News this month that Amazon is about to acquire French package delivery service Colis Prive is further evidence that the boundaries of e-commerce are in a significant state of flux. While Amazon is reaching closer to the customer and investing further in the very non-virtual world of warehousing and delivery, traditional players such as Visa and UPS are extending their reach into the e-commerce value chain from the other direction. From a merchant’s perspective, the move is very much towards a best-in-class approach to solutions, with Amazon among the very few that are in a position to own versus outsource, given the scale requirements needed to deliver many of the capabilities that are proving to be high-value differentiators at the service levels the marketplace is demanding.
E-commerce today is a multi-trillion dollar market. Global business-to-consumer e-commerce transactions were over $1.6 trillion last year while business-to-business transactions were over $5 trillion. As such, the e-services industry continues to explode, and we’re seeing some notable shifts in what it takes to win as a service provider in this vast and cut-throat market.