What We’ve Learned About eCommerce During Coronavirus
Bernard Chukwuneke | Development Lead
As brick and mortar businesses shutter in response to the coronavirus pandemic, companies of all sizes — from mom-and-pop stores to multinational corporations — have had to adjust to how their customers purchase goods and services. Here’s what we learned from the meteoric rise in eCommerce.
Current State of Online Shopping
According to Forbes, U.S. retailers’ online year-over-year (YOY) revenue has grown by 68 percent as of mid-April. Experts attribute this increase in revenue to a 129 percent surge in YOY online orders resulting from worldwide stay-at-home orders, which made online shopping the only option for many consumers. The early weeks of the COVID-19 crisis sent Amazon’s sales soaring, from $60 billion during the first quarter of 2019 to $75.5 billion during this year’s first quarter.
ECommerce spending has increased over 30 percent from this time last year, according to market research firm Rakuten Intelligence. Retail sales are up for leisure activity materials like books and toys, work out equipment and home improvement tools. So businesses that sell these products have a timely opportunity to expand their online presence and product offerings.
ECommerce giants like Target and Walmart have reaped the great rewards in profits during stay-at-home orders with reported YOY growth of nearly 400 percent and over 200 percent respectively.
By investing in leading-edge technology to enhance online shopping experience for customers, businesses who are able to pivot and prioritize eCommerce solutions are out-performing competitors who are late to embrace online operations.
Experts anticipate that this rise in online purchasing is here to stay and will become the new normal even after the pandemic has passed, so there are still opportunities for small businesses and corporations alike to make the transition to eCommerce and leverage martech in their operations. As a result of this change in consumer behavior, companies should heavily consider investing in their digital storefront strategies.
ECommerce Platforms Are Adapting
If your company is transitioning your business online for the first time or if you’re looking to enhance your current online store experience, many of the largest eCommerce platforms, such as Shopify, Amazon and BigCommerce, have announced initiatives to aid small businesses in selling their products and services online.
Regardless of which platform you choose, if your eCommerce site is not optimized for users, you may run into issues like high abandoned cart and bounce rates.
After reporting a 45 percent increase in first-time customers for the eCommerce shops they host, Shopify announced during their Reunite 2020 Livestream a host of new features that aim to minimize the pain points for those moving their business operations online.
With Shopify Local Delivery, shop owners are able to ship products locally without having to face complex logistical hurdles. Plus, the new financial tools in Shopify Balance help small business owners access the capital they need to manage their finances while Shop Pay allows customers to purchase items on payment plans.
Similarly, Amazon — the omnipresent giant of eCommerce — shared its own plans to aid small businesses, and in doing so, secured its position as an indispensable player in online consumer goods. In May, Amazon partnered with Vogue and the Council of Fashion Designers of America to debut a digital storefront that enables shoppers to browse and purchase trending items from high-end independent designers and clothiers.
BigCommerce also recognized that consumers are willing, and even eager, to spend money online despite the COVID-19 crisis. In response, BigCommerce is offering assistance to new businesses taking their operations online, including three free months of hosting on their platform, reducing transaction fees to zero percent, and releasing an Advanced Marketing Toolkit to help shop owners get their products in front of their customers and cultivate ongoing relationships with consumers.
Elevate Your eCommerce Approach
With such a drastic change in how consumers purchase goods and services, businesses that fail to adapt to the new normal will be left behind. Every business that has not yet done so should reconsider their online presence and operations with renewed urgency. Embracing mobile delivery platforms or implementing buy online and pick up in-store (BOPIS) options are only the beginning of revolutionizing your approach to successful eCommerce.
In order to capitalize on this time of unprecedented online purchasing, all entrepreneurs, from small businesses to corporations, should consider implementing custom solutions to online advertising and commerce operations. Those who shift toward eCommerce as their primary apparatus for their business may find that converting to online reduces operational costs and increases profits.
For those ready to take their eCommerce strategy to the next level, Integrity Web Consulting is a leader in advising businesses on their operational strategies. Whether it’s building a search-engine-optimized eCommerce storefront or implementing an omnichannel marketing approach, we have the expertise and knowledge to guide your business to success in the post-coronavirus digital economy. Contact us today.
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