The year 2020, along with the pandemic, brought with it a fair share of upheavals and opportunities. While we bid goodbye to the chaotic 2020 and settle in with the new normal, 2021 is anticipated to be better and filled with opportunities.
COVID-19 indeed tossed our lives, be it personal or professional, but it also made way for existing businesses, along with new ventures, to make a mark in the professional world. This has been the case, especially with the e-commerce industry. It has witnessed a huge transition in its working model.
Even though various businesses across the globe slowed down and some even shut down, yet many of them navigated the waters via the online medium. The e-commerce industry has forayed into tier 2 and 3 cities, reaching even remote locations. The primary reason for this being many citizens had to relocate to their home towns as COVID-19 led to a loss of jobs. However, like every adversity has a silver lining to it, the pandemic too has resulted in the creation of a fresh wave of opportunities in these areas. Also, as the consumers in these markets are evolving, they now prefer shopping online as compared to visiting brick-and-mortar stores.
Keeping the recent circumstances in view, some trends that are likely to arise in the retail & e-commerce arena in 2021 are:
1. Loyalty Marketing to Become Highly Competitive
For any business in the e-commerce industry, the vision is to retain existing customers along with attracting new ones to their platform. However, there has been a shift in the working of the e-commerce industry. It is now more of a consumer-based business as the decisions made are with a view to provide benefits to their customers. It is no more a business, rather it’s a relationship between the customer and the seller. Shoppers aren’t afraid to try new products and services, and this trend will only become more pronounced in 2021 as new brands enter the market. Therefore, retail brands will have to work even harder to retain current customers and engage new ones.
2. Creative Content to Rule the Roost
Compelling content that resonates with the audience will continue to be king in 2021 and beyond. To prepare such targeted content, it’s important to have an in-depth idea of who the brand is targeting. Retailers will have to be aware of themes, languages, and communication styles which their audience prefers. Knowing their exact pain points, aspirations, preferences, and likes, as well as dislikes, will help brands in crafting their messaging.
3. Local Brands Will Go Big
The year 2021 is expected to be the year of newness and freshness. Though the existing big brands will continue to strive to deliver their best, customers are also highly likely to shop from local businesses. They now make well-informed decisions and prefer local products over the imported ones. The ‘Make in India’ and ‘Local for Vocal’ campaigns are no more just taglines. Rather they have become an integral part of the consumer’s buying process. They don’t mind spending an extra penny on their choice of Indian products.
4. Omnichannel Shopping for Superior Customer Experience
While for the existing brands, delivering their best would continue to be on their agenda; for the new businesses, customer retention will form a key element of their strategies. Thus, providing a seamless and consistent customer experience across multiple channels & devices will be given utmost importance as this will eventually help businesses to grow.
5. Tech to Enhance the E-Commerce Experience
Online purchasing is poised for remarkable growth in the year 2021. To keep pace with the increasing demand and to ensure that the supply meets the growing requirements, e-commerce platforms are working on revamping themselves. Apart from providing convenience, reduced prices, contactless experience, and a variety of convenient options, businesses have also started personalizing the virtual shopping experience so as to build a connection with their customers. They will focus on incorporating online consultations, video-based demos, live interactions, etc. to improve the user interface.
After an unpredictable 2020, 2021 will be a year of change, opportunities, customization, and growth. All we need is planning and flexible strategies to accommodate these transitions and brands who do so shall come out stronger on the other side of the crisis.