There is a constant massive shift underway and life, work and everything else feels like one relentless wild ride with mostly everyone facing the loss of control and balance.
This shift all around is being seen in the power dynamics of how people are expected to behave and the reality of how people are behaving. There is a disproportionate disruptiveness that is being seen, felt and heard all around. Most of us respond to this in typical conditioned ways but the mainstay has always been that humanity learns very quickly to adapt- But adapt to what and adapt at what cost this time?
Have we gone down a road so far that there is no coming back? Have we forsaken our values and our hard working ethics for something that has been sold as a paradise point?
The biggest unexpected change was the massive jump (77% year on year) in Online shopping via instant adoption of digital commerce in real time since the last 3-4 years.
This is where agility and the willingness to embrace change and adopt practices that make a brand more accessible and relatable to its clientele is one of the best ways to respond instantly in a dynamic and fluid market.
Flexibility to adding more products/services that actually bring meaning, strategies that are all encompassing of every factor, making it fun whilst building brand loyalty and authority through digital channels that do not cut off the human element but actually supports meaningful engagement offscreen is being called for in ways more than one.
There is a movement of paranoia and fear and this has been slowing the growth of commerce down in recent months, and yet online retail sales are slated to reach $30 trillion by 2025.
But do these figures take into account the general plunge in work and productivity levels all around due to the lack of mental well-being along with physical well-being that has contributed to lack of actual attendance in the office amongst other things?
Much of marketing and business growth culture had become focussed on generating leads and generating sales in one way or another. The incessant ‘cut throat come what may’ mantra had become the ethos to live by in the world of commerce; and whilst this is still very much prevalent it is also becoming very clear that relationships matter. If these aren’t nurtured then no business is nurtured.
So let’s take a dive into some E-commerce trends that can define how it all looks like in the coming months ahead.
Higher Quality products, user friendly shopping experiences, better customer care, genuine relationship nurturing are going to be even more important than ever before.
Focus on Value-
Against geopolitical and economic uncertainty on a global scale, everyone has been impacted. Consumer spending habits, supply chains and business operating costs, management structures have all been shifting rapidly. There is a hesitancy to spend which is great because this asks of everyone to take more responsibility, especially for brands and businesses to completely fine tune their services, products and ensure that there is no greed driving their business but genuine evolution for their customers and their people and the communities they belong to. Real time factors on E-commerce sites like exceptional shopping experience, great service, easy returns process, strong multi-channel integrations with brick-mortar stores will have to now accelerate toward a world class standard no matter how big or small the business is. Focussing on all of the above for any brand drives value first and gives out a very clear message that the business actually cares.
Businesses that are sustainable are the ones that will outlast the game of fast commerce. People all over the world have also become more aware of the important benefits for a lifestyle that is sustainable all around. Sustainability does not mean just ‘going green’ with packaging, manufacturing or delivering but actually realising that as a brand owner/business owner it is your responsibility to ensure your customers benefit tangibly from what is being offered. That there is a true evolutionary curve that shows the difference between making fast buying, fast business decisions as Vs a patient way of being in a business without needing to jump on the next bandwagon for fear of missing out. This mindset needs to be cultivated from the top down- from management and leadership to the rest of the team.
Brand Experience standout-
Enhancing what your brand’s purpose is meant for and why it exists is part of the experience journey that your clients and customers relate to and feel a sense of familiarity with. This however can only come from a very deep understanding of what brand integrity really means. Is the brand only paying attention to getting their next new client, or is the brand meant for a larger call that exists in the gap in society. Apart from building a tangible and real connection via customised content, unique video content, social media profiles, SEO, UX, to ensure brands stay relevant- what’s more important is the willingness to be transparent, authentic and approachable with your target audience. Building consistent and true experiences through personal connections increases growth for any business.
Adoption to Technology-
There is this growing fear being perpetuated that businesses that do not implement AI will eat dust. Whilst this is true as far as lagging behind and not being technologically savvy or up to speed, it is not a criteria for success that one has to adopt some form of AI platform in their business strategy online. Keeping it simple and yet relevant with the times is a loving art that can only be done with genuine care. One key thing to remember is that not all AI adoption is great for your business and this can also come across as gimmicky or fluffy if discretion has not been exercised. Use technology wisely and it will unlock growth else it’s a quick downward spiral and easy to get lost in.
For example- Most of the content online is written in English, which limits their audience. Most non-native English users use online translation tools, which could mistranslate and misbrand your content. Due to this, multilingual content creation is on the rise, especially with the rapid development and accessibility of machine translation (MT). However, overreliance on MT may produce the same results as online translation tools. For this reason, machine translation post-editing, popularly known as MTPE, has been widely appealing to digital marketers as it merges advanced technology and the skills of native translators to produce multilingual content that accurately conveys the marketing message and avoids marketing blunders.
Less dependency more solidness-
Businesses have depended on commercial juggernaut marketplaces like Amazon for too long. This actually stops growth and builds dependency, whilst Amazon’s revenues from commissions on sales keep on increasing. Looking inwards is very empowering- ensuring that your brand is working seamlessly. There are many smart implementations like flexi payment methods (including many “buy now pay later” companies); logistics (offering next day delivery); conversion rate optimization (smart search engines, CRMs) and of course e-commerce platforms with a SEO strategy that can catapult your growth without the need to ride piggyback on an entity that does not much care for your business or your values.
Bringing genuine diligence to your business and staying attentive to what’s going around you is the game changer for your business to grow and there is no reason why it should not- if what you are offering to the world is tangibly beneficial and evolving in some way.
We at Elixir trust that these insights will help you improve your e-commerce strategy and thrive this coming year. Need any help putting these into practice for your e-commerce business? Feel free to reach out!
Our brand founder and author of this blog Chetan Jha is leading not just change but also innovation across the board through best practises that echo compassion understanding and reflection. To know more, email us: [email protected]