With the present fundamental change in how people buy, businesses across all industries innovated at breakneck speed.
They added new web stores, adopted new technologies, and tested new strategies. most significantly, they learned tons as they embraced digital selling and discovered what their customers needed from a web shopping experience.
online shopping during the pandemic
Based on these trends and feedback from InventSuite customers, pandemic effects we identified seven key lessons that companies should deduct from 2020. We believe that it’s imperative for your business activities on them now if you haven’t already.
Lesson #1: Page load times can make or break your sales
Now that shoppers are spending longer online, they need less tolerance for slow-loading websites.
Performance problems can cause potential shoppers to abandon your site before it even loads, but these problems can produce other impacts too.
Slow page loading speeds can affect your Google search rankings—which can cause less organic traffic and lower sales. If it takes your sites three seconds or longer to load, speeding them up can quickly boost your bottom line. As a benchmark, Google itself aims for under half-a-second load time.
The practical implication of this lesson is that—if you would like to stay within the race for customers—your organization must make performance monitoring a top priority for your digital storefront.
It also means infrastructure upgrades are critical to support web traffic and online sales increases as your business grows.
Lesson #2: The casual and in-store pick-up is here to remain increase in demand for online shopping
The rapid climb of curbside pickup is one of the defining eCommerce themes of 2020. Grocery stores adapted quickly to the new system, and it proved fashionable in virtually every sort of retail business with brick-and-mortar locations.
A year later, curbside services are expanding to incorporate merchandise returns as well.
It’s clear that customers love curbside and in-store pickup and don’t want it to travel away.
As of August 2020, 43.7 percent of the 245 retailers with stores ranked within the Digital Commerce 360 Top 500 offer curbside pickup, a pointy increase from 6.9 percent at the top of 2019. Our research (Adobe) shows that 23 percent of internet buyers prefer some sort of buy online, devour in-store (BOPIS) to receiving deliveries at their homes.
The bottom line is that your customers expect curbside pickup or BOPIS, or both. If your business doesn’t already offer these options, you’ll want to start soon. InventSuite users have this provision.
Lesson #3: Mobile shopping trends still accelerate
Many folks envisioned people shopping reception from their desktop or laptop, perhaps reclined on the couch, with their feet up.
The other happened because the mobile revolution continued to point out its strength, and consumers spent even longer on their phones. Increases in phone use also led to more sales on mobile devices.
By September 2022, mobile spending is projected to account for quite 50 percent of online sales.
However, online sellers haven’t maintained the growing volume of mobile traffic.
Although mobile devices account for 60 percent of visits to eCommerce websites, they only represent 40 percent of sales.
The matter is that mobile web stores might not deliver a very excellent shopping experience. Some common issues include:
- Site speed
- Small text and pictures that need shoppers to concentrate and out
- Limited functionality which needs mobile users to modify to desktop mode
- Insufficient product information
If your mobile web store isn’t converting buyers the maximum amount as you think that it should, it’s going to be time to seem into mobile-first technologies like Progressive Web Applications (PWAs).
Additionally, to providing an “app-like” experience through any browser, PWAs can assist you to decrease page load times and increase program rankings.
For more detail about PWAs and the way businesses of all types enjoy them, see The ABCs of PWAs blog post.
impact of pandemic B2Bs that don’t sell online are going to be left behind
Like their B2C counterparts, businesses that specialize in a B2B model were also disrupted by COVID-19. In response, they turned to digital models to seek out success. This shift was dramatic.
Among those that made the move, 89% indicate they’re likely to continue with new digital methods for B2B sales going forward.
This trend accelerated in 2020 as traditional direct sales models—in which sales reps make calls to customer locations and place orders on their behalf—were turned the wrong way up. B2B businesses that added online selling are taking advantage of increased revenues. eCommerce helps them to overcome the impact of a pandemic :
Offer new, flexible selling models like subscriptions and automatic reordering, and digital products, like documentation and warranties.
- Build marketplaces for his or her resellers and distributors.
- Reach smaller businesses and buyers that don’t order enough to possess a fanatical account rep.
- Make sales reps more productive. for instance, sales reps can place orders on behalf of consumers using their eCommerce site.
- If you sell to businesses and are still oriented to an offline model, launching an eCommerce website should be at the highest of your to-do list for 2021.
Lesson #5: Direct selling and drop-shipping can fill the brick-and-mortar retail gap
Online sales accounted for 101 percent of all gains in retail in 2020, which indicates that sales through all other channels—stores, catalogs, and call centers—actually declined. This dichotomy is causing pain for manufacturers and other B2B sellers that believe brick-and-mortar retailers to maneuver their products.
Manufacturers facing declining wholesale orders and growing inventories are adopting two major strategies. the primary is creating their direct-to-consumer website. If your eCommerce platform supports both B2C and B2B web stores also as multi-site selling, starting a replacement consumer-facing web store is often a reasonably straightforward process.
The second strategy is drop-shipping, during which you fulfill orders for your products made on retailers’ websites. With this strategy, you’ll cash in on retailers’ online success without having to plug on to consumers. to form dropshipping work, however, you would like an eCommerce portal to manage relationships together with your drop-shipping partners. It also helps if your retail partners use InventSuite Commerce because it lets organizations actively manage all sources of inventory, including drop-shippers
Lesson #6: AI (AI) and augmented reality (AR) will power increasingly personalized experiences
As more companies get online and competition heats up, today’s buyers will still encounter more and more personalized experiences. Among consumers online, 36% say they need better personalization from retailers.
AI and AR can both help businesses create distinctive online experiences. AI allows organizations to supply personalized product recommendations, promotions, and content. Likewise, AR allows virtual objects to seem in real-world environments. With more people working and shopping reception, more retailers are using AR to deliver a singular and personalized experience. Some samples of AR in eCommerce include:
- Virtual makeup counters and fitting rooms
- AR-powered pop-up stores
- Virtual appliance installations—consumers see what appliances would appear as if in their house
- Virtual home showrooms—consumers see what their front room might appear as if with new furniture
- Virtual office makeovers—businesses see what a replacement coffee machine would appear as if within the break room or how new chairs might complement a room
Ideally, your commerce platform should work with both AI and AR technologies. InventSuite already offers built-in AI within the sort of Product Recommendations powered by Adobe Sensei. you’ll also find AR extensions that integrate well with InventSuite Marketplace.
Lesson #7: Everyone wants flexible payments
The pandemic reminded both businesses and consumers of the necessity to take care of their money. for instance, consumer savings increased while business capital expenditures dropped by 11.4 percent. Compounded by certain sectors of the economy facing disruption and delay, payment options that provide greater choice and adaptability are welcomed by consumers and businesses alike.
Installments, zero-interest financing, and low-interest lines of credit can all make it easier for patrons to shop for on their terms, which is why these options are so popular. Industry analysts predict the “buy now pay later” market will reach $680 billion by 2025.
With global return-to-normal expected to still be a year or more within the future, we recommend that you simply offer customers some sort of flexible payment program. If your site is made on InventSuite Commerce, inspect the InventSuite Marketplace, which offers many various flexible payment solutions.
Get ready for 2021-2022
We’re all happy that 2020 is over. But several of what eCommerce businesses learned over the last year will echo long into the longer term. If you’re taking action on the seven lessons identified during this post, you’ll be positioned to grow your business and have interaction together with your customers in a more personalized and frictionless way regardless of what 2021 brings.
If you haven’t conducted a full review of your 2020-21 performance, we propose you begin with us.