It’s been a major year for ecommerce as consumers shifted online due to the pandemic. Ecommerce sales grew by over 30% this year alone, driven by unusual consumer demand during the global pandemic COVID-19. Many consumers were forced to shift to shopping online as government advised people to stay at home. This has caused tremendous growth in the sector.
Ecommerce ecosystem has been accelerated due to the pandemic – from increased overall sales to new opportunities in many areas. According to a source, the online ecosystem will continue to move forward in this coming year. Let’s take a look at ecommerce trends that experts think will hold for the industry in 2021.
1. Ecommerce retailers adapting to more flexible payment options
With more of consumers shopping online in a post-COVID-19 era, 2021 will see ecommerce retailers offer customers greater choice when shopping online. All retailers will seek ways to make online shopping convenience. Convenience is driving ecommerce growth and improve shopping online experience. This includes the way consumers pay for and receive their purchases.
Retailers need to offer a range of third-party and secure payment options. Meaning, offering more than just traditional cards options to emerging payment methods such as e-wallets. E-wallet is one of the fastest growing payment trends in Malaysia and retailers should look into it. They can unlock the full spending potential of their customer base in the year ahead.
2. Exploring messaging apss as ecommerce channel
As predicted, in coming year, forward-thinking retailers will embrace popular messaging apps like WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger and Instagram Direct Messenger – which have been chronically underused as ecommerce channels.
Consumers want simpler ways to sho and with technologies that we have today like AI, this can help retailers create seamless purchase experiences. Take a look at China for example, which is leading the shift toward new ways of shopping online. The whole process of discovering a new product or experience, buying or booking it and everything can take place in WeChat app. Purchasing via apps is the new future of shopping.
3. Investing in after-sale services
The customer experience after purchasing doesn’t stop after payment. Retailers need to put effort on the after-sale services too. Some consumers had experienced problems with delivery and returns which make them having bad experience with the retailer.
For coming year, let’s hope that retailers prioritise and invest in online order fulfilment that really does deliver their brand to the door. Automation, hyper-personalisation and customer-centric returns will be three areas of focus.
Besides, some customers have different comfort levels and preferences when it comes to how they receive goods that they purchase online. You should consider providing options to consumers such as ship from store, pickup in store option or cash on delivery.
4. Effective method of digital advertising
It’s undeniable that ecommerce has been expanded due to the pandemic. Therefore, the competition has expanded too. Companies and agencies that are able to lead innovation for advertising content will reap higher and higher rewards.
Digital content has become increasingly important and this was true before the pandemic. But, as with so many other things the pandemic really accelerated this investment. Retailers that didn’t adapt their business model to make the most out of online advertising prior the pandemic left with only two ends – either went out of business or learned a very tough lesson.
5. Re-adjust business model
While social distancing may conclude in the near future, the psychological impact of the pandemic on consumers will be permanent. This led to a lot of new opportunities for innovative entrepreneurs. Ecommerce niches that previously had low traction may now become lucrative playing fields. For example, demand for sanitization and goods focused on keeping individual safe from future outbreaks like rubber gloves, face masks and so on. It won’t be surprised to see a popular demand on sanitation and become a dominant player.