Importance of Ecommerce in 2021 & Following the Consumer.
2020 has been an eventful year for businesses. While the Covid-19 crisis has caused widespread disruption, it has also presented opportunities to capitalise on new trends and consumer habits. Ecommerce has been growing for many years, but the pandemic has undoubtedly fuelled growth and driven sales. In this guide, we’ll discuss the importance of ecommerce in 2021, providing advice for businesses looking to harness the power and potential of selling online and establishing a strong online presence.
The importance of Ecommerce in 2021
Statistics suggest that Ecommerce has been growing for several years, but there is no doubt that the Covid-19 crisis has accelerated its expansion and increased its reach and value. When global governments issued stay at home orders early in 2020, shops were forced to close and businesses to adapt to new ways of working. At a time when people were unable to go into a physical store to buy products, the web provided a lifeline. Rather than going out to shop, millions of consumers across the globe fired up their laptops, smartphones and tablets to browse virtual aisles. There was a surge in online sales between March and July, and studies showed that people were spending more time online than ever before.
There are signs of recovery and reasons to be optimistic about 2021 in terms of managing and controlling the virus, but figures and analysis of buying trends indicate that Ecommerce shows no signs of slowing down. More and more consumers prefer to shop online, and at a time when safety is a priority for many, the web provides a secure, risk-free option for customers. It is estimated that Ecommerce will account for over 95% of purchases by 2040.
Changing shopping trends
Shopping online has become increasingly popular in the last decade, with high streets across the country struggling to keep up. Online shopping offers a simple, quick and convenient option for consumers, enabling them to add products to their basket, pay and organise delivery in a matter of seconds. In 2018, E-commerce in the UK retail sector accounted for 17.3% of sales. This figure rose to over 31% in the second quarter of 2020. With customers adapting to new ways of buying, and businesses modifying the way they sell to capitalise on changing trends, Ecommerce looks set to continue growing.
One major issue facing businesses that operate physical stores is reassuring customers. At the moment, there are restrictions and measures in place, and some shoppers might not feel comfortable going into a store. By being flexible and offering services like click and collect or the option to order online, retailers can maximise their chances of generating leads, increasing sales, and keeping up with competitors. Companies can also reassure customers by providing detailed information about the measures they are employing to keep shoppers safe in-store through personalised emails, social media posts, video content, and informative blog posts.
Promoting your business online
The Internet enables businesses to sell products and services online, but it also provides golden business opportunities to promote brands and connect with customers. You don’t necessarily have to sell products online to benefit from having an online presence. You can use the web to tell people all about your business, to generate leads, to advertise products and services, and build and engage with a following.
If you run a local business, for example, you can harness the power of digital marketing techniques like local search engine optimisation (SEO) to help customers find you and encourage them to take the next step in the marketing funnel. If a consumer enters a search term that is relevant to your business, you want to ensure that your links appear towards the top of page 1. Local SEO statistics show that 88% of smartphone users who conduct a local search will call or visit within 24 hours. Almost 50% of Google searches now have a local focus.
In addition to local SEO, which drives traffic to your website, you can also use social media to promote your business. Social media channels are incredible platforms for brands looking to sell and advertise products and services, but they also offer unrivalled opportunities to enhance brand image and identity by facilitating engagement and encouraging the formation of strong bonds between businesses and customers. Over 75% of consumers are more likely to buy from brands they follow on social media channels.