The COVID-19 pandemic surely disrupted all walks of life and changed the way we live, during which it has brought unprecedented challenges - otherwise opportunities - to businesses and marketers.
Whether it is a new normal or abnormal - either way, we have no choice but to admit - and more importantly, adapt to this ‘challenge or opportunity’ era.
Among all the evolutions, we’d like to cover 5 emerging trends observed from the eCommerce and logistics industry, which hopefully help you take heed of market updates and keep up with the rapid pace of changes.
The Transformation of Online Marketplaces & Retail Events
The pandemic has led to an expected reliance on eCommerce, changing the way businesses sell and connect with their customers. As businesses recognized the disappointing shop traffic in their traditional brick-and-mortar stores, they’ve made a powerful move by utilizing online marketplaces for survival, if not expansion on a global scale.
As eCommerce grows bigger and faster (than ever), the post-pandemic era has transformed event marketing - from offline to online. These virtual events and shopping festivals go beyond geographical borders, thus creating opportunities for brands to reach a wider audience base, enter new markets, and sell globally with money flow enabled by cross-border payment providers.
The Rise of Social Commerce
Let’s be frank that, social media is a daily touchpoint for the massive majority.
As part of everyone’s daily routine, businesses are taking advantage of social media’s invasiveness and connectedness to integrate business activities on a new level - from inspiring, raising curiosity, providing information and options to promoting to selling.
This is an ultimate integration that genuinely takes customers down the sales funnel, creating an undisputed win-win scenario for you and your eCommerce business, wink wink.
The Evolution of B2I & D2C Strategy
Not long ago we’ve embraced the idea of Business-to-Individual (B2I), stepping out of the long-established comfort zone covered by the Business-to-Consumer (B2C) and Business-to-Business (B2B) sales models.
Taking the world of eCommerce by storm, B2I marketing is built on a customer-oriented approach, i.e. identifying customer needs, elevating customer experience, and building customer relationships.
Direct-to-Consumer (D2C) is like an expansion based on the B2I concept. In a similar vein, many brands have adopted D2C strategies, as in they launch their self-run eCommerce platforms and look for channels that directly serve and network with their customers, increasing their profit margins and get better insights into customers’ behaviors and preferences.
The Expectation for Faster-than-ever Delivery
Let’s start with some insightful statistics:
80% of shoppers want same-day shipping. Over 60% of consumers are willing to pay more for same-day shipping. More than 25% of shoppers would abandon their shopping carts if no same-day shipping is provided. (Source: invesp)
Consumers these days are expecting deliveries of goods and services to be faster and easier due to the drastic shift from Commerce to eCommerce. Hence, the quest for fast and faster deliveries is strong and predictable.
With an increasing number of customers valuing or even prioritizing free shipping and fast delivery in their purchase decision, eCommerce businesses now see logistics as a competitive advantage to match with customer expectations. As such, the power of investing in a smooth order fulfillment process has been evidenced by leading eCommerce retailers, e.g. FBA, Fulfillment by Amazon.
The Diversification of Supply Chains
Mandatory lockdowns, stay-at-home restrictions, and social distancing policies - the list goes on.
It is beyond dispute that the COVID-19 outspread has caused huge disruptions on global supply chains with negative influences that last, underlining the fragility of over-relying on productions and workforces from one single source. In response to the crisis, some eCommerce businesses have begun to strengthen a network of trusted suppliers and service providers in hopes of risk diversification.
Still, every business, before it stretches out, has to start from somewhere. Among which we recommend Hong Kong for its long-established reputation as a global supply chain hub. Here in Hong Kong, you can take advantage of the city’s logistics network and infrastructure in which you gain access to effortless stock allocation, cost-effective warehouse services, and professional manpower supply. The city’s resources altogether help you serve your international customers effectively and efficiently, optimizing your DTC business strategy.
Every challenge, if well managed, is an opportunity.
With no doubt, the post-pandemic era has been and will continue to be challenging. Yet, it has unleashed countless possibilities for eCommerce businesses to ground on.