2020 will be remembered as a tough year for all people around the world due to the pandemic. Although Covid affected both personal life and businesses, it has brought important developments regarding the way of doing trading and the future of ecommerce. Can we think of 2020 as a landmark year for businesses?
Well, retail shops were forced to close their premises in many countries due to the lockdown that was in place to protect the population. Merchants understood that the online environment could be the way to let them survive. Many e-commerce shops were created and the existing ones were developed further to meet the consumers’ demands. The increase in online trading was forced due to unexpected circumstances but it was due to happen sooner or later, Covid just sped up the process.
Why 2020 is a landmark year for the future
Ecommerce growth during the last year
As people could not buy from the high streets, online purchases increased during the last year. The e-commerce revenue reached 4.25 trillion in 2020, nearly 1 trillion more YoY. This difference is due to the fact that the buyers were not only the usual young people but all community. Everybody has been involved in this new habit to do shopping online because even the number of groceries that were bought online increased for obvious reasons.
Social Media and influencers
Moreover, many people use Social Media. So if you put your brand on a social platform then buyers can easily find your organic and advertised content.
Influencers helped new businesses that were looking for awareness coverage so the audience could discover them on Social Media platforms. And they obviously influenced the audience regarding the choice of products.
Especially, Social Media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest helped buyers to find the products that they needed during the tough moment.
Machine learning and automation
Machine learning and other automation systems helped new sellers to find buyers more effectively in the digital environment. The more information the machine learning can get and the better performance will be with less work for the merchants. The reason of having an automation is to make less work for the humans
The power of mobile
Mobile devices have played a very important role. About 3 trillion people have a mobile phone worldwide and, nowadays, most of the traffic comes from a mobile device. Therefore, it is important to have the website mobile responsive to enhance the user experience and let the customers finalize their purchases. Creating a successful website for both desktop and mobile is not easy but it is important to put some effort as it will help to improve the conversion rate and sales.
Mobile apps have helped to improve the mobile experience across the users because they are usually user friendly and more intuitive in the sales journey. They are already optimized for Android and iOS and the merchants only needed to add their products or brand so the buyers could find them.
Merchants who were new to the digital environment started to promote their business online because they needed the buyers to find them if they want to sell their goods. So new online sellers started to bid online to advertise their products. Therefore the competition increased, across many industries, causing a higher cost for the ads that have had a spike.
Customer experience and time
The customer experience was one of the key points for both buyers and sellers that were new to the digital world. Merchants needed to provide a friendly, and also trustworthy, online experience. Whilst buyers needed to find their way in a different environment regarding how to buy the products.
Merchants had partially to reconsider the fulfillment procedures. Usually, the brands sent the products to their stores and, from there, the customers received the products directly. Suddenly, they also started to receive orders from the internet and they needed to deliver them to the customers. Apart from some marketplaces like Amazon, which had already an established fulfillment system, many brands had to be created from scratch to satisfy their needs and the even more increasing customers’ requests.
The websites had to be well-optimized to let the users enjoy the new experience. A well-optimized online store helps to increase the conversion rate and the sales.
Future of ecommerce: Online Retail
The best way to provide a great online experience is to let buyers be in control with innovative digital solutions.
Fast and Easy to Buy
The checkout experience is one of the key and critical factors online for an online buyer.
It has to be as smooth as possible because you want to gain your customers’ confidence. Therefore you need to avoid unnecessary steps that can make your clients change their minds before the payment.
You can also have flexible solutions as Buy Now and Pay Later to win their trust.
Giving the opportunity to save payment details and shipping information will make returning customers very happy.
Also, adding cheap cross-selling products at the checkout with the 1-click option will replicate their traditional experience and you can boost your sales.
Promotions and Shipping Options
Automated discounts are very important as they improve the customer experience. Also, they avoid possible complaints about codes that might not work or buyers’ errors.
It is important to provide several shipping options like click and collect, free delivery, VIP programs for loyal clients. In this way, people will tend to buy online more often as they can avoid carrying their shopping.
Future of ecommerce: Shipping and Logistics
Higher Number of Returned Products
Due to covid, many retailers had to change their return policy and make it more flexible for their customers. Especially with clothing apparel, customers bought multiple versions of a product and, then, returned the unnecessary ones.
Increase of Shipping Costs
As people could not buy directly from the shops the number of online orders increased. Therefore the couriers had to work more and buy new tools in order to satisfy their clients’ demand. This increase in the number of orders led to higher shipping costs.
Future of ecommerce: Competitive Fulfillment Advantage
Shops began offering the click and collect service and, also, the curbside pick-up that the clients appreciated. Unused retail spaces became fulfillments areas that can be used also as click and collect. So those locations could be also used as shipping hubs for stores or online purchases.
Having multiple fulfillments areas was a good solution for the brands. They could offer local deliveries that are obviously faster than the traditional shipping. In this way they meet the consumers demands and happiness.
