How interconnection can set the pace as holiday shopping gets more digital

The arrival of the holiday shopping season always brings sharp focus onto ecommerce, which just keeps disrupting how retailers and consumers shop. But it’s striking just how much running room remains in front of this trend, which already has a couple decades of Christmases under its big black Santa belt.

According to eMarketer, ecommerce sales will grow more than 23 percent in 2017 – and still only account for a tenth of retail sales globally. Opportunities remain huge in the online shopping sector, but only if companies can continue to keep the digital payments at the heart of it simple, fast and secure for consumers and retailers alike. That’s a perpetual challenge.

The ease of clicking a virtual button to make a digital payment masks the complexity of a transaction that involves a variety of counterparties, all collaborating digitally at incredible speeds. Interconnection – direct, private data exchange between businesses – is needed to make online shopping as speedy and smooth as possible as it plays an ever-larger role in global commerce.

A continuing evolution

Online shopping has been around in some form for more than 35 years (Michael Aldrich claimed to have invented it in 1979). The early and mid-1990s, which saw the invention of the web browser and the founding of online retail stores like seem a reasonable marker for when things really started rolling. Consumer shopping habits weren’t going to change overnight, but the influence of online shopping has steadily grown, and anybody with a connected device is probably shopping differently now than they were a few years ago. Some stats and projections for online sales this holiday season show this continued evolution:

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