Saying 2020 has been a strange and challenging year would be a massive understatement. COVID-19 has dramatically impacted lives and businesses around the world, and the truth is that nobody knows when things will go “back to normal.” While many companies have successfully adapted and thrived amid these challenges, many remain at risk of losing the usual revenue streams they depend on. Whether you’re a product manufacturer, wholesaler, or retailer, you have undoubtedly experienced these changes.
eCommerce has helped countless businesses mitigate these challenges. Developing an additional revenue stream can help ease the financial burden on your business while creating infrastructure to meet your customers’ changing needs for years to come.
Starting with eCommerce now can be intimidating, especially if you’re starting from ground zero. In uncertain times, the prospect of changing your business model to accommodate eComm may feel like a risky proposition.
To help get you started, you’ll find eCommerce trends we’ve observed over the last year and our projections about the bright future of eCommerce below. Although nobody can predict the future, businesses across all sectors can leverage eCommerce platforms to generate consistent results and performance today.
eCommerce Is Here to Stay
This shouldn’t come as a surprise to business owners and marketing professionals. The rise of eCommerce has been charted for well over a decade; in 2017, eComm giant Shopify projected that retail eCommerce sales would skyrocket to $4.9 trillion by 2021. In light of massive changes to consumer behaviour, this prediction now seems conservative. No matter what your product or industry, one thing remains clear: there is money to be made selling online.
These trends don’t just apply to consumer markets. In 2018, B2B eCommerce transactions exceeded $1 trillion for the first time, with nearly all projections showing consistent growth over the next decade. However, 60.7% of manufacturers and 38.1% of wholesalers and distributors are not yet using eCommerce platforms to drive sales. As such, developing eComm infrastructure will very likely give your business an immediate competitive edge in your market. There is opportunity aplenty across the B2B sector; is your organization ready to take advantage?
24/7 Access to Your Solutions
Across all industries and sectors, consumers have more access to products and information than ever before. A quick Google search will show your potential customers nearly every available product or service they are looking for, when they are looking for it, allowing them to make buying decisions with unprecedented speed. Fewer and fewer buyers are willing to travel to physical locations, wait for phone calls, or continually check their emails when the product is available “right here, right now” online.
Nearly a decade ago, SiriusDecisions (now Forrester) famously asserted that 67 percent of the buyer’s journey takes place digitally. Today, you could make the argument that that number is steadily increasing towards 100% (helped along by current challenges). No matter your business, the convenience and efficiency of completing the sales journey online add considerable value for your customers. eCommerce offers businesses a way to add that value, allowing their customers 24/7 access to their products and services.
More Tools Than Ever to Access the Digital Marketplace
Just as consumers now have more access to more buying options than ever, distributors and retailers now have unprecedented access to eCommerce platforms.
Today, many business-friendly eComm platforms are available, many of which integrate easily into your existing web presence. Not only are these solutions easy to set up, but the financial barrier to entry for businesses has never been lower. Whereas it used to cost companies upwards of a million dollars to get started less than ten years ago, it is now easy to find a platform for any budget. The initial investment – both in labour and money – has never been so small, and the benefits have never been greater.
Five Questions to Suggest eCommerce May Be Right for Your Business:
- Is my product easy to describe online?
- Would my product be cost-effective to ship?
- Could my customers select the right product on their own?
- Would support and service be possible remotely?
- Has my competition begun to sell online?
If you answered ‘Yes’ to at least two of the above questions, eCommerce may be a fit for your business. Reaching out to an eCommerce specialist or agency may be able to help you determine the remaining factors to start selling online.
Getting Started with Atrium Digital
Make no mistake; although eCommerce is more accessible than ever before, it (like any other selling channel) requires a significant investment of capital and labour to function effectively. For many organizations with small marketing teams, eCommerce may detract from other marketing efforts.
As a digital marketing agency with over 20 years’ experience, Atrium Digital offers marketing systems and solutions for your organization’s eCommerce needs. Our unique Marketing Systems Engineering approach enables our clients to achieve consistent performance from their entire digital marketing mix, including their eCommerce platforms. No matter your organization’s needs, Atrium offers comprehensive solutions that enable your business to achieve consistent growth.
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