The COVID pandemic has greatly affected countless lives and businesses. Many people have lost their jobs, loved ones, and even their lives. Small and medium businesses were forced to close down or downsize their manpower. However, one sector has benefited from this pandemic. You cannot deny that eCommerce trends increased since most brick and mortar stores were closed. Thus, sellers resorted to eCommerce platforms such as Amazon, Shopify, and eBay, to name a few.
The pandemic has also brought many changes. Some people welcomed the changes, while others thought otherwise. For example, most people opted for work from home. Few people welcomed this fact, as some may find it challenging to work at home. The pandemic also separated family and friends. With social distancing and limitations in going out, people were recommended to stay at home to avoid contracting the virus. Thus, communication was made possible through online applications such as Zoom, Skype, WhatsApp, and Messenger, to name a few.
Effects of COVID on eCommerce Trends
At the onset of the pandemic, people resorted to panic buying so they could stock up on essentials. Hoarding essential goods would limit their trips to the grocery stores.
To fulfill the demands of shoppers without risking their health, groceries shifted their inventory online. This led to the increase in eCommerce trends.
With the rise in online shopping, here are the top online products that people ordered:
- Medical supplies
- Baby products
- Household and cleaning products
- Food and beverage
- Health and wellness products
- IT and electronics
- Personal care products
- Subscription services
Manpower also shifted to eCommerce, such as delivery services, inventory management, and packaging. Staff who used to work in groceries now shifted to supporting online business as delivery men and warehouse staff.
On the other hand, since people were mostly staying at home and avoiding crowds and gatherings, demand for other services went down. The demand for handbags, clothing and accessories, party items, and restaurants went down. So, some of these businesses got creative and manufactured relevant products such as face masks with matching hair accessories, alcohol holders, face mask storage containers, and other relevant items.
Tips for the eCommerce Seller
Since competition is high in eCommerce, sellers have to be creative to keep up with the rising eCommerce trends. There are still people who risk their lives going out just to buy essentials. The main reason is that it is still better to see the items that you purchase before you actually buy them. Thus, eCommerce sellers must market their products in a way that the buyer still gets that in-store feeling.
People are also changing their shopping habits such as what they’re buying, when, and how. As an online seller, you must address these pain points so customers will keep coming back to your online store.
Here are some tips on how to keep up with the increasing eCommerce trends:
- Maximize the “in-store experience” online.
If you have your own website such as Shopify, create a landing page that’s user-friendly and easy to browse. Too many items on display can be distracting. At first glance, the customer should already know where to click once they visit your shop. Your goal is to entice your buyer to buy the item that they need from your shop.
- Strengthen online retail offerings.
Showcase items that you also sell in your retail stores or in other retail stores. Shoppers should get the feeling that they are browsing through an actual store. People normally look for items they purchase in physical stores so these items should be easily accessible in your online store.
- Be Mindful of Costs
Operating costs in physical stores are different when you’re selling online. However, if you have both a physical store and an online store, make sure that your items are priced justifiably. For example, if you want to encourage consumers to buy online, then your online prices should be lower. Physical stores have additional costs, such as labor and utilities. You should also factor these costs in your pricing without sacrificing the consumers’ budget.
- Do Not Disregard Sales Tax
ECommerce sellers are now required to pay sales tax, just like physical store owners. Make sure you keep your taxes updated and file them on time. Here’s a helpful article on sales tax compliance. If you’re selling on Amazon, here is some information on sales taxes and how they are calculated.
- A Reliable eCommerce Website
Having a website is not just plugging in the product details and the sales would come in. Maintain your site and come up with campaigns to let customers know about your site. If you don’t have a website, you can still sell online through established eCommerce platforms such as Amazon, eBay, and Etsy among others. Here are some things to keep in mind if you have your own website or planning to have one:
- A clean layout
- Secure backend to prevent packing and vulnerabilities
- SEO-rich pages
- Secure payment options
- Responsive chat support
- Marketing ad campaigns
- User-friendly and versatile browsing and checkout process
- Order management system connected to your website
- Update SEO
Writing product descriptions and web pages does not simply mean listing the features and benefits. Your pages should contain top keywords that are naturally spread out in the pages. Otherwise, your pages will not rank in SERPs (Search Engine Results Page). Customers would have a hard time seeing your products and pages if you don’t rank high.
Small businesses must keep up with the eCommerce trends amidst the pandemic. People have to earn a living so online sellers must also be mindful of their prices as well as the costs in running a business. ECommerce is a two-way street. Online sellers must fulfill the needs of consumers without sacrificing their budget.
Amazon is one of the top eCommerce platforms in the US. If you’d like to know more about how to build your eCommerce brand on Amazon, connect with us now and we’d be glad to help you out!
“Optimizing the mobile cart and checkout experience is more important than tweaking your desktop design”— from eCommerce Quotes