|The following is a summarization of Shopify’s first-ever Future of E-commerce Report, find the full report here.|
1. E-commerce boom fuels record online competition
Many new competitors are not equipped to compete on customer experience, a top differentiator online, giving an edge to brands with immersive omnichannel experiences
Or in other words, those with physical retail locations, having these bases covered:
1. Buy online, pick up in-store
2. Browse in-store, buy online
3. Buy in-store, ship to customer
4. Online returns and exchange
2. New consumer behaviors reshape future of retail
The pandemic has amplified the consumer’s desire for convenience and immediacy. The permanency of these shifts will be determined by how satisfied consumers are with online experiences.
1. What actions they suggest you take:
2. Make it fast and easy to buy from you anywhere (are your bulk discount promotions automated yet?).
3 Help customers bring your brand to life (think AR/VR).
3. Fulfillment emerges as a competitive differentiator
Turn fulfillment into a competitive advantage by placing inventory closer to customers, automating returns, and offering flexible options like curbside pickup
Here are the action items they suggest:
1. Outsource your fulfillment operations
2. Automate inventory management
3. Streamline the return process
4. Brand building challenged by marketplace dominance
Brands should turn their marketplace product pages into rich, immersive experiences while offering unique customized products through their own channels.
1. How they suggest to do it:
2. Reevaluate branding potential on marketplaces
3. Make time for human to human connection
4. Empower co-created products and experiences
5. Retention becomes a top priority as acquisition costs spike
To combat rising acquisition costs and advertising uncertainty, brands are experimenting with new channels like voice-powered shopping.
They’re also prioritizing retention, rewarding and incentivizing existing customers to spend more.
1. How to combat rising ad costs and increase retention:
2. Identify and target your best customers
3. Earn loyalty to boost repeat business
4. Adopt a recurring revenue business model