The discussions at eCommerce MoneyAfrica Confex last week definitely sharpen my African perspective on digital commerce. While behind in some ways the continent is miles ahead in others.
I was specifically impressed with some of the informal discussions on the rise of peer-to-peer commerce and engagement. Its potential impact on collapsing the value chain between supplier and consumer made me sit-up and listen as the resultant disruption –should p2p deliver even an iota of its promise- is staggering.
What is to become of large financial services enterprises and centralized trading organizations when the majority of services are provided by crowds and peers coordinated by software? Same for wholesalers and retailers? Consider a scenario where we order shopping lists via the future incarnations of Alexa and Siri. These agents then negotiate (on our behalf) for products directly from mulitple primary suppliers before “Uber-like” services collect from multiple locations; and deliver the requested product list at the exact time and location of convenience. How relevant will the supermarket be then?
It feels like a P2P wave is not too far off – and the vast majority of enterprise are blindly staring into a tsunami of disruption the likes of which they can't even imagine never mind prepare for.