Raydiant’s new series, the Future of Shopping, interviews experts and thought leaders with a goal of better understanding what organizations can do to prepare themselves for what lies ahead.
The following is an interview we recently had with Maria Vasserman, Marketing Communications Specialist, MAROPOST.
How has consumer shopping behavior evolved over the past 5 years?
The global coronavirus pandemic forced practically the whole world to shut down. As a result, ecommerce saw dramatic increases – ”total online spending in May hit $82.5 billion, up 77% year-over-year,” – Forbes suggests. Furthermore, McKinsey research states that we’ve fast forwarded 5 years in consumer and business digital adoption in a matter of months. Here are some more notable stats:
- Ecommerce sales jumped by $52 billion
- Memorial Day sales skyrocketed 75% from $2 billion last year to $3.5 billion this year
- Mobile share of ecommerce grew from January by 10%
- BOPIS: buy online, pick up in-store grew 195% in May
- Buy now pay later: emerging trend rooted in convenience and flexibility
- AR & VR are replacing in-store experience, but only if they’re realistic and convenient enough
What are the top 3 trends shaping the ways consumers shop?
- Flexible, convenient and fast shipping options – after the introduction of Amazon’s 2-hour delivery, shoppers demand similar convenience from other online stores. Effective and automated inventory management is the key foundation to make this happen. So many customers abandon their shopping carts due to unexpected shipping costs, a delivery that’s too slow, or simply not enough options.
- Buy now pay later – more and more online stores offer this flexible and convenient payment option. Customers, once again, look for flexibility and pick where to shop based on those factors.
- Mobile shopping – if a website doesn’t work on mobile, it might lose 73% of sales. That’s how many transactions happen through mobile in 2021. It’s vital to make sure that the experience is consistently pleasant on various platforms, and mobile should be the number one priority.
What’s the future of shopping?
To respond to these demands, follow the trends and effectively compete with big players, merchants need to find ways of managing it all in one place (or through as few platforms as possible). Automatically updated inventory, abandoned cart emails and shipping labels are just a few examples of manual tasks that could be outsourced to AI.
What are 3 actionable steps an organization can take to prepare for the future?
Analyze the tech stack to understand if a few platforms are doing the same thing. Chances are, merchants could simplify their tech stack by finding fewer solutions that provide more features and don’t overlap. There’s no such thing as an all-in-one platform. However, it’s possible to find a few platforms that will integrate well together, save time and improve efficiency.
Spend time on content marketing strategy to provide value to current and potential customers. Relevant content delivered at the right time builds relationships and converts window-shoppers into buyers. Stumble-upon content that’s entertaining, informative and problem-solving is great at catching attention.
Examine the current inventory management process, take corrective actions where needed and automate repetitive manual tasks that take time and don’t bring revenue. Inventory management stands at the core of efficient ecommerce strategy. If fulfilling every order is manual, that’s a wasted time that could be spent on seeking new business opportunities.