There is no denying that the COVID-19 pandemic has had a huge impact on life as we know it. This is also true for the world of eCommerce. With consumers shopping online in greater numbers many believe this trend will be here to stay long after the pandemic is over. Customer behavior has fundamentally been changed for good which means businesses are looking for new ways to keep their customers happy.
With the pandemic propelling eCommerce forward years, some trends have emerged in the process. Here are a few we expect to see continue into 2021!
Ecommerce Sales Continue to Rise
Throughout 2020 eCommerce sales saw a steady level of growth. With people stuck inside many were searching for alternative ways to entertain themselves and turned to online shopping to do so. However, during the holiday season, this is where the true significant growth became visible. With brick and mortar stores closed over big holiday events like black Friday and Christmas, eCommerce sales produced record-breaking results.
With the pandemic still causing lockdowns around the world, eCommerce sales are predicted to continue to grow. Although there is still huge uncertainty surrounding what the pandemics’ lasting effects will be exactly, there are a few things we can predict. During the lockdown, we began to see a “treat yourself” mentality emerge that progressed throughout the pandemic. This saw spending habits increase and change with different types of products gaining popularity. A survey conducted by UNCTAD and Netcomm Suisse eCommerce Association revealed that online purchases increased by 6 to 10 percentage points across most product categories in 2020. This behaviour is most likely to continue into 2021 as restrictions remain tight.
Furthermore, many have suggested that people will continue to shop online even after the pandemic is behind us. This may be a result of more people getting comfortable with the use of digital spaces and realizing the ease and convenience that accompanies them. This means that businesses will need to continue to update and improve their digital presence and ensure channels of communication are present for consumers.
Buy Now Pay Later
The pandemic has no doubt affected individuals in their own ways. Many are now looking for flexible and responsible payment methods as a cause and effect. As people’s preferences for payments are changing, a new player in the payment game is rising in popularity. Buy now pay later payment plans are increasingly being used by consumers and businesses alike. As a result, this is a trend we are likely to see continue into 2021.
Some have even suggested that this may even become a preferred way for consumers to pay. Buy now and pay later allows customers to spread the cost of items over the span of an agreed upon date. This means that products that may have previously been too expensive or unattainable could now be easily purchased. Businesses have indeed seen the value in this as cart value is likely to increase resulting in larger online sales.
The pandemic altered consumers’ behaviors in 2020 forcing them and the retailers to move to a digital space. As a result of this, businesses needed to focus on an omnichannel strategy that met the needs of these customers who were now shopping online.
An omnichannel strategy in simple terms refers to focusing on a seamless customer experience across multiple channels. Whether that be online, in-store, or social media. This will also help businesses gain that all important understanding of the evolving customers’ shopping habits to better ensure a seamless interaction. As we are now seeing more consumers likely to shop across multiple channels this trend is predicted to continue to grow throughout 2021.
The shift online opened up many opportunities for businesses willing to rise to the challenge. Therefore, 2020 saw many large tech companies adapting their strategies to move into the eCommerce market. Facebook was one of these very companies that did just that introducing Facebook and Instagram shops. As more major players introduce social shopping we will begin to see a huge change in the way people shop online. Consumers will be able to make purchases from whatever social platform they like without ever having to leave it. In other words, becoming a “one-stop-shop.”
Another trend that will take the spotlight in 2021 is the ability to pay within a chat conversation itself. With simplicity and efficiency at the forefront of everyone’s minds these days, you couldn’t ask for a more perfect addition! Businesses will be able to keep customers in the conversation by handling all payments on one platform. Not only does this allow for great customer experiences but it has the potential to increase sales. This trend will be an exciting one to follow as 2021 unfolds.
With these trends looking to be prevalent in 2021, one thing is clear. Businesses must be well equipped to deal with rising consumers’ demands on digital channels. Not only can we help connect you to your customers but we can also introduce you to the world of conversational commerce through in-chat pay.
Contact Us to discover how!