With the first half of 2020 coming to a close, businesses have started to realize that the entire landscape of commerce is changing. The pandemic saw several massive chain stores shut up shop due to lack of sales and underscored how crucial investing eCommerce is to companies going forward. In this article, we’ll explore some of the elements that are on the horizon that may reshape eCommerce in the latter half of the year.
1) Data & AI
Probably the most critical factor in customer research today is the availability of data and the use of artificial intelligence in processing it. GeekWire mentions that customer buying trends have changed since the start of the pandemic. It also highlights a pattern in what those consumers are buying. Data and AI can potentially reshape how eCommerce businesses operate and allow them to pivot towards more lucrative markets. In the online world of eCommerce, getting there a week faster than your competition gives you a massive advantage.
2) Skilled Digital Commerce Practitioners
Because the field of eCommerce is still relatively new to some businesses, they aren’t aware of what works and what doesn’t. The shelter-on-place orders that fueled the sector’s burgeoning have also caused companies to search for experts in digital commerce. These skilled individuals already know what works and what doesn’t when it comes to eCommerce. It doesn’t matter if you’re one of the best leather furniture brands or a small retailer looking for the perfect niche. These individuals know what works and what doesn’t, and their expertise comes from having done it before.
3) The Amazon Factor
The Wall Street Journal mentions that Amazon’s revenue jumped 26% from last year, simply because of the number of online sales happening during the pandemic. In a world with Amazon, it seems strange to be focusing on brand mechanics when buyers simply go there first. However, that’s precisely WHY a brand should stand out. Savvy buyers that understand a brand and recognize it would be more inclined to buy from the brand’s site than on Amazon, fueling salves and cutting off the rip-offs that exist on Amazon in one fell swoop.
4) Growing Customer Relationships
In keeping with the development of a brand, customer relationships form an essential part of establishing the brand’s presence and promise. Customer experience, therefore, is key to retaining those customers. Adobe mentions that 41% of a business’s income is due to 8% of its customers and that 8% is almost all made up of repeat customers. Building customer relationships through content on the site and social media outreach has the potential to reshape how its consumers see the business. This focus on customer relationships will lead to more consumers returning to shop at the company’s store page.
5) Avoiding the Recession
With so many people being retrenched thanks to the impact of shelter-in-place orders, the economy seems very shaky. For brick and mortar stores, this could be disastrous. There is a recession coming, of that there is no doubt, but businesses need to plan how to navigate the storm. As we mentioned before, customer experience can grow consumer relationships, and its these relationships that will help a business navigate through the uncertain period to come. Companies will need to depend on their loyal customers in the second half of 2020 more than they have ever had to before.
What Do We Expect?
There’s no definite outline of what we’ll see in the coming six months. Signs are that unemployment rates will skyrocket, and the economy will take a pounding because of it. Large companies may be able to withstand the buffeting, but eCommerce brands that create a plan may also be able to weather the storm. If they do, then this coming economic slowdown may be a godsend, since it will limit competition from other brands. The only catch is that they have to survive to see the light at the end of the tunnel.