail sector is undergoing a substantial transformation, being led by a range of innovative technologies. One key area is personalisation – achieving a truly personalised shopping experience is the holy grail for many retailers, which will rely on adopting machine learning and big data solutions while balancing data privacy issues.