The digital world has been fast-forwarded, and the future of e-commerce is governed by new roles, expectations, and priorities. In the post-pandemic world, e-commerce has completely transformed and became a profitable option for many businesses.
Previously in the e-commerce industry, the direct-to-consumer (D2C) became relatively popular among the customers giving them access to brands to engage with the clients directly.
Despite the success of D2C, trends have shifted towards integrating digital technologies to accelerate the organization’s capabilities and bringing e-commerce sales to an all-time high. Due to the continued impact of digitalization on B2B and B2C, extreme changes have been observed in customer expectations and behavior.
The cherry on top, Covid-19 brought tough times for the sellers. This global pandemic triggered the digitalization of e-commerce driving more than 260 million Americans to purchase goods that they never purchased online.
Driving Forces behind Digital Transformation
As the world is constantly changing, businesses need to keep up with these constant changes in technologies. In order to sustain and grow in the existing digital era and focus on attracting consumers, today, e-commerce is much more than a sales channel. It works on creating a consistent customer experience and meeting the customers’ demands online in a much better way. Before knowing about the latest trends, let’s first understand the driving forces that led towards this digital transformation.
Rising Customer’s Expectations
Today, customers are expecting more personalized experiences in a range of channels. They enjoy using apps and want their shopping baskets to travel from one device to another. To succeed in the industry, brands are required to take an omnichannel approach and improve the customers’ experience online. If businesses want to increase their brand sales and presence in the market, they need to satisfy their customer base.
Need for Creating A Strong Online Presence
An increasing number of brands are now opting for D2C (Direct to Consumer) instead of implementing wholesale marketing strategies. The brands that do a better job in making it easier for the consumers to make purchases online are likely to win over those who have beautiful and intricate stores, but people don’t know how to shop on them.
These new consumer behaviors have reshaped the future of retail, benefiting both the companies and buyers. Brands are receiving more profits by going without a mediator, and consumers get to interact directly with the brand. A strong online market presence and robust branding are the need of the hour, helping the brands to boost their business sales.
Buyer’s looking for New Products Online
According to the Master Thesis UK, a surprising amount of people are always searching for reviews and information related to the services a company provides. You will even find such consumers that are searching for new products online and then make their final purchase from the brick and mortar store. Customers are always expecting to find up-to-date and relevant information online.
E-commerce was solely driven by convenience and transactions. But with technological advancements, more and more companies are striving to build their online presence and improve the customer’s experience. Since then, the face of e-commerce begins to change, and it has focused on adapting new technologies.
Today, customers are using trending technologies with ease and expect the same from brands. As consumers are using mobile phones for buying products online, read reviews and compare them with other brands, it is becoming increasingly important for companies to create a user-friendly and responsive e-commerce site.
Covid 19- A turning point for Digital and E-commerce
The global pandemic brought a halt to the economic activity causing the brands to suffer a huge loss. In the middle of this, there has been a huge shift observed in consumer purchase behavior, increasing online shopping and accelerating the trend of digital and e-commerce. Covid-19 has no doubt changed the way we make purchases. 48.8% of consumers say we expect that they’ll continue to shop online.
With a high demand for convenience, brands are making it easier to check out in-person shopping experiences into virtual experiences and experimenting with augmented reality and 3D modeling. This pandemic proved to be a wake-up call for businesses to align their digital commerce strategy and give importance to improving online consumer experiences and meeting their demands.
Huge Shift to Online Shopping
Lockdown has become the new normal, and we are living in times of uncertainty. A lot of businesses have experienced a huge fall in their sales, while some of them, like e-commerce companies, earned more profits. Due to this greater shift in online purchasing, many companies and businesses went digital, increasing the overall share of e-commerce in the global retail market by 14% to 17% in 2020.
E-commerce helped brands to sustain their customers and increase their sales using a digital platform. Pandemic has surged the pace of digital commerce, and it is not going to return to its previous state even if we are back to normalcy.
Digital Readiness by Government
In some of the countries, the government responded and took active measures to help the businesses to work on recovering the loss in their sales and protect their businesses.
For example, the government of Costa Rica has initiated an online platform for their businesses to create an active online presence, a texting facility, and a smartphone application that allows the agricultural, meat, and other food traders to sell the products online. This is expected to impact the future of purchasing and accelerate digital commerce.
Maintaining and Expanding Sales
Although digital transformation has been the focus of many businesses, Covid-19 forced the marketers to adapt and move the companies from analog to digital, with most of the customer touch points having a digital footprint.
Before this crisis, online sales continued to play the role of the second fiddle as many people prefer in-store shopping. But, the situation forced the businesses to refocus their sales strategy and make use of e-commerce and social media for successfully converting their in-store sales to online.
Benefits and Impact of E-commerce Digital Transformation
When we refer to digital transformation, the first thought we have is adapting to new technologies. Cutting-edge technologies are helping businesses to accommodate the new consumer expectations and prepare themselves for market disruptions. According to Melissa, working as a marketing strategist and also copes with the students’ request to do my assignment for me suggested that “A large number of organizations accelerate their digital transformation in 2020 and many of them were successful”.
Contrary to this, many companies felt overwhelmed by the digital transformation and erroneously believed it’s improved technology. Instead of fearing the organizational change, businesses must try to understand the benefits of digital transformation in e-commerce and try to adopt the change management with a sense of opportunity and adventure. As the organization’s budgets remain limited, they need to make full use of the resources they have. E-commerce is an automation system that will allow the employees to focus more on building customer relationships and less time on unproductive tasks.
Just as SEO optimization is important for website ranking and driving traffic to your website, conversation rate optimization converts visitors into buyers. So, when brands implement effective CRO frameworks on their e-commerce sites, it is intended to improve their user experience increases the pace of consumer purchases.
E-commerce Revolution 2021 and Beyond
The upward trend in digital commerce is gaining popularity and will continue to accelerate. This isn’t a buzzword or a trend that will diminish with time but a revolution in the digital age. As we move into the future, we are moving into the new era of sales and customer interaction. At the same time, it is getting challenging to keep the attention of a customer and make your products appealing to them. Digital transformation helps brands to stand apart in this competitive environment.
Don’t think that digital e-commerce transformation is only re-platforming to a new system, but it comes with any challenges. Plus, if you select the wrong e-commerce platform for your business, it can have a disastrous impact on your business. It can result in customizations, patches, workarounds, and extensions just to sustain their relationships with customers leaving very little time for growth.
When your organization plans for digital transformation, it is important for you to get everyone on the same page. This allows the marketers to develop an effective strategy that increases their chances of success and addresses business or industry-specific problems. So, if you are ready to make a digital transformation, try to choose the right e-commerce platform and tools that prepare you for the challenging future. Understanding the needs of you customer will help you in your journey of digital transformation.