How to Prepare for E-Commerce Post-Pandemic
Published on 14 Sep
Over the years, the E-Commerce market has steadily grown, but like any emerging trend some consumers were hesitant to join in. Many people resisted online shopping in favour of the in-store experience that allowed them to view products in real time, speak to sales associates, and pay securely. But, as a result of all the restrictions and lockdowns courtesy of the COVID-19 pandemic, that has all changed. As of 2020, more people have been shopping online than ever before. Studies found that 88% of the adult American population are buying online, so much so that retail e-commerce is projected to reach nearly $5 trillion USD by the end of 2021!
As the light at the proverbial tunnel seems to near, and the restrictions are reduced, will shopping return to the way it was before COVID-19.? There’s no doubt that brick and mortar will have its resurgence, but e-commerce websites are not expected to lose any footing. So what does that mean for e-commerce websites looking to bring in new customers and compete in a changing digital landscape?
Here is what you can expect from e-commerce in a post pandemic world, and tips on how your online business can stay ahead of the curve.
More Competition Online
In addition to people shopping online more than ever, there has also been an increase in businesses competing online. The pandemic saw an increase in at-home businesses and innovation, as people confined to their homes tried out new hobbies and honed in their skills which many transformed into small businesses. At the same time, existing retailers that had been exclusively in-store, were forced to adapt to be able to connect with customers when brick and mortar stores were closed. As a result of both, the online sphere, while important, is crowded with competitors, meaning that e-commerce companies would have to work incredibly hard to develop a stand out e-commerce website and be more aggressive with their digital marketing strategies to win business online.
An e-commerce website has the best chance to maintain market share and outperform competitors when backed by a custom digital marketing strategy that uses a mix of channels to grow brand awareness and convert more sales. You can leverage search engine optimization, PPC Marketing, Social Media Marketing, Content Marketing, and standout website development. Or, you can contact a local digital marketing agency to get the support of professional online marketing specialists to optimize your digital strategy in order to maximize results.
Flexible Shopping Options
As brick and mortar stores reopen, online shopping won’t decline, but e-commerce websites will have to be more strategic about appealing to rising customer expectations. During the pandemic, consumers have had a taste of what flexibility in terms of shopping could be like, from virtual try-ons to curbside pick up and delivery, and they do not expect to go back.
To keep up with heightened consumer expectations, retailers and businesses looking to enhance flexibility and convenience for shoppers can work with an e-commerce website development company to build more than just an online store, they can develop mobile apps with diverse functionality and so much more. At Xi Digital, our website and app design teams use market research, industry insights, and consumer profiles to help determine what technology will attract and retain customers for you. To get the word out there about your unique offering, you can call the Xi Digital team for a full range of digital marketing services as well.
Intuitive User Experience
When it comes to choosing your e-commerce website over a competitor, one of the most influential factors in the decision making process is the user experience. If an online store is too difficult to navigate through, the potential customers will leave and make a purchase elsewhere. Seemingly minor elements of a ecommerce website design can impact the user experience, so it can be helpful to work with a highly-recommended e-commerce website development team to create a user-friendly and smart interface. Some things online shoppers are looking for include the ability to search entire catalogues, easy-to-use product filters, seamless and secure payment options, as well as fast page load speeds.A positive user experience will keep customers coming back.
Online Order Tracking & Trustbuilding
During the pandemic businesses learned how vulnerable supply chains were to disruption. While it can be difficult to ensure that you will always receive shipments of products or raw materials promptly, it’s important to be transparent with customers about the status of their order. The on-demand market that catapulted companies like Uber, Netflix, and Amazon to success, have set the tone for increased customer-visibility. Even if there is a long transit time, customers want to see what is happening to their package after they pay for it. If there are shipping delays or unexpected disruptions to a timely arrival, that should be communicated as it builds trust.
Working with an e-Commerce development team, you can create an app or website functionality that enables you to share updates related to delivery times and stock availability directly with customers. It can also be helpful to feature stock availability right on your e-commerce website, so that as online shoppers browse products they know what the stakes are right up front. These features that enhance transparency builds trust between online retailers and shoppers.
E-Commerce will surely continue to grow stronger in the coming years. So get your online business prepared with high-end, cutting-edge website development and digital marketing strategies that will keep your business competitive and thriving post-pandemic.