Ecommerce will never be the same again.
EY US Future Consumer Index showed that brick-and-mortar store visits are down by 60% since the Covid-19 breakout.
That's probably why a lot of businesses were forced to switch to ecommerce.
And with the global pandemic ravaging the world... more consumers have turned to buying online.
There's no doubt about it. Digital transformation has taken over on a global scale.
In fact, 43% of shoppers who used to buy in brick and mortar stores are now buying online more often. The rise of online shopping significantly changed how people lived.
It has changed consumer behavior and buying habits.
Even geographical distance is not an issue anymore.
For as long as an internet connection is available, anyone can shop online.
So I have a question: What does the future of ecommerce looks like... Especially in a post-pandemic world?
So stay with me because that's what I'm going to talk about in this blog:
- How has COVID-19 affected ecommerce?
- What does the future of ecommerce look like?
- Factors driving ecommerce growth;
- Post-pandemic trends you need to keep an eye on;
And last but not least...
I will also share some post-pandemic ecommerce strategies... so don't miss out!
Without further ado, let's start...
How COVID-19 has Affected Ecommerce?
This past year, the pandemic significantly changed the way we live.
Lockdowns and contamination fears kept people at home. It's not that easy to visit stores anymore. Even a curbside pickup seems dangerous.
Several brick-and-mortar stores closed down due to a lack of demand and sales.
As a result, consumers turned to ecommerce. Digital commerce gained popularity.
And why wouldn't it? Business owners had no option. Contactless shopping and the shift to ecommerce occurred almost overnight... just to stay afloat.
After a couple of years, this became the new normal. Even after restaurants, gyms, movie theaters, and other businesses have re-opened.
Yet despite the gradual easing of restrictions, the same question looms over us...
What The Future of Ecommerce Post-Pandemic Looks Like?
Businesses that are reopening still enforce social distancing and masks. And they also limit the number of customers in one place at one time.
There are many of these small businesses that face staffing shortages. And children are still out of school (either by parental preferences or school order).
Many workers are grappling with whether to go back to work while the virus is still an issue. Or to leave their jobs for a more remote-friendly one.
And the good news for ecommerce...
More and more people are increasingly inclined to shop online. Because traditional shopping is difficult or even frightening.
So online shopping won't disappear once brick-and-mortar stores fully reopen.
Therefore, now is a great time to start or boost your ecommerce efforts... and your online sales!
Here are some of the reasons why ecommerce will rise significantly post-pandemic...
Factors Driving Ecommerce Growth in the Future
The New Way of Shopping
People's buying habits have changed due to the lockdown. COVID-19 has persisted long enough. That's why it began to ingrain patterns into people's behavior.
There is no doubt that when retail stores opened, consumers began to venture out. But, this doesn't mean that they will stop enjoying the comfort of shopping online.
With the new customer mindset and behavior...
Online shopping is here to stay.
COVID-19 Fears Won't Vanish Overnight
It is likely that even when the pandemic is over, people will still be cautious. And many will still shop online from the comfort of their homes.
If you think everything will be back to normal... that's not the case with ecommerce businesses.
As it is more safe and convenient to shop online... we are going to see more online shopping in the future.
Mobile Devices Made Online Shopping Easier
Your customers can place their orders one-handedly using their mobile devices. This is easy-peasy since they carry their devices with them all the time.
Surely, the mobile commerce market will provide a competitive edge in the post-pandemic world.
More Items are Available Online
Yes, even those that are hard to find items.
One time I broke my car's right inner door handle. A quick search on Shopify found me the perfect replacement.
Easy does it. So even when some items run out of stock in physical stores... you can look for it online.
There is no doubt... ecommerce is driven by convenience variety, and savings! And it will continue to grow as it becomes more popular... and even more competitive.
The next part is exciting so hang in there...
Take a look at the most anticipated changes regarding ecommerce in the post-pandemic future... here they are:
Post-Pandemic Trends to Keep An Eye On
Social Media Shopping
We live in a time when social media plays a big role in our daily lives.
Platforms like Facebook, TikTok, and Instagram will become even more crucial as a marketing tool.
Offline and online shops are aware of this. So there's no doubt these platforms will become more popular in the nearest future.
More and more people will buy online. More people will use social media when they buy online.
That is why a number of brands are shifting their marketing to social media... in order to reach a larger audience in the post-pandemic era.
Statista showed that Instagram-sponsored posts are on the rise every year.
What are the implications of these statistics for ecommerce?
It is an advantage for online business owners to know that millions of people use Social Media apps.
Social media is a powerful tool for marketing and selling. That's why there's no perfect time to invest in it than NOW!
Ecommerce Personalized Online Experience
Physical contact is a basic human need. You know it... shopping is an experience. So most customers prefer to see, touch, and feel the items that they want to buy.
So it's no surprise...consumers perceive ecommerce as less intimate. And less personal than retail shopping.
Because online stores don't have a shop assistant. No one can help them with browsing and recommend products directly.
That's why ecommerce business owners should imitate this experience. You can create an online shop that's more personal and attractive... and more pleasing to the senses.
There's one way to make your online shops more personal for your customers. This is by tracking their preferences. And tailoring their shopping experience to their likes and interests.
This will provide great experiences for your customers.
The next one is out of this world...
Drones for Ecommerce Delivery
Can you believe this? You may wonder what the relationship between drones and ecommerce is.
