Why You Need A Robust E-Commerce Strategy Today
You know the story; the coronavirus came out of nowhere, spread around the globe, and everyone panicked, rightfully so. Then several countries enforced nationwide lockdowns, and everything came to a standstill. Healthcare did not get any breaks, and e-commerce thrived so much that it gained five years growth in 2020 alone. This new e-commerce terrain gave birth to interesting trends every e-commerce entrepreneur should pay attention to in 2021. New e-commerce trends mean a lot of things, changes in consumer behavior, increased competition, and new strategies for scaling up, among others. As an entrepreneur, you need to devise a thorough e-commerce strategy to stay relevant and compete in this current e-commerce space.
Here are some of the trends influencing post-lockdown e-commerce:
More E-Commerce Buyers from Smaller Towns
Before 2020, people who live in local areas were not known for shopping online as they were used to visiting brick-and-mortar stores for their shopping. But when brick-and-mortar stores had to close during the lockdowns, buyers outside of the suburbs also had to shop elsewhere, and the elsewhere was online. Something about e-commerce shopping is that the convenience it provides tends to be addictive for buyers. As a result, many buyers who live in local areas will continue to shop online after the lockdown.
Changes in Demand Patterns
A pandemic is a huge defining event that often changes people whether by choice or as a necessity. In this case, the pandemic led to an increase in demands for sanitary products such as nose masks, sanitary paper, hand gloves, hand sanitizer, and more. Additionally, there was also an increased demand for casual clothing, home appliances, cooking materials, and ingredients because people stayed at home and needed to get their hands and minds busy with fun activities such as cooking banana bread.
Reduced Price Consciousness
The pandemic sparked a sense of humanity in many people across the globe, which led to several cheesy social media challenges. It also influenced many people to be more interested in their well-being, so we see people develop more interest in wellness products, fitness, and organic food, among others. As a result, buyers are spending money on quality health and wellness products without caring much about price.
Increased Inclusiveness in The E-commerce Space
During the lockdowns, several brick-and-mortar stores transitioned to e-commerce to remain in service. The e-commerce industry also welcomed new vendors who got laid off from their regular job. The current e-commerce space is very welcoming and inclusive for every retailer including stay-at-home entrepreneurs. So regardless of the size of your business and your customer demographic, you will find a suitable market with an active customer base for your business in the current online space.
D2C E-Commerce Gains
One of the remnants of the lockdowns is the growth of direct-to-consumer e-commerce. Since most people had to switch to e-commerce for their shopping needs, they experienced the convenience of shopping online, which has influenced their consumer behavior. Now, buyers have high expectations for brands particularly about their shopping experience, product availability, and delivery.
E-commerce entrepreneurs are beginning to realize that the best way to meet customers’ high expectations for shopping is to adopt a direct-to-consumer approach. So, instead of vendors using e-commerce platforms such as Amazon, entrepreneurs should use channels such as a mobile app to sell to their customers.
These trends show that there is a need for every e-commerce entrepreneur to create a robust strategy for staying relevant in their market and to attract buyers and increase sales.
What Strategies Are Popular Amongst E-Commerce Entrepreneurs?
Due to the change in consumer behavior in 2020, many entrepreneurs realized that the only way to maintain relevance during the lockdown was to widen their horizons by adding new products to their product range. The key to doing this is to add products that are related to what you already sell. For example, brands that sell garments added nose masks and fashionable protective gear to their product list.
Since most people were forced to stay at home during the lockdown, we can say that most buyers spent a lot of time on their smartphones. Therefore, brands had to channel their marketing to the avenue’s customers were using, and this increased personalized marketing.
We hinted that the pandemic inspired a sense of humanity in several people across the globe. What this means for businesses is that customers expect humanistic marketing and not just salesy marketing that does nothing for the customers. Brands presented their marketing campaigns, copies, and videos with emotive storytelling and message. This shows that the brand does not only care about making a profit off buyers, but also cares about the well-being of buyers.
Optimized Data Usage
E-commerce entrepreneurs are increasingly learning about the importance of optimizing data. Brands are learning that after collecting customer data, there is a need for more than a single analysis of the collected data. Instead, different teams should analyze the data and interpret based on their technical background. So, we have the IT team, marketing team, product management team, sales team, and others coming together to give holistic analyses of the same data. This way, the company gets to maximize the data to its full potential. Simply put, the company will get a fuller and better understanding of consumer behavior if different teams analyze customer data than if only one team works on the data.
The US is a big country with diverse demographics, income levels, languages, and cultures. One sure way to provide your diverse customer base with a satisfactory customer experience is to accurately source and interpret customer data.
The year has only just started, and while we can’t say what e-commerce trends will rule the year, we know that the world is in post lockdown mode. Therefore, the current customer behavior was influenced by the pandemic, which is why brands need to create a robust strategy that will help them meet their business goals and meet customer needs. At the end of the day, only brands who find a way to connect with their customers in these post lockdown e-commerce times will earn their customers’ loyalty.