The events of 2020 forced e-commerce to evolve and adapt in ways no industry expert could have foreseen. The e-commerce industry is proliferating, and every day, more retailers are making a move to online selling, while entrepreneurs are getting their start through e-commerce ventures. As the dust settles, however, those in the industry have already set their sights on 2021.
The future of the world is changing at an accelerated pace, and the demand for e-commerce is quickly outweighing the supply.
The coronavirus pandemic has changed the way people view e-commerce. Today, online shopping is not just a luxury. It has become a necessity. Businesses that were unsure about moving online have finally acknowledged that e-commerce is the most feasible solution to keep themselves afloat during these testing times.
Anant Arora, Senior Director – Product Management for Merchandising at Lowe’s India, says, “COVID-19 pandemic has brought in an unprecedented change in the way we do business. The paradigm shift in business has pushed companies across all the sectors to revisit their business fundamentals and re-imagine their approach to cater to the new-age customers.”
“Organizations that can effectively reinvent and manage quick transformation will lead in the post-pandemic future. There is a huge opportunity for small businesses to disrupt and build a strong foundation for the future as they are more agile and nimble,” he adds. As we approach 2021, take a look at the top 5 eCommerce trends.
Online Selling Will Get Bigger
E-Commerce is one of the most popular online activities and has been growing rapidly. This popularity is due to the ease and comfort that online shopping offers. Online stores are more user-friendly today, offering customers the best shopping experience.
Artificial Intelligence Will Enhance the Online Experience
AI technology is getting increasingly popular for online stores, and as an active tool in eCommerce, helps businesses automate repetitive aspects related to providing support, marketing, and sales, thereby allowing the executives to focus on more pressing problems.
Businesses can leverage AI to predict what customers might want to buy by collecting data about their buying habits and, based on these habits, recommending items to their customers. AI also helps enhance up-selling and cross-selling opportunities by automatically recommending relevant products to the customers based on their browsing and purchase history.
Artificial intelligence acts as a force-multiplier for eCommerce operations since it reduces the need for human intervention. The majority of consumers now prefer interacting with chatbots over humans for quick communication.
Hyper-Personalization May Become Norm
Consumers have come to expect personalization as the norm. From product recommendations to offers, the inbox and social media feed of a customer is a mix of communications from a wide range of brands, all vying for their attention. Consumers want the brand to make them feel like an individual and not just another consumer.
There’s no denying that there’s a certain element of coldness to online shopping. The buying experience is sometimes a tiringly uniform across different online stores. Personalization helps address the problem by inducing human-like connect and warm touch to the buying experience of the consumer.
Something as simple as product recommendations based on personalized communication, purchase history, and relevant discounts can go a long way in helping the customers feel valued.
Embracing the Omnichannel Approach
Gone are the days when people used orders from their laptops or desktops. Today, customers prefer a mobile channel to place orders on the move.
By investing in an omnichannel setup, businesses can offer a seamless buying experience across different channels. It also helps business owners to track their customers’ behaviours using various analytics tools to improve the shopping experience across various devices.
Sustainable Commerce on the Rise
Consumers now demand more accountability from their favorite brands when it comes to sustainability.
Avi Savar, President at Suzy, says, “Brands will need to continue to take a stand on social issues in 2021. Those that stay silent run the risk of being viewed as unsympathetic, indifferent, or even complicit. But before brands step on their soapboxes, they would be wise to test their messaging with consumers.”
“It’s imperative to strike the right balance, and that starts with asking consumers, testing messaging, and seeing whether brands are expected to enter these conversations or not,” she adds.
Major e-commerce brands have already started planning to implement more sustainable practices in their business.
These will be the top 5 trends for marketing teams to focus on, in 2021- and the way to start is getting omni channel.