Drones are flying machines with the ability to be controlled either manually. Or they can be programmed to fly on their own.
What's in it for the ecommerce business owners and customers?
It is predicted that in the future, drones will be able to deliver orders to customers. It will replace delivery services.
Drones for delivery will become an ecommerce trend in the post-pandemic era.
As you can imagine, compared to humans, drones are faster. And deliveries will be much faster than before, so orders will arrive much sooner.
And the convenience it will bring is invaluable.
Many ecommerce businesses are excited about this. Because it will benefit both retailers and consumers.
Plus, companies will save a lot of money and people will get what they need faster. Don't you feel the excitement?
Voice Search for Ecommerce
There are several voice-activated search assistants such as Siri and Bixby. I'm sure you're familiar with these.
Don't be so surprised. Most of these technologies will be used in ecommerce mostly by younger generations... and the not so young. (Can you hear me? ?)
In fact, voice search was used by 58% of consumers to find local businesses. So, how does this connect to ecommerce?
Well, when shopping online... more and more people will rely on Siri, Google Assistant, Alexa, or similar apps.
Online shops will have to adapt the technology sooner. It is inevitable.
This means, that you may need to modify your keywords over time so that they are voice-based.
Because in the very near future, voice ecommerce will dominate.
Let's get to the next one...
AI Systems for Ecommerce
There is a lot of talk about artificial intelligence these days.
AI can benefit many different types of small businesses. It can improve employee productivity and time management. And it can even create a more pleasant customer experience.
In the post-pandemic future, AI assistants will be widely available. They will be able to take care of a wide range of tasks. A few of which are answering questions and concerns or dealing with inventory, orders, and services.
AI in the ecommerce industry seems like a solid and profitable idea. But on the other hand, the cost may be an issue.
Therefore, it requires careful consideration. So what do you think?
Let's go to the next point...
Minimalist Ecommerce Sites
Those who shop online want an ecommerce site that loads quickly and is easy to navigate.
Ecommerce customers have a tendency to prefer simple, minimalist designs. Because overly complex online store sites take time to navigate.
For example, in times like this... Aesthetics become less important and functionality becomes more crucial.
So NOW is the perfect time to optimize your ecommerce site. Make the shift to a more minimalist design.
Prioritize your store layout by giving it a facelift. You can do this with customizable themes from Debutify.
And another trend after the pandemic...
Diversification of Supply Chains
In 2020, lockdown restrictions had a profound effect on supply chains.
As the crisis peaked, disruptions highlighted the threat posed by relying on one single source of inventory.
In a time when retailers have few options left, diversifying supply chains have forced an industry-wide rethink.
Disruption, however, is nothing new. And one of the biggest mistakes many ecommerce business owners make is overlooking risk planning.
One lesson learned is... do not assume that there won't be disruptions in one supply chain. Instead, explore other options. And be ready.
Global fulfillment, parcel consolidation, and payment services enable business owners to expand internationally... and you should do so.
Now, the last part of this blog is important... It's to keep your business competitive.
Here are 4 Best Ideas for Post-Pandemic Ecommerce Strategies...
1. Get Your Business Ready for Increased Offline Interaction
Take advantage of the anticipated increase in offline retail interactions. Expect more new consumers. And you need to differentiate your brand from your competitors.
So, you should take note of the following:
- Make use of different digital channels. It's ideal for discovering products. Online shoppers will appreciate this.
- Due to the lack of onsite visibility, make your product pages more detailed and visually appealing. Online shoppers don't have the luxury of touching, feeling the items they want to buy. So the visual experience is extremely important.
Keep reading and...
2. Ensure Your Ecommerce Site Scales Well
Stay ahead of the game by keeping these in mind.
- Scale up your fulfillment capabilities.
- The economic recovery will heavily impact a lot of businesses. Make sure your digital channels are optimized for modern consumers.
- Mobile shopping apps and chatbots can help businesses stay on top of the market trends.
3. Plan for the Long-Term
During the COVID-19 outbreak, it was impossible to develop a long-term ecommerce strategy. But now you can set yourself up for success.
Have a solid post-pandemic business, sales, and marketing plan.
This will prepare you for the things to come - particularly for the ups and downs. And will make you pandemic proof.
And as post-pandemic trends develop, make sure it's based on consumers' insights. This will give you a better view of what's happening and what will happen next.
And have a comprehensive knowledge of trends. It will keep you informed and prepared at all times
Last, but not least...
4. Learn From the Lessons of the Pandemic
It's time for healing and recovery. But the lessons learned during the pandemic need not be forgotten.
If your business was unable to capture the increased online traffic... it's time to ask yourself why.
If your stocks depleted during the pandemic... have a look at what you could have done.
It's a good thing that consumers benefitted from unprecedented shopping options online... as businesses transition to digital services.
But take note of your customers' dissatisfaction. Know their online experience during the pandemic. Is it about the stocks? Delivery and fulfillment options?
What can you do to improve moving forward?
So, it is a good idea to learn from these issues. Ensure it won't happen again. And you better be prepared for future issues.
So there you have it. I hope you have a glimpse of...
The Future of Ecommerce in a Post-Pandemic World
We learned one thing from this pandemic era. It's to stay prepared at all times.
Preparation is key. And there is no better way to prepare for the post-pandemic ecommerce boom... than optimizing your ecommerce site with Debutify.
You can never go wrong with Debutify...
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