By Erica Houskeeper on October 7, 2020
The pandemic changed life as we know it in many ways. Consumers are traveling less, dining in, and spending more time at home. The pandemic has also fast-tracked ecommerce. While the shift toward ecommerce was underway well before the COVID-19 crisis, recent data from IBM shows that the pandemic has accelerated consumers’ shift toward ecommerce by five years.
The IBM report indicates that department stores are expected to decline by over 60% for the full year. However, e-commerce is projected to grow by nearly 20% in 2020. By the end of 2020, global e-commerce sales are expected to reach $4.2 trillion, according to a separate report by the e-commerce giant Shopify.
A Holiday Boost for Online Sales
A rise in online shopping over the past six months bodes well for a busy holiday season for small businesses. A shift in spending habits stemming from consumers forgoing travel, vacation, and dining out will likely result in a significant rise in holiday spending.
Online sales for retailers in popular gifting categories will get a boost this season, with health and beauty up 23%, consumer electronics rising 20%, fashion up 19%, and home furnishings growing 16% by year’s end, according to Forbes.
In addition, a new survey by Dynata for Redpoint Global, a software company providing omnichannel support to retailers, found that nearly two-thirds of the 1,000 adult shoppers surveyed (62%) planned to do all their holiday shopping online this year.
Tips to Increase Your E-Commerce Sales in 2020 and Beyond
Setting up a successful ecommerce operation requires more than just creating a website and installing Shopify. To take advantage of the rise in ecommerce sales, there are important practices to put into place.
Establish your Target Audience
Many ecommerce startups fail to identify their target audience, which ends up costing them revenue down the road. Establishing a target audience might seem like a minor detail, but it can get in the way of growth. Understanding your audience is essential in helping you decide how to spend your marketing budget and build your brand.
Focus on Repeat Business
When an ecommerce business launches, it’s natural to want to reach an audience that’s far and wide. What this means is that early on there is a substantial effort to acquiring new customers. However, this can leave small businesses with the problem that they are not doing enough to retain the customers that they do get initially. Repeat customers spend a lot more money with your business than new ones—so remember to give them the attention they deserve.
Provide Excellent Customer Support and Personalize Customer Engagement
Too many ecommerce businesses fall into the trap of focusing their whole operation around making sales in order to maximize revenue. While sales are important, they shouldn’t be considered more valuable to your business than excellent customer service.
A great source of frustration for consumers are retailers sending offers for a recently purchased item (34% rated this very frustrating), sending irrelevant offers (33%), and failing to recognize them as existing customers (31%).
Personalizing the customer experience so that their inboxes aren’t inundated by generic messages pays off. Nearly half of consumers (49%) say they are more likely to purchase from retailers that send them personalized content and offers. In the end, your efforts will pay off.
As ecommerce sales continue to rise and become the norm for consumers, your small business can reap the rewards. Sekure can help you find the right payment gateway for your business to help you succeed in an increasingly robust and competitive ecommerce market. Contact our ETA Certified experts today.