The digital marketplace has experienced a significant evolution, driven by the rapid pace of digital transformation. In order to stay ahead of competitors and attract a larger customer base, e-commerce organizations have taken bold steps to overhaul their strategies. Emerging from the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, organizations have embraced a shift to revitalize, redirect their digital transformation journeys, and adopt cutting-edge technologies to maintain a competitive edge.
1. Revitalize: Staying agile is key
The exponential growth of the e-commerce industry over the past decade has solidified its importance as a crucial asset for businesses navigating digital transformation. COVID-19 has served as a catalyst, magnifying the role of e-commerce in thriving amidst unprecedented challenges. While brick and mortar stores couldn’t withstand disruptions, the e-commerce sector quickly adapted to consumers’ changing shopping patterns. Thanks to the convenience of online shopping, e-commerce has taken on an even greater role in consumer purchase decisions, with 56.6% of shoppers preferring to purchase online rather than in person . To remain agile in the constantly evolving customer preferences, online platform management systems have played a crucial role in sustaining business continuity. With online retail purchases projected to account for 20.8% of total sales in 2023, it comes as no surprise that e-commerce sales are witnessing corresponding growth . The usage of social media platforms has soared during the pandemic, with Facebook rising by 27%, and YouTube and TikTok increasing by 15% . As consumers spend more time engaging with social media, they are exposed to various products, recommendations, and promotions, creating an ideal environment for advertisements and online purchases. Additionally, social listening has emerged as a prominent tactic during the pandemic. By monitoring conversations and sentiments, e-commerce brands can extract valuable insights encompassing consumer pain points, preferences, and emerging trends. These insights can shape product development, marketing campaigns, and inform business strategies. By integrating digital marketplace platforms and leveraging the power of social listening, e-commerce stores can successfully retain customers during challenging times and enter a period of revitalization.
2. Revamp: Out with the old, in with the new
As the e-commerce landscape rapidly evolves, previously effective strategies and technologies may no longer yield the desired outcomes. A survey by McKinsey found that 64% of companies acknowledge the obsolescence of their business models, compelling them to forge new digital paths to ensure economic viability . One of the most common hurdles that brands face is the reliance on outdated SEO approaches, which focus solely on keyword density and content oversaturation. Instead of captivating visitors with valuable and relevant content, websites become cluttered and challenging to navigate, leading to frustrated users who are more likely to abandon the site without making a purchase. This can result in lower conversion rates, lower search engine rankings, and missed opportunities for growth and revenue. Google search engines create continuous updates and algorithm changes over time, and businesses must stay agile and adapt to these evolving SEO strategies. These updates aim to enhance user experience, improve search relevance, and combat manipulative practices. With 14.6% of SEO-generated leads being converted into sales , businesses must keep track of emerging keywords, trending topics, and user search intent. Additionally, technological advancements and shifts in user behavior also impact SEO strategies. Therefore, businesses should utilize the power of AI, such as natural language processing and machine learning algorithms, to enhance SEO efforts. By utilizing AI-powered SEO tools, organizations can automate analysis, receive valuable content recommendations, and deliver personalized search experiences. 58% of companies are planning to incorporate AI for SEO and content creation this year , highlighting the increasing consideration of optimizing strategies to win the competitive e-commerce race.
3. Reroute: Automation and headless commerce flexibility
Efficient warehouse management is essential for online retailers to keep up with ever-increasing demands. According to Adobe, 64% of marketers consider customer experience one of the most outstanding benefits of personalization . Recognizing this need, big corporations such as Amazon have embraced cutting-edge automation solutions (such as autonomous mobile robots and aerial drones) to revolutionize their warehouse operations. This wave of warehouse automation is not just a passing trend; it is a booming market with incredible potential. Analysts predict that the global warehouse automation market will witness a staggering USD 30 billion increase by 2026 . Fuelled by automation, e-commerce stores can expect significant efficiency improvements, allowing them to process orders more swiftly and reduce errors. However, the benefits of warehouse automation go beyond efficiency gains. Headless e-commerce emerges as another innovation for businesses to look out for, as these platforms allow developers to create solutions that meet the demands of modern omnichannel sales models. Headless e-commerce enables businesses to create and elevate the customer experience at each touchpoint without the extensive development efforts by separating the front end from the backend. The investment in headless e-commerce is staggering, with over USD 1.65 billion secured for headless technology and even more substantial investments to come . Industry research also supports the growing trend of adopting headless commerce, with Forbes revealing that an impressive 74% of the top 50 retail apps are already utilizing hybrid apps built with low-code techniques . Headless commerce sets itself apart with low-code technology, empowering enterprises to expedite their app development processes. By leveraging pre-built components and intuitive visual interfaces, businesses can accelerate their time to market, delivering innovative solutions to customers faster than ever before. This shift to low-code development allows companies to streamline internal processes, freeing valuable resources to focus on strategic business objectives. Organizations can therefore reduce the technical workload while ensuring a seamless and consistent user experience.
4. What the future holds?
The transformative process of revitalizing, revamping, and rerouting serves as a guiding principle in the ever-changing landscape of the e-commerce industry. The COVID-19 pandemic has brought about a revitalization, prompting e-commerce stores to employ new strategies and adapt to the shift toward online platforms. With the digital marketplace presenting various challenges, organizations must reroute their approaches to ensure an appropriate strategy that avoids budget overruns and customer churn. In 2023, e-commerce is projected to account for 20.8% of all retail sales, with sales expected to surpass $6.5 trillion . Looking towards the future, the potential for innovation in e-commerce is boundless. Businesses have the opportunity to reshape their customer engagement and revolutionize the online shopping experience. From robotics automation in warehouse management to the rise of headless commerce and low-code technology, the e-commerce industry is ripe with possibilities. By leveraging these technologies and adopting suitable strategies during and after the pandemic, e-commerce stores can position themselves ahead of the fierce competition. (function(d, s, id) var js, fjs = d.getElementsByTagName(s); if (d.getElementById(id)) return; js = d.createElement(s); js.id = id; js.src = “//connect.facebook.net/en_GB/all.js#xfbml=1&status=0”; fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js, fjs); (document, ‘script’, ‘facebook-jssdk’));