F-commerce, or commerce via social networks, is one of the great changes underway at the moment. But unlike m-commerce, i.e. commerce via mobile phones, it inspires as much scepticism as it does enthusiasm.
Mobile phone commerce is booming, mainly thanks to the democratisation of the latest-generation touch-screen terminals. Geolocation as well as scannable bar codes are multiplying market opportunities, marking a break from traditional e-commerce.
The e-commerce market is restrictive for SMEs. To find success, they must be extremely specialised and offer niche products. Marketplaces are an interesting springboard for an SME to carve out a spot for itself alongside large companies.
The soar of e-commerce is primarily beneficial to the giants in the sector. But with the arrival of competitors from the world of mass retailing, these big names are doubling up their vigilance and investing to preserve their positions. Mergers with other companies is one of the solutions being adopted.