What The Future Looks Like for E-Commerce
Over the last decade, commerce experienced several significant changes that impacted human culture. In the last year as well, we are seeing how restricted movements and social interactions due to the pandemic are causing significant changes in businesses all over the world. You can see that it’s not only commerce or e-commerce that influences human culture; sometimes human experiences also influence commerce. So, what does the future look like for eCommerce?
Historically, anytime major disruptions happen in the business world or the world generally, daring entrepreneurs who are quick to grab opportunities often climb to the top of the ladder. As a result, you have to keep up with e-commerce trends to avoid going obsolete. What better example to let you know how consumer behavior is constantly changing than the case of Blackberry? Well, we don’t have to go down memory lane.
If you’re here wondering what trends will shape the future of e-commerce so that you can prepare yourself, this article will highlight some of them.
When the pandemic hit, everything stopped, including the production of several types of products in factories. Of course, we are gradually getting back on our feet and factories have started manufacturing products again. But it has become obvious that the traditional supply chain process most companies used in the last decade needs improvements. It may not suffice now or in the future.
Companies are beginning to realize that last-mile delivery systems are a better alternative, but not only that. Large-scale retail companies have also started trying out a crowdsourced last-mile delivery system that is similar to the delivery system online food delivery companies such as DoorDash use. Additionally, some companies have started to see drones and robots as viable logistic vehicles. For these companies, the important thing is to deliver customer’s order fast and in good condition.
Creative Content Marketing
Since human contact has reduced significantly over the last year, it is only logical that sales and marketing attempts will reduce in that area as well. Who do you want to advertise to if no one is there, right? But sales and marketing attempts haven’t stopped entirely, people are using the alternative avenues available. That includes telemarketing, social media, email, and other digital and internet-based avenues.
So, how do you convince potential customers to choose your product/service over other competing products/services? This is where creative marketing comes in. Companies such as IKEA are using VR and AR technologies to their advantage. If the customer can’t be present on-site to see and feel the product, at least they can get a sense of how the product will look or feel using VR/AR technologies. This is just one aspect of creative marketing; personalization is also important to have an edge in the competitive market.
If you are a regular Twitter user, you’ve probably seen one of those tweets with a picture of a franchise company advertising job vacancy and promising iPhone 12. Or a notice board in a restaurant passively asking customers to bear with them because employees appear to be uninterested in coming back to work. Now, we don’t know what those employees are going through, and we also know that they’re often underpaid. The question is, what if the coronavirus is part of the reason why people are reluctant to resume their on-site jobs. Some companies also share this concern, which is why some of them are already working towards reducing human contact by using automated software or/and hardware to carry out daily business operations.
While it is valid to be concerned about people losing their jobs if automated software or/and hardware machines can replace them, automation is not a topic that is entirely up for debate. At this point, automation is a matter of health and survival since machines won’t put people at the risk of catching a deadly virus.
Remote work culture has been looming for years, but 2020 was the push the world needed to take it more seriously. Now, it’s no longer the “woke” startups, with comfy sofas for office chairs and a ping pong set in a big hall, that see remote work and flexible working as viable options. Remote and flexible working conditions which don’t require employees to go to their onsite office every day or stay for eight hours when they go have become the trend.
This trend is not only beneficial to protect the health of employees, but also it reduces costs of business operations. For companies, this means paying for fewer office spaces, paying for fewer office supplies and equipment, etc. For employees, it saves costs on commuting to work daily, it also saves the time it takes them to go to work every day. Not to mention that remote/flexible work can increase productivity.
The key takeaway from this is that companies have realized that strictly adhering to geographical locations when hiring talents is nothing but what it is, a limitation. Don’t limit your company’s capacity because you don’t want to hire talents who are several time zones away. As long as you can find talents anywhere in the world, you can certainly hire them.
Consumer Behavior Shift Towards Sustainability
Thanks to the likes of Amariyanna Copeny (Little Miss Flint), Vanessa Nakate, and other climate and environmental activists, in the last three years, many people have become more aware of environmental concerns. Many companies are also shifting towards sustainability practices to persevere the environment and climate. For example, Microsoft has a plan to reduce its carbon footprints; be carbon negative by 2030, and this will go on until 2050 to reverse its lifetime carbon emissions. Consumers, as well, have developed more interest in products/services that were produced with considerations for preserving the environment. And they are willing to spend more on such products/services.
Look at how hybrid and electric cars have become consumers’ preferred choices, but not only that. Buyers are generally more interested in knowing how the product/services they’re getting affect the earth; oceans, air, plants, etc. As a result, companies that monitor their carbon emissions, their use of environmental resources, and have a culture of replenishing the earth will win the hearts of more consumers in the long run.
We don’t need anyone to tell us that major changes are happening in the world, and this will continue into the next few years. What you have to do as a business owner is to stay abreast of trends, be ready to grab opportunities fast, and learn how and when to adapt.
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