This is the future of eCommerce, according to Stripe's Rami Banna

an interview with Stripe's product lead, Rami Banna

Ecommerce is everywhere, and yet, there’s still endless room for growth.

Only 14% of global commerce is currently conducted online, which means eCommerce is still in its infancy. As we continue to adopt more purchasing channels and develop more online payment solutions, eCommerce is poised to overtake the physical store, and Rami Banna, product lead at Stripe, is at the forefront of unlocking eCommerce’s full potential.

Banna started off as an engineer building semiconductors at Telstra, a telcom based in Australia. He gradually crossed disciplines to product management at Cochlear, where he developed pioneering ear implants, and then on to Google. Now at Stripe, Rami primarily focuses on innovating eCommerce payment processes so consumers can easily make digital purchases from anywhere in the world.

In the latest episode of the Now What?, a podcast by Wix, host Rob Goodman and Banna discuss the future of eCommerce. Here’s a preview of Banna’s predictions.

01. "Omnichannel" will no longer be a novel (or optional) concept

For decades, the checkout process looked like this: you’d see an advertisement for a product, drive to the nearest store, search the aisles for the item (maybe ask an employee for help), then take it to the cash register.

With eCommerce, the whole process has been consolidated: you see it, you click it, you buy it.

“Pushing up the purchase as close as possible to the discovery and decision-making process—that’s the real power of this infrastructure layer becoming so scalable,” Banna says.

In the episode, Banna and Goodman also debate whether ‘omnichannel' is still an applicable term. It has generally been understood as the physical and digital coming together. Banna theorizes that “the modern omnichannel is about the total ubiquity and pervasiveness of payment opportunities and purchases, be it in your chat, or through a QR code, or through social commerce, or on the website itself.”

Yes, you might still interact with the physical world when picking up the product at the store, but the entire purchasing process is done online. If you’re contemplating starting an eCommerce business, Banna feels that now, more than ever, the integration pathways and infrastructure tools are at your fingertips to experiment with.

02. Physical stores will become more experiential

It also used to be that sellers opened a store, then built a website to support that store. Now, it’s the opposite.

“Before you set up a physical presence, you are going to set up an online presence and test it out first, and the physical presence will follow,” he says. “Physical stores are an extension of the digital store, not the other way around.”

In practice, this translates to more opportunity for entrepreneurs who may have good ideas but less capital to open brick-and-mortar stores. “It has never been easier to start selling products and finding an audience and a market for your products than it has been today.” But it means physical stores will need to change, too: “The shop will become more experiential,” says Banna.

03. Global expansion will become even more accessible to sellers of all sizes

Banna sees the advancement in payment methods as the catalyst for change. As a consumer, “you have the opportunity to purchase and to experience new products that you would not otherwise have.”

That also means more opportunities for sellers.

“It’s never been easier to find a buyer for your product globally, and it’s never been easier to scale,” he says. You can set up an online store and sell worldwide the following week.

He describes Stripe as the invisible infrastructure making this possible. You can set up a business with Stripe in 40 countries and you can pay with Stripe in 195. It’s also integrated with 75% of the largest online marketplaces, but Banna admits they’re still only barely scratching the surface. He’s aiming to extend that invisible layer of infrastructure deeper and wider to grow the GDP of the internet globally.

The future is now

The way we interact as buyers and merchants is constantly evolving. eCommerce continues to overtake the traditional sales model, and as our reliance on it grows, so does our capacity to dream and achieve greater business goals.

Listen to the full podcast

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Eric Levy Marketing Writer, Wix eCommerce

Eric is a marketing writer hailing originally from NYC. He has a keenness for chai lattes, jigsaw puzzles and helping Wix merchants achieve their selling goals.

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