The continued pandemic of 2020 rocked the world — for good and bad. While we all implemented social distancing measures and new policies and procedures, we saw an unprecedented explosion of e-commerce growth.
While these shifts were projected as temporary, it’s clear that consumer behavior isn’t changing. Categories like food and beverages, along with necessities, are experiencing a permanent shift, and will continue to remain partly online for the time being, if not for good. According to Forbes, this idea is being backed by 74% of global retail and consumer brand professionals, as they project the e-commerce market to expand by one trillion dollars in the next four years.
Why? The two main reasons shopping online has become even more popular are convenience and an increased focus on personal hygiene with social distancing.
Through the demand for items like groceries, loungewear, computer desks, tech items, and other necessities, the e-commerce industry also noticed the need for intelligent technologies during the shipping, sorting, and packaging processes.
As the saying goes, if you’re not first, you’re last. This society is no stranger to quick, fast, and convenient shipping, and the continued evolution of retail proves that. Items that are considered essentials are being ordered by millennials, and are in the top growing e-commerce product categories. Now products that would normally only be purchased at a brick and mortar locations like beauty products and produce are being purchased en masse by the younger generation, making efficient delivery paramount.
With the intensified online competition, the e-commerce industry saw big plays being made to retain their existing customers and recruit new ones through loyalty programs, subscription models, promotions, and expansions of products.
Through these measures, significant players could leverage themselves with existing customers and shut out the retailers who hadn’t quite jumped on the technology bandwagon.
So, how can you buy some security to prepare for a future crisis? The bold companies that embrace new technologies and new realities — whatever they might be — are the ones who emerge as market leaders.
Taking action now is the key to preventing another surprise in the wake of another crisis. While unprecedented circumstances aren’t predictable, you can prepare your business to be resilient and sustainable.
The following recommendations are critical to consider when responding to a new reality:
Revisit your business model’s foundation and make sure it’s still valid within the new e-commerce reality. Ask yourself if the current plan is sustainable in the event of another crisis. According to Forbes when polling business executives, “[o]nly one-third said that they primarily think of digital business models when they think about digitization”. This illustrates a large gap in the merchant-customer relationship.
Do you understand how and why your (new) customers purchase the way they do? A simple, human-centered user experience is key to providing a straightforward and efficient shopping experience across devices.
By enhancing these experiences, you can take a great physical store experience and recreate a seamless digital connection online. To make this endeavor a successful one, recruiting new talent and investing in your current culture will be essential.
Do you have what it takes to move, ship, and sort inventory quickly and efficiently? Creating a customer-centric supply chain will cater to more robust product availability, faster delivery, and easier returns. This will also translate your customer needs to the supply chain process by creating value for the end consumer with every dollar spent.
If your e-commerce platform crashes at every new product availability, consider expanding capacity limits to prepare for increasing consumer flow.
Invest in advanced technology to ensure great (and automated) customer interactions via chat and recommendations.
COVID-19 has permanently reshaped e-commerce as we know, separating the winners from the rest. Prepare your business by updating your business model, customer experience track, and platforms to sustain itself through another crisis.
We produce technology in the form of solenoids that actuate and provide sources of movement. This is a pivotal part in the supply chain process, giving power and speed to material handling and sorting applications necessary to drive faster e-commerce transactions. Not only does this give companies who use our tech in their applications a competitive edge, we help drive cost efficiency by making durable equipment and reducing downtime.
For more information please contact us.