While this piece focuses solely on B2C eCommerce, keep an eye on our blog as we continue the conversation and highlight digital trends in other channels and categories, including B2B.
“A digital presence is not a ‘nice-to-have,’ it’s necessary for survival.” We said this earlier in the year and still firmly believe that a brand’s eCommerce presence, or lack thereof, will make or break their relevance in today’s ever-changing market. Already rising in the past decade, eCommerce activity exploded in 2020 and is expected to continue to grow in 2021.
“At the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, 10 years of eCommerce growth happened in just 90 days.” – Shopify Plus’ annual report on global eCommerce trends
If the figures in the quote above haven’t resonated, consider the following. In the second quarter of 2020, eCommerce sales in the U.S. were a record-shattering 44.4% higher than in the same quarter one year ago. In Q3, U.S. eCommerce sales rose 37.1% over the same period in 2019. Overall, retail eCommerce sales grew 18.1% in North America in 2020.
This explosive growth occurred across categories in 2020:
“[Luxury] brands made the mental switch from treating digital as 5% of their current business to 35% of future revenue.” – Ian Rogers, outgoing Chief Digital Officer at LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton
These figures reflect the dramatic shift in consumer shopping behavior, which has likely permanently shifted the balance of omnichannel shopping and will influence brand strategy for shopping channels for years to come. In an early 2020 blog post, we shared our 2¢ on eCommerce in this rapidly changing marketplace, which rings true several months later:
“eCommerce and DTC offers brands and retailers a host of new opportunities and expanded reach, but flexibility, agility, and speed will be the name of the game as we all continue to learn how to navigate the COVID and post-COVID world. Long-term plans are out the window as more agile ways of working are required to react quickly and strategically to remain competitive in industries that are more rapidly going digital.” – “COVID-19 & eCommerce: Remain Competitive in a Rapidly Changing Marketplace”
Agile DTC brand executions to learn from and watch include:
As brands, including yours, navigate these changing shopping behaviors, consider this perspective from Steven Van Belleghem, keynote speaker and author, B-Conversational:
“Increasingly, we are moving into an era where everything is commerce and we will be shopping from our streaming channels, videos, social media and messaging, and even from billboards in the street. Everything we see will have the potential to become a transaction. The store will be everywhere around us: E(everywhere)-commerce.” – “8 Customer Experience Trends for 2021”
How is your brand fostering a consistent omnichannel presence by embracing eCommerce and leveraging it along with in-store and virtual experiences? In what ways could every consumer touchpoint hold the possibility to be transactional?
If you need a partner to help discover new opportunities that harness your eCommerce business in this rapidly evolving shopper environment, get in touch with The Garage Group. We help BigCo leaders tackle strategy and innovation challenges via startup-inspired approaches.