The COVID-19 pandemic has significantly changed the way we do things and has impacted the globe in a huge number of ways, socially and economically. While Australia is no exception to this, we are considered to have responded very well to the crisis and we have come through relatively well so far compared to other countries. Lockdowns, shortages and restrictions have been difficult for all of us for many reasons, but management of the virus and compliance of the guidelines by our Aussie citizens has definitely paid off.
The pandemic negatively impacted a range of business and industries,
particularly those having to shut down, such as hospitality, travel and tourism, sports and recreation, and entertainment. However, on the flip side some industries have shown to have benefited, including health supplies, IT, remote work and social platforms, home improvement, delivery services and e-commerce.
E-commerce, also known as electronic commerce, is the selling and buying of goods and services using the internet, and the transfer of data and money during these transactions. The most obvious example of e-commerce is retail, which is the sale of products by a business directly to a customer. There is also wholesale e-commerce, where products are sold in bulk, often to a retailer who then sells them on directly to customers. Others are subscriptions, which are the automatic recurring purchases of a product or service, digital products such as downloadable goods, templates or media, and services provided in exchange for compensation.
E-commerce has evolved quite quickly, and it is now easier than ever to find and purchase what we want and need through online retailers and marketplaces. Businesses are able to sell their products and services on a much larger scale than with a traditional retail storefront alone.
While online shopping has been growing rapidly over the past few years, the COVID-19 outbreak has further driven e-commerce sales, which is set to result in 10.3% growth in Australia by 20241.
The last year or so has seen consumers staying home a lot more (sometimes due to lockdown, sometimes due to choice) and therefore they are using online channels in order to avoid physical contact. Of course, closure of physical stores has also meant consumers have been forced to purchase online. The priorities of shoppers shifted during 2020 and categories that showed the largest growth include toys and games, sporting goods, and hardware2.
This year, Australian consumers continue to embrace online shopping, perhaps even those who have been reluctant in the past, with more and more companies now launching online stores to cash in.
E-Commerce Trends for 2021
There are certain e-commerce trends being predicted for the remainder of 2021 to be aware of, to stay ahead of the competition and ensure future success for your business. Some of the trends that are worth researching a bit further include:
● Online sales continue to increase - online shopping sales are predicted to increase to 4.5 trillion in 2021 (up from 1.3 trillion in 2014).3
● The impacts of COVID-19, even during recovery, will continue to drive e-commerce. While online buying may slow down slightly as people can return to regular shopping patterns, there are no signs of it stopping.
● Social media sites are becoming more popular for advertising, with the option of video ads to market products and services.
● Customers will shop in marketplaces rather than e-commerce stores, due to greater ease with shopping experiences and better value.
● Online shopping has changed depending on demographic - it appears younger consumers have noticeably altered their online behavior more so than older generations, shopping more frequently online.4
● Analytics will become a larger focus for businesses to change how they interact with both current and potential customers. A primary goal will be to use customer data to increase personalization, to build on customer relationships.
Of course, it is not guaranteed that all e-commerce ventures will succeed. While it is definitely becoming the way of the future, it is vital not to just casually jump on the bandwagon and simply create a website. A clear, well thought out plan and a cleverly designed and developed website is essential to successfully grow your business online.
Technology considerations are important too, and using an all-encompassing e-commerce solution like Continuum, which is Web Force 5’s easy Content Management System, will take all the hard work out of setting up your online presence. Including full e-commerce capability with the ability to easily build pages for selling products, CRM solutions, email marketing system, SEO, and analytics and reporting, you will also have full support from our expert ecommerce website developers along the way.
Make a call to our team for a free, no obligation chat about your possible e-commerce solutions and website design in Melbourne Australia. Begin setting up your online presence in the best way possible. Now is time to make the move and watch your business thrive.