Branded packaging enhanced the customer experience. People used to go to shops and therefore they could see in person the products they were buying. It was a brand new experience to unbox the products they saw only online, once delivered at home. It has become a strategic tactic to achieve returning customers. Also, smart merchants get the advantage of that experience they provide even adding, in the box, promotions for future purchases.
Automate inventory management
The use of advanced inventory management is one of the most important factors in order to have a valid fulfillment network. You need to be sure that your stock levels are precisely correct across your network, especially when you sell from different marketplaces and locations. Automated rules will help to save time, limit errors, have smooth fulfillments, and reduce costs.
Future of ecommerce: Brand Development
Marketplaces are awesome places for both sellers and buyers. Sellers have always had the opportunity to get awareness. During the last year, as consumers were struggling with money, they looked for solutions across new brands. In this way, newly born companies had the opportunity to have unexpected revenues because they could beat the competition of big brands.
Many buyers look for marketplaces like eBay and Amazon. They are not looking for the brand. 70% of Amazon searches do not have the brand name. They prefer to save money, get more custom solutions.
Also, people visited small online companies that have visions that match their beliefs. Their shopping habits include products that are aligned with their key values like sustainability and recycling. They look for a human connection that they would not find in marketplaces.
Therefore it is a key strategy to focus on solutions like mobile apps, loyalty programs, live chat, SMS and email marketing to be as close as possible to your audience providing personalized service and experience.
Also, inventory management automation will help to update the stock quantity in real-time and predict the forecast for the consumers’ demand.
Customer Retention for the Future of Ecommerce
Customer retention has been difficult during the pandemic. Many consumers lost their jobs worldwide and did not have a lot of money to spend. Many new businesses appeared online and they increased the competition against existing online stores. So the existing consumers started to spend their money in new places.
Brands always look for new solutions to sell their products and be competitive and present in the market.
Voice shopping and video shopping will be new channels where the merchants will want to be.
Future of ecommerce: Voice Shopping
What is voice shopping? It is what its name says to be. You use your voice to make purchases through a compatible smart device (that can be a phone, tablet, or even a smart speaker that is connected to the internet). Voice shopping is a fast system to research because the voice channel is almost 4x times faster than typing.
Also, it is a key part of the home controlling system and the relationship with the technology becomes more human.
Already more than 30% of internet users in the US market have had experience with a voice assistant. They enjoy looking for product information or they even buy products.
According to the forecasts, 8 billion devices will have voice assistants by the year 2023.
Local businesses (like grocery stores, medical shops, restaurants, spas, clinics) are the first beneficiaries of voice shopping researches.
Future of ecommerce: Video Shopping
Video shopping is also taking big steps in the pool of commerce. It started with Tiktok but Instagram, Facebook, Twitch, and Amazon Live see big opportunities in this channel. Video shopping functionalities add the chances that shoppers can easily complete a purchase. Video shopping delivers a direct experience from browsing to purchasing.
Videos are easy to be made and provide a lot of information that can be acknowledged quickly and remembered easily. Also, it has a very high Click Through Rate (CTR) so it increases the chances of a purchase.
What To Do for the Future of Ecommerce
The digital world changes rapidly so it is important to be aware of possible development that can happen to help you improve the performance and have easier processes for our business.
It is necessary to scale the business into a multi-channel strategy in order to increase the chances to be where your customers are and sell your goods.
Koongo can help you to coordinate the stock levels of your products across the several channels that you might be using.
Try Koongo to sell across multiple channels
Koongo is very simple to use and it can help you if you want to sell across different channels. And you have plenty of choices because we work with over 500 channels. Koongo offers channel connections to platforms like Amazon – Google Ads – Bol.com – Kelkoo – Marktplaats – idealo – Beslist – eBay – Wish – Cdiscount – Google Shopping – Webgains – Manomano – Rakuten – Spartoo and many more.
Koongo imports your marketplace orders into your store and syncs the stock levels of your inventory automatically.
The automatic order synchronization is available for many of Koongo’s supported e-commerce platforms like Bigcommerce, Lightspeed, Shopify, CCV Shop, Magento, Magento 2, or Woocommerce and others will come soon.
Koongo is very affordable as its starting price is as low as 19€ per month. You can update your subscription at any time according to your business needs.
Also, Koongo supports the automatic order management for Amazon, Bol.com, Bestlist, eBay, idealo, Wish, and Miinto online marketplaces
Furthermore, you can increase and decrease the cost of your products using simple formulas from the Koongo app.
Koongo centralizes your product data distributing them automatically on all connected online marketplaces and price comparison websites. Therefore, your product data is always up-to-date on all marketing channels that you will connect through Koongo.
Moreover, there’s no risk associated because a 30 days Free Trial period is available and you will have the time to set up your profile and test Koongo before the paying period.
For more details, you may contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We’ll be happy to help you with your Amazon and Shopify integrations.Continue reading →