Humans witnessed a complete turnaround in all aspects of life due to COVID-19. We have begun interpreting and understanding things from a very perceptive point of view. As the world went for a complete lockdown from the start of 2020, we were overburdened with new and complicated challenges to be faced following the pandemic.
COVID-19 has paved a new direction to the business market. It is evident that brands have adapted to the newly introduced trends of online businesses and these trends have proved quite promising to the new business environment.
Conventional business activities have died down. Brands have become smarter as they have learnt the art of “being effective” by taking advantage of the new advancements. Taking E-commerce as the pathway, businesses have gained huge momentum in online selling. The best part is that they keep trying to set new trends like chatbot marketing that reinforce quick engagement and convenience for the audience which consumers have longed for.
However, in this article, we will have an insight into the predictions given by experts and how these predictions will shape the eCommerce market in the post-COVID era.
1. Online selling will be at its peak
We are spending more time in front of screens than ever. Statistics show that an average consumer spends 25 more minutes on mobile phones in 2020-21 as compared to 2019. Hence it is a great opportunity for brands to increase engagement with their target audience more favourably.
Take it this way: lockdowns have forced us to move to online purchasing, so even if COVID-19 is over we will still look for products to buy online.
A 14.3% increase in eCommerce retail sales was recorded in 2020 and it is highly likely that the e-commerce industry will hit the 5 trillion dollar landmark this year.
Arne Stamer from My Package Tracking has some further tips for onliner sellers:
"As an online seller, it's important to be aware of the increasing customer demands for great experience. In today's digital age, customers are used to having a wealth of information and options at their fingertips, and they expect a similar level of service when they purchase goods or services online. As a result, it's essential to provide a positive and seamless customer experience in order to be successful. This means being responsive to questions and concerns, providing clear and accurate information, and ensuring that transactions are processed quickly and smoothly. By meeting or exceeding customers' expectations, you can create loyal and repeat customers who will be instrumental to your success."
2. Management tools and platforms will become more common
Brands have realized that without management tools and softwares, they wouldn't be able to measure or analyze their progress over a time period. Online businesses are pushing ahead with digital transformation.
More than 81% of businesses have reported that they would increase the social media marketing budget if they are able to track the ROI.
Now imagine the potential growth in the use of management tools and there is no doubt they’ll become extremely common with companies investing in them more than ever with the expected reach up to $25bn by the year 2023.
Social media management tools will be used to their fullest potential as they have proved to be useful in strategic planning, monitoring, controlling and scheduling.
3. New methods will be introduced to minimize human to human interaction
Restaurants and cafes are making arrangements to minimize dine-in considering the dangers of COVID-19. They are encouraging home deliveries, drive thru’s etc. So, if you manage a restaurant, consider implementing these tactics for more revenues from your restaurant or cafe. Another reason for this is that they have found a reason to become more cost-effective and minimize their overhead.
The online gym training concept has been introduced in which instructors take online training sessions on Zoom, LiveWebinar, or Google meet.
It’s safe to say that if there’s any possible way for a business to offer their services remotely, For example, 85% of marketers considered webinars to be a key part of their marketing efforts in 2020. They’ll try to use a webinar platform to make it happen. Consumers aren’t going to immediately be willing to go back to the way things were pre-COVID, and long-term, many people now realize that a lot of things can be offered remotely. Along the same lines, businesses’ reliance on remote team management and project management tools will increase.
4. Shopify’s dominance will expand, and they will pose increasingly as a threat to Amazon’s eCommerce market share
COVID-19 acted as a catalyst that gave a massive boost to online businesses. Not only were consumers interested in online purchases, but huge organizations became more eager to fulfil this wave of increasing demand. It helped to reach potential customers and turn leads into conversions.
Shopify stepped up its game through collaborations and partnerships with other organizations. Shopify increased its market share a great deal giving good competition to the king of eCommerce, Amazon.
Experts have predicted that Shopify's development won't be troubled any time soon. With unemployment at such a higher rate, many took this as an opportunity to start their own online stores. Shopify announced that the number of new stores on their platform increased by 62% between march of 2019 till May. This shows the continuing expansion of Shopify mainly because of the strong cybersecurity they provide. A report tells, 90% of total login attempts to websites of online retailers are from hackers, therefore it is expected that Shopify will further spread their wings in the field of eCommerce with no competition.
5. Content marketing will become even more important
As google predicted that in the year 2040, 95% of shopping will be done online which means the effects of this pandemic will change consumer behaviour. Buyers, particularly those of more youthful ages, favour organizations and brands that address them on a human level. That is the brands that aren't continually attempting to sell them something. Consumers want interactive content that they can relate to on a personal level.
For this, content marketing is to go for. Secondly, consistent content plays a key role in keeping the audience engaged and lead generation.
From facilitating live-streams, visually engaging content supported by blog content to sending smart messages and customized SMS marketing correspondence, there are numerous approaches to make your client feel esteemed. Brands that perceive this will be better situated in "questionable occasions", yet in addition when times are more steady.
6. Small online businesses will continue to grow
Amazon has been leading the world of eCommerce for decades, but now it faces immense competition from small online businesses. The rise of small businesses turned out to be the outcome of COVID-19. Since online businesses became the need of the time, small businesses quickly grew huge in numbers due to increasing demand. Also, employees that lost their jobs due to the COVID crisis, took the leap and started their very own online stores.
It is very easy to create an online store thanks to Shopify. You can even design your online selling website on your own and then connect it to a help desk or ticketing software. This trend has grown massively in COVID-19 times and it will continue to grow.
As per the statistics, 50% of small businesses are home-based. This number is said to be increasing day by day. With COVID-19 on the loose and less human interaction, no wonder why we see an increase in home-based online businesses models like membership sites and courses.
The pandemic is a reminder that not everything is certain. We will surely come across matters that come unanticipated and uncalled for. Humans would have to be smart in dealing with the complex challenges of the new world.
If we talk about the evolving business market, it is very safe to say that E-commerce and digital trading behold the future. This presents a tempting opportunity for brands that can oversee unpredictability and drive seriousness to their business strategies.
About the author:
Haseeb Awan is a content writer by day and a reader by night. He studies the evolving dynamics of content marketing strategies and likes to reflect his learning in his writing. Currently, he is working in ContentStudio, where he gets the exposure of looking at the marketing world from a new perspective.
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