E-commerce is rising through the roof, but what does this mean for brands and consumers?

e-commerce market intelligence

E-commerce is rising through the roof, but what does this mean for brands and consumers?

With the whole world going virtual last year, it’s no surprise that the ecommerce industry exploded. But as the industry continues to grow, how does this affect brands? Specifically, how they interact with and reach their consumers?

It doesn’t take a marketing expert to tell you that ecommerce or online stores had a remarkably good year in 2020.

Prolonged periods of lockdown across the globe meant that in-store and online commerce broke records in very different ways. Consumers were forced to replace shopping bags with virtual baskets and their cars with laptops or phones as the world went virtual and the ecommerce trade exploded.

Where most companies suffered, Amazon and other ecommerce platforms profited greatly. Brands who were already selling on ecommerce sites doubled down on activity, while brands who were not scrambled to quickly digitize their shopper experience.

But what will happen when the world returns back to “normal?” With the roll out of COVID-19 vaccines, there is hope that 2021 will bring some sense of normalcy back into our lives and (certainly looking beyond next year!) many could expect life to resemble pre-COVID times. So does that mean ecommerce growth will stutter?

Not at all. According to this recent eMarketer report, the ecommerce industry is projected to approach $5 trillion this year and will continue to grow over the next few years.

In this article, we’ll discuss what this rise in ecommerce means for brands and consumers, as well as the effect this may have on mobile advertising.

So, what does this mean for brands?

Is maintaining success as simple as investing more in digital and riding that ecommerce wave? We would argue not.

Yes, more consumers are buying online than ever before, but this also means that more brands are online, making the environment much more competitive.

With the continued rise of ecommerce traffic, brands will need to work harder to stand out and ensure they have real clarity in their messaging, offers and propositions. The biggest risk for brands is to become complacent and believe that heavier online consumer behavior will naturally drive sales.

The pressure to blend brick and mortar experiences with digital ones, like buy online, pick up in store (BOPIS) is continuing to increase. According to both Forbes and Adobe Analytics data, BOPIS orders increased by 208% from April 1st to April 20th, 2020 from the same period a year prior.

But while consumers are shopping online more and more, that doesn't mean they're willing to wait on the often unreliable shipping timelines that are plaguing the industry. Getting people what they ordered online today isn't easy — and the operational investment in omnichannel fulfillment is substantial.

Brands must make sure that their investment pays off. This means ensuring the offer not only gets eyeballs, but stands out against competitors in both speed and execution.

Mobile hot spot

Another trend that’s drafting the surge of ecommerce shopping is mobile advertising and mobile ecommerce.

If you look at the growth of digital advertising over the last 20 years and the projected growth, it comes nearly solely from mobile. Now, you might be asking yourself “why is this relevant to ecommerce?”

Well, if you think about visiting Amazon on your phone vs on your laptop, you will naturally see less products on your phone. This puts even more emphasis on brands to stand out in this competitive environment and take advantage of advertising or sponsored positions in what is now the most cost-effective way to drive sales.

Final thoughts

Our advice? Don’t assume the ecommerce shopping will tank once we’re cleared of the pandemic. Pandora’s box has been opened to a world of even more on-demand shopping, and you need to be where your people are.

As technology advances, the ecommerce space is bound to become more and more competitive — the world’s recent series of lockdowns and quarantines caused by COVID-19 have only boosted our already increasingly digital world.

So adapt and pivot your strategies rather than becoming complacent and waiting until this passes. If you haven’t already, dive deeper into your mobile advertising and ecommerce opportunities and listen to your audience to find what resonates with them. 

Author: Ernie Collings

Source: Zappi