Investor Frederic Court’s bets on e-commerce—his London-based Felix Capital has backed Farfetch, Goop, jewelry site Mejuri, among others—are poised to pay off on Cyber Monday and throughout the holiday shopping season as consumers eschew traditional stores during the pandemic. Now Court is turning his attention to the next wave of online retail, which he describes as “e-commerce as entertainment.” He notes that in China and other parts of Asia, hundreds of millions of consumers already buy via streaming e-commerce, a service that’s reminiscent of a digital-only QVC. He shared his predictions with Fast Company.
The following interview has been edited for clarity and brevity.
Fast Company: What are the big trends you’re seeing in e-commerce, and are you seeing simply an acceleration of trends that you had already seen forecast? What’s new?
Frederic Court: This year we’ve seen acceleration on both sides of the marketplace—and acceleration of demand. On the supply side, from fashion brands to beauty brands to local restaurants, there’s a realization that if your customer cannot come to you anymore, you’ve got to go to them. If we had spoken last year, five years ago, or 10 years ago, we would have said the same thing: Every Christmas is going to be bigger [than the last Christmas]. This year is going to be significantly bigger. We don’t know what’s going to be the impact in terms of people being concerned about an [economic] crisis or unemployment. But at the micro-level of our portfolio companies, we saw, across the board, an extraordinary November. Read More