‘NRF Big Show 2013: globalisation has opportunities for small webshops too!’


Wijnand Jongen, Vice-President and member of the Executive Committee Ecommerce Europe wrote a blog about his visit to the NRF Big Retail Show 2013 and the FIRAE meeting.

At the start of the largest retail show in the world, I paid my traditional visit to the FIRAE meeting on Times Square, at the heart of New York. FIRAE is a select group of retail association executives who represent associations from all corners of the world (China, Japan, South Korea, South Africa, Brazil, Columbia, Mexico, Canada and – naturally – most European countries). FIRAE is hosted by the American National Retail Association (NRF), which also organises the Big Retail Show 2013 in New York. And that can be described as the largest retail show on earth, with more than 25,000 expected visitors.

Back to the FIRAE meeting, where Paul Martin, managing director of the UK-based Planet Retail, painted a picture of the Global Economy 2013 for his audience. Of his 42 slides, 2 were devoted to e-commerce and m-commerce, which is an indication of the modest position still reserved for e-commerce from a global perspective.

Looked at from this perspective, what are the most important developments according to Retail Planet?
– Global marketing will be facilitated by the online opportunities available to consumers;
– Globalisation is increasing as a low-cost, low-risk avenue to new markets;
– Globalisation is also increasingly accessible for SMEs;
– Globalisation contributes to sustainable entrepreneurialism, commanded by consumers who expect no less from (web)shops.

Quote: ‘The post-1995 generation have integrated the internet and smartphones into their daily lives. With new habits and expectations towards retailers to change’.

For me the most noticeable conclusion was the observation that ‘going global’ is also open to smaller (web)shops, whose unique and profound selection is enabling them to reach consumers beyond their borders. Seen from this perspective, it says a lot that, last Thursday, during Thuiswinkel.org’s New Year’s Reception, we were able to issue the Marketing Innovation Award to our Sales Supply Business Partner. They actually chose to enter this market in order to assist webshops and get them trading successfully over the border.

The conclusion of Planet Retail during the FIRAE meeting was: ‘Online is boosting globalisation’. A trend that I cannot sufficiently confirm and emphasise. A trend that we shall undoubtedly see reflected in Thuiswinkel.org’s Commerce 2020 project!