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The performance of e-commerce has boomed in the past few years. Concerns about the future of brick-and-mortar forms of retailing have risen already. The retailers are adapting to the trend faster than anyone has ever imagined, responding to the behavorial shifts of the customers. It would be wrong to pin the cause of this rising trend of e-commerce on the pandemic alone since it has been trending since long before. The pandemic might have acted as a final turn of the screw.
The market is experiencing an e-commerce explosion. Lockdowns have prompted a hasty response from the retailers for catering to the existing customer needs. While it started off as a necessity (which it still is), from the business perspective it has opened new avenues for brilliant future prospects. Right now, for most of us, online transactions are the norms of life. We practically live on the internet.
Here are 5 latest key trends observed in e-commerce:
1. There has been a record rise in e-commerce competition fuelled by many new retailers and existing retailers shifting their business to online. Many traditional retailers have been compelled to shift online for the sake of their business.
2. There is a growing consumer desire for online shopping, mainly due to the pandemic now. Items that were usually bought and sold offline are now demanded and made available online. This means there are new product categories, amplifying the e-commerce platform.
3. A steady rise in consumer fulfillment features like free and fast delivery is noticed. This has resulted in multiplying demands, therefore boosting online platforms more than ever.
4. Building a brand has gained significance as customers are willing to pay for brands with a purpose and unique customized collections.
5. The priority is pinned on customer retention, leading to an increase in customer acquisition costs. Rewards and incentives are used to indulge spending. Brands are constantly pushing boundaries to stay in the game while combating the rising acquisition cost.
What drives the e-commerce explosion?
1. Innovation and Comfort
Way before the pandemic, online shopping was treated as something new. Not every individual felt comfortable with the idea of virtual shopping but millennials embraced the innovation with much enthusiasm. The comfort of buying without the hazards of venturing out was too tempting to avoid. It almost became a norm when the GenZs came into the scene with their innate awareness about the virtual world.
2. Growing use of digital devices
This would mainly involve the use of smartphones which everyone has access to. With a smartphone in hand, people are ready to buy (and sell) at any point in time easily. All e-commerce platforms come with a mobile-friendly interface to facilitate the buying process. Online payment has never been easier with mobile-friendly apps. Besides, people have access to the knowledge of so many brands via social media. The widespread integration of smartphones into the lifestyle has undoubtedly contributed to the growth of e-commerce.
3. Lower cost
The cheaper costs have always been a motivation for consumer buying. There are strong reasons which make online products cheaper than those in offline stores. The brick-and-mortar stores need more investments for establishing as well as maintaining while online stores are way more cost-effective. This is also the reason why they can offers rewards and incentives to rope in more customers.
4. Rising Homepreneurs
This is a gift of the modern world. Many people, especially women, have been able to achieve fulfillment from home because of the online opportunities. We have many start-ups in recent years, some of which bloomed into successful businesses. We people coming on Facebook live with their products directly from home. There has been a prominent growth in the apparel industry with regard to online buying and selling this way. The concept of minimum investment and maximum profit is truly reflected in the idea of homepreneurs.
The world did come to a halt when the virus hit, with people locked up in their homes. But this was the opportunity to unfold the full potential of e-commerce transactions. This is the period that witnessed a drastic acceleration in the growth of online transactions. Even those who had reservations about e-retailing were left with no choice but to make a hasty shift. A majority of the population became solely dependent on online buying going out was no longer an option. This is also the time when people became more aware of personal hygiene and home care products. Demand for newer product categories like protective layers and disinfectants has made way for many profitable business opportunities.
There is no way we are getting over the changes that were flung upon us. The pre-pandemic world is now a thing of the past, the new normal is not so much new anymore. E-commerce is now a part and parcel of our lives. It has proved most effective for both the customers and the retailers. Going global is one of the important achievements of e-commerce alongside easy marketing and managing. The future of e-commerce is soaring high, with the strongest possibility of complete control over the market.