If you’re feeling overwhelmed as a seller in 2021, you’re not alone. In just three months, the eCommerce industry in the US experienced a staggering 10 year growth spurt to reach over $160 Billion in the first quarter alone. To put that number into perspective, as early as 2017 it was estimated that eCommerce revenue would account for 17 percent of all retail trade. But it’s 2021. Digital commerce now accounts for 21 percent of all retail trade—a number which is only predicted to increase.
That doesn’t just mean consumer habits are changing. It also means strategies are changing. Strategies which can be downright unpredictable. Relying on SEO and predictive analytics alone is no longer enough to keep pace with the rapid changes in digital commerce. But change doesn’t necessarily mean abandoning reliable strategies. It means diversifying your options as a seller.
The retail landscape of 2021 and beyond will look dramatically different than just two years ago. And both consumers and e-tailers will need to adapt to those changes. If you’re wondering what the impact of a post-pandemic retail landscape will have on your business, here’s what to look out for.
Mobile Commerce Is No Longer An Option
Mobile commerce is expected to grow by as much as 70 percent in the next four years as the need to be plugged in at all times will only increase. Brick and mortar retail won’t necessarily go away, and the need for geo-location data in conjunction with m-commerce will prove to be a formidable strategy for locally based omnichannel retailers. But this was a common prediction as early as 2014. M-commerce will need to adapt to more recent developments, including the inevitable adoption of 5G networks, to meet customer demands. And by developing a strategy which deploys multiple mobile delivery options, including voice activated commerce and AR marketing, sellers can provide innovative delivery to match innovative solutions.
The Revolution Will Be Connected
If brick and mortar isn’t dead, then neither is traditional advertising. Advertisers spent $160 Billion on TV ads in 2020, a decrease of approximately 13 percent. But there’s one segment of TV advertising that’s on the rise—streaming television. Research from the Leichtman Research Group found that 80 percent of American households owned at least one form of a smart TV device in 2020, up from 68 percent in 2018.
And while the efficacy of video marketing has long been established, Smart TV advertising (including Amazon’s Fire TV) helps fuse the familiarity of traditional advertising with the still evolving mode of digital. Call it a merger between the old and the new, but don’t underestimate its $18.3 Billion power.
The Evolution of Generation Z
Millennials may have already established themselves as the most prominent digital consumers, but there’s an entirely new spending force emerging. They’re not just digitally native. And they’re not just one of the more discerning segments in their choice of technology adoption. With an estimated $150 Billion in spending power in the US alone in 2020, Gen Z has emerged as one of the most diverse consumer populations in the digital commerce ecosystem. But they’re also one of the more progressive minded segments. Guided as much by ethics as they are by inclusivity, their values are helping to pivot eCommerce away from consumption and towards sustainability. As Gen Z continues to evolve into a dominant digital retail force, you can expect to see a dramatic change in multi-generational purchasing habits.
Visualize Beyond the Visual
It’s no secret that visual content has a higher level of engagement than text alone. 94 percent, to be exact. But visual content has come a long way in a relatively short time, and will continue to evolve over the next twelve months in ways unimaginable just five years ago. 3D imaging is quickly becoming a standard in digital commerce, with newer developments including VR and AR enhancements serving to help bridge the gap between physical and online retail. Visuals may be the key to eCommerce; but advanced product visualization unlocks an entirely new kingdom.
The Value of Automated Personal Messaging
Social media may be fertile ground for digital marketing, but it’s frequently informed by the use of third party cookies. And users are growing increasingly frustrated over the violation of privacy implied by the storage and use of their search histories through third party data. Smaller sellers can’t afford to alienate their audience in 2021. It’s been estimated that personalized email marketing can bring an average ROI of 122 percent, while widespread consumer preference for self service tools have driven chatbots to be adopted by over 80 percent of all businesses as early as 2016.
The post-pandemic world of eCommerce will be a strange one. And it’s one which consumers and merchants will have to adjust to. There’s bound to be friction along the way. But as innovations grow more sophisticated and responsive, so will eCommerce.
Just make certain your business responds in kind.
Color More Lines provides white glove, global account management of your ecommerce platforms so mission-driven companies can focus on new product development, branding and growth strategies. Find out more at Color More Lines.