Our world is completely different today. Everything from how we work, go to school, and buy food is part of a “new normal”. But this begs the question: How long will it last? Is the “new normal” here to stay? Many experts believe that many buying habits aren’t going away anytime soon. In fact, 53% of North American households claim that the COVID-19 pandemic has changed how they will shop going forward. So, what does this mean for e-commerce businesses? In this article, we will share several key buying habits that have changed due to the pandemic, and what businesses can do to adapt to the “new normal” trends.
More Buyers Are Shopping Online Than Ever Before
Quarantine orders, closed stores, and empty shelves have forced buyers to shop online—even those who preferred the brick-and-mortar experience. Buyers have realized that shopping online was not only safer, but also easier, convenient, and more reliable. Even as stores, businesses, and shops reopen, many buyers are planning to stick to their online shopping habits for the foreseeable future. If your business becomes an e-commerce business due to the shutdown, then it is a good choice to keep your e-commerce shop open to continue serving your online shoppers. This means ensuring you have an easy-to-use website with a streamlined shopping experience that keeps customers satisfied.
Curbside Pickup Is Convenient
Curbside pickup has been a saving grace for many businesses. Curbside pickup offers similar benefits to buyers, such as safety and convenience. Research shows that stores and businesses that have implemented a curbside pickup service will continue to offer it through the end of 2020. For e-commerce businesses that also have a brick-and-mortar location and a local customer base, offering curbside pickup as an option at checkout significantly improves their experience. Furthermore, ensuring that the shopper’s experience is as easy and convenient as possible will increase customer loyalty, retention, and repeat sales for your e-commerce business.
Customers Are Buying Digital Products And Services
Service-based businesses were hit hardest by the pandemic. For example, gyms, studios, and salons were among the few types of businesses that had to get creative and innovative to quickly improve their digital product or strategy, or completely develop one from scratch. However, many buyers have found new ways to interact with their favorite services, such as purchasing virtual classes or participating in digital consultations or events. Although many feared that their businesses would suffer due to the lack of in-person interactions, studies show that 14 percent of buyers purchased a digital service or product that they normally would have purchased in person. Furthermore, that same 14 percent are also likely to continue to purchase those virtual products and services in the future.
Offering digital versions of your product or service can actually expand your customer base rather than shrink it. e-commerce businesses can reach a wider audience without any physical or geographical limitations.
Reaching For The Future With AI
No one could have predicted what 2020 had in store for our world. Although completely unexpected, the pandemic has forced a shift that has increased innovation, sparked creativity, and created new opportunities. Additionally, with more focus on online shopping than ever before, more and more e-commerce companies are leveraging and adopting AI technologies and tools to help them keep up with the customer demand, target and reach new customers, and improve efficiency all around. AdScale is an AI-powered tool designed to streamline digital advertising for e-commerce businesses, allowing them to reach more customers while also pushing their marketing budgets to go that much further.