Online shopping has been around for some time. However, the pandemic made it a necessity. While grocery stores are considered essential and are therefore open, going out still has its risk. Brushing elbows with strangers can be risky, especially if all you need to buy is shampoo.
Before the pandemic, online shopping was merely a convenient affair. You get to buy items that are otherwise available only in other countries. You get to buy direct from the source and way before when the product finally becomes available locally in your country.
When lockdowns and restrictions were implemented, people had to rely on deliveries and e-commerce for their needs. People who only bought luxury items such as makeup, clothing, books, and electronics online now also bought their needs.
The growth of e-commerce cannot be denied. It allowed businesses to connect with their existing customer base even when people cannot go shopping at malls. It also helped them reach new customers and expand their reach.
The shift in consumer behavior will shape the future of e-commerce.
Online consumers are now buying items that are not online-shopping staples such as grocery items, health-related products, and home necessities. The events of the past year made customers value convenience as well as safety.
The top products bought online across different countries now include hygiene, food, beverage, health, and home essentials. Around 63% of online buyers chose to buy online because the items are delivered directly to their homes. This lessened trips to the grocery or department stores, reducing the risk of the buyer getting infected with the virus. Another reason that many embraced online shopping is its availability. You can go shopping 24/7, wherever you are, as long as you have an internet connection.
Even after when the restrictions were lifted, people did not stop buying online. Buying online is not only convenient, but it is also a time-saver.
Order fulfillment can be a game-changer.
Customers worldwide demand fast, free, and sustainable shipping. They do not want to wait for a month for their purchase to arrive. They have paid for it, and they want it now. Customers may abandon their shopping carts if they see some problems with shipping. Limited delivery options will definitely keep customers away. They want options on their trusted courier, as well as the type of delivery that they are willing to pay for.
High shipping costs can also derail a possible sale. Why should they pay $15 for shipping when they can have their items shipped for free at another store? Customers want to see free shipping options. You’d be surprised at how many customers are immediately enticed to buy when they see the words “Free Shipping Worldwide”.
Detailed product pages matter.
A single or two product images is not enough. Customers want to scrutinize what they are going to buy through pictures. Most consumers prefer at least 5 to 8 product images. Actual product images are even better. It gives the buyer more confidence in the product that he is buying.
Images are not even enough. Most customers look for at least two videos. Videos can show prospective buyers how to use the product. They can also show the products being worn and how they look in action. Customers will have a lot of questions and concerns about the product that they are considering. Include detailed product descriptions, from the dimensions, materials, weight, and specifications among others. There are details that only written descriptions can convey where images and videos cannot.
To inspire customer confidence, legitimate customer feedback and reviews can help. Encourage buying customers to leave feedback by giving discount vouchers that they can use the next time that they visit your store and make a purchase.
As e-commerce grew, so did the competition. Not only that, ad costs are increasing as the demand for customer acquisition ads grew. Aside from the growing costs, customer trust is also falling. Many customers feel that ads are becoming too intuitive and intrusive in their personal lives. In fact, research shows that 6 out of 10 customers are less disposed to use a product when they feel that their data is being used.
Lawmakers are also looking into tech giants due to antitrust violations on ad businesses, making it volatile and unstable. Google announced its plans to make web browsing more private by getting rid of third party cookies.
This means that relying on third-party data may no longer work in reaching out to prospective and target customers. Targeted ads may have to be done differently, and it can shake the advertising world. Of course, the effects of Google saying goodbye to third-party cookies won’t be known until it is implemented.
The word of e-commerce is swiftly changing. Businesses should be able to adapt to stay relevant. They should find new ways to target customers and earn the loyalty of existing ones through sincere customer service and a convenient shopping experience.