How the Pandemic Has Impacted Shopify Businesses for 2021
With vaccines coming forward, it should only be a matter of time before we are officially in a post-pandemic world. We checked on what trends retailers must start working on if they want to stay relevant, and ahead of the competition in the near future. Here are some of the effects and ways to improve your business moving forward.
- eCommerce’s popularity fuels higher competition
Because of the pandemic, more shoppers took to digital and we definitely saw a rise in the number of shoppers who started purchasing online. This then led to a higher number of sales for eCommerce. Due to the influx of new customers, more competition also appeared, making the eCommerce space more competitive than ever. To succeed in the post pandemic era, brands will need to take an omnichannel approach if they haven’t yet.
More than just having a pretty store, merchants will now have to develop ways in which customers can easily access the store, purchase from the store, and receive their purchases with no problems. Whichever stores make it easy for customers to get products are the stores that will be ahead of the competition.
- Evolving consumer behaviors changes the way retail works in the future
Because of the pandemic, there have been changes in the way we purchase. There is now a demand for convenience and more and more stores are making it easier for consumers to check out and are making ways to better the consumer experience.
Bigger stores have been investing in creating virtual experiences and augmented reality (AR) before the pandemic. But as more customers shift online more brands are looking to get into AR to help build customer trust, meet customer expectations, and provide better service as AR customers get a try and feel for the product without purchasing it.
- Changes in the way items are fulfilled
More customers now expect to get free shipping or at least discounts on shipping if they need a certain amount. Therefore brands need to balance how they can implement shipping fees without disappointing customers. There are also customers who are now more willing to pay for eco friendly products due to the nature of fulfillment where items have to be protected by a lot of bubble wrap boxes and plastic.
- Community building and marketplace dominance
Almost 50% of online sales happen in the marketplace where there is already a high number of competition and it may be difficult to stand out from the crowd. In the marketplace customers can just search whatever product they need, and all relevant products will appear which don't necessarily have to be branded.
To stand out, brands need to start engaging and developing their community. This is where brands need to invest more and brand building. When customers want to purchase a product your company or your brand should be the first thing that comes to mind. So instead of searching for a product they now search for your brand. Your brand has to be a destination that customers are set on purchasing from.
Marketplace product pages are fortunately customizable so businesses have started to design and personalize their official pages.
- Focus on customer retention as top priority
Now that there are more brands fighting for a spot and the digital space, advertisements are getting saturated and are also getting more expensive. The opportunity to show your ads your target market will now cost more as you have more competitors trying to get into that space. This is why brands are now starting to focus on retaining customers and awarding their loyal patrons. This can be done by subscriptions, loyalty programs, discounts, gifts with purchase, and cashbacks.
The global pandemic has forever changed the role and importance of virtual experiences in customers’ lives. Consumers now expect convenient, and intuitive digital experiences across multiple channels and devices. Brands that can deliver on those expectations are seeing the greatest returns.
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