eCommerce Post Pandemic
The COVID 19 pandemic has resulted in major changes in many aspects of our lives. In addition to the health concerns of the pandemic, many brands have experienced the impact of COVID 19 on their brands, the industry, and eCommerce overall.
Since the onset of the pandemic, many physical stores have closed doors, as lockdowns kept many potential shoppers quarantined at home. To obtain essential items, consumers turned to online shopping. According to data from IBM’s U.S. Retail Index, the pandemic accelerated the pivot from physical stores to digital shopping by roughly five years.
Understanding emerging eCommerce trends has always been important to long-term business success online but has become much more prevalent in the wake of COVID’s unparalleled disruption of all things eCommerce.
Unfortunately, it appears as though COVID still isn’t behind us just yet. Though life may have begun to return to normal, the lasting effects of the pandemic have become the new normal. Looking back at how COVID affected businesses can help us better appreciate why it’s so important to pay attention to eCommerce trends. Should disruptions to everyday life return, this understanding can prepare us for a second round.
Back in 2019, we had no idea what the following year would bring us, but there were people in the eCommerce world who had considered the trends that might emerge. Let’s take a look back at what the state of eCommerce looked like before COVID hit.
Back in 2019, the Amazon Effect was as powerful as ever. Online retailers around the globe felt the pressure to keep pace with the many ways Amazon continued to grow its revenue. Amazon invested billions into offering 1-day shipping to its Prime members at no extra cost. This was after two-day shipping for Prime members helped it rule eCommerce since that offering was implemented back in 2005.
Amazon’s shipping times were already a massive competitive edge, so making them even faster was big news. Not surprisingly, two of Amazon’s biggest competitors, Target and Walmart, countered with similar one-day shipping plans soon after this news was announced.
In hindsight, these developments could not have come at a better time, as many of us would soon depend on these shipping plans once our usual in-person shopping was no longer possible.
Another trend that picked up steam in 2019 – and also just in time for impending lockdowns – was BOPIS (Buy online, pick up in-store). With BOPIS, customers can shop online, make their purchases online, and then go pick up those items without having to troll the aisles and wait in line to check out. The genius of BOPIS is that any local retailer can offer the service. All they need is a website and an in-store pickup extension to convert customers who want their products right away.
Many grocery stores took this a step further and offered curbside pickup, making it even easier for customers to buy from them. On the other hand, many digital brands realized the potential for having a brick-and-mortar presence as well, prior to the global pandemic. Many of these online companies tested the concept with popup shops, while others jumped right in with legitimate brick-and-mortar stores.
By the end of 2019, there were more than 1,700 stores owned by digital brands all over the country. But once again, this is the kind of business decision that no longer needs to be complicated or expensive.
The first step is to understand how eCommerce can increase efficiency and productivity in your business while also reducing costs. ABCO Systems has years of expertise in the design and development of eCommerce solutions that can make your eCommerce goals to happen. You know your product – we know distribution design. Let us help you bring your product to the eCommerce market.