5 ways brands can benefit from the COVID e-commerce boom | Ad Age

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Loren Padelford of Shopify may describe it best. “It was a time machine that brought 2030 to 2020 for e-commerce retailers and brand builders,” says the company’s VP and general manager.

That is an apt description of the past year’s effect on e-commerce. Global e-commerce sales accounted for 17% of total retail sales in 2020, according to GroupM—which predicts e-commerce will account for 25% of retail sales by 2024.“It was a case of accelerating the inevitable,” says Reid Greenberg, exec VP-digital and omnicommerce at Kantar.

Greenberg, Padelford and other experts point to five things we’ve learned about consumers during the past year’s e-commerce explosion—five things that can color how brands and retailers approach e-commerce post-pandemic:

They’ve tried it—and they like it:

“The consumer now understands the notion of e-commerce convenience, the opportunity to drive to the retailer of their choice and have something waiting—or the immediacy of placing an order and having it show up that afternoon,” Greenberg says. “It’s something consumers want and will continue to cherish.” Or as Steve Wallet, VP-category development, shopper marketing and e-commerce for Diageo, puts it: “E-commerce fills a lot of the needs consumers are looking for today: convenience, discovery, inspiration and the most recent thing is safety. What makes it appealing is not just the fact you can get it online, but the way you can shop for it.”

Online alcoholic beverage marketplace Drizly says its research shows “One individual human being is actually several different types of shopper,” says Scott Braun, Drizly CMO. “There’s the shopping trip where you know what you want, painless, make a purchase in 30 seconds. Another time, you might know the category you want, but look for something new—you’re ready for experimentation. The third type might be when you’re heading to a dinner party and don’t know what to bring.” Post-pandemic, consumers won’t simply choose to shop exclusively online or in person—and the retail experience, whether online or in store, will need to evolve to serve these diverse customer needs and expectations.

This content was originally published here.

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