More businesses are looking to online as a primary form for conducting business
By Kalpak Chhajed
2020 is going to be a year which we’re unlikely to forget. It has changed the way businesses and the world functions, not to mention the eCommerce industry has jumped by leaps and bounds as a result of this.
The online retail market has been quick to adapt to the high demand that the world has thrown its way due to the changes that have taken place. The eCommerce industry in particular has quickened its pace to offer faster and better innovations.
There are plenty of organisations that recognise the potential of this and have shifted their plans, businesses, budgets towards a digital platform to better serve the existing customers and also acquire new customers.
This means that we are going to witness an array of D2C trends in 2021 that will take the eCommerce industry to a whole new level. Let’s take a look at a few things that we expect to see in 2021.
Replacing the retailers
More businesses are looking to online as a primary form for conducting business. With delivery rates becoming as cost effective as ₹23/500gms, and being able to cater to a wider range of audiences, more businesses are learning the benefits of online selling and social commerce. This has made D2C a very important part of eCommerce in the coming years. D2C removes retailers or middlemen, offers a wider audience, and also helps increase margins. This also gives organisations a chance to understand their customer’s needs and demands better, better engage with them through emails, apps, social media and also offer better a more customer oriented product.
Growing Importance of Social Commerce
Social media is busy redefining a lot of roles in traditional commerce, and social commerce is definitely something of a force to be reckoned with in the coming years. With the potential to reach $16-$20 Bn GMV by 2025 according to a report by Bain and Company, there is definitely going to be an influx in the number of entrepreneurs or ‘homepreneurs’.
Introducing AI tools
While most eCommerce platforms have already adopted AI as a part of their business model, others are now trying to incorporate it into their business. Using AI tech can help businesses’ offer a more personalised approach in shopping experience, purchase patterns, and offer better products based on shopping habits. This is only going to get better with time as it helps in increasing conversions and getting more orders.
If statistics are anything to go by then it is predicted that global retailers are willing to spend a whopping $7.3 billion globally by 2022, on AI alone. That’s quite a figure if you think about it. But, since the AI tools help in improving customer engagement, personalising engines based on customer behavior, making available chatbots for enhanced customer service, sending offers etc.; this is every bit worth it!
The importance of retaining customers
While we are still in the middle of a pandemic and with the introduction of vaccines also giving us some kind of hope, we are still quite far from moving past the recession. With losses incurred in almost all sectors, the eCommerce industry is also geared towards making changes in the price of products by offering discounts and offers. This is also going to take a toll on brand loyalty but if an organisation invests enough in retaining its customers, then it will only favor them. The profits are primarily going to come from encouraging customers to purchase products from you on rotation. The best way to do this is by choosing platforms that allow you to engage with your customers better, without having to actually run paid ads or paid promotions for the same. In fact, according to Forrester, the idea of customer retention is going to increase by 30% in this year. So, it is wise to spend on customer retention and loyalty, if you want them to come back again.
Experiences should be defined based on circumstances
With every challenge that we are facing, companies are always quick to adapt to these changes according to the given situations. This might also mean reworking their strategies and building something new. This is going to go on even in 2021 because we are still surrounded by restrictions of different kinds. Giving your customers an experience by taking into consideration the situation in that customer segment; is something that one needs to look into.
Stay in tune with the changes happening in each customer segment and make marketing, product and content changes accordingly. Make these changes visible on the different channels that you’ve created for your customers, so as to not affect the engagement.
The year 2020 brought a lot of flexibility when it came to eCommerce and marketing sectors, making them adapt to and adopt the ever changing trends. In fact, there has been a stark difference in the way we churn out ideas, how we utilise technology and how we engage with our customers. This trend of having to be flexible based on the changing situations, is most likely to continue even in 2021. Nevertheless, even with challenges thrown at us, we have all managed to succeed and get down to adopting fresher perspectives. So, when it comes to trends, all this is still very speculative, but the mindset needs to be an adaptive one to the perennially changing landscape of the D2C market.
The author is co-founder, Dash101