Summer eCommerce – What Merchants Need to Know
eCommerce is an ever-changing aspect of the business. Thus far, the occurrence of the unexpected has been the norm. Any brand that has a hand in eCommerce, from retailers to restaurants, has had to adapt. But what do the next few months look like? What are some summer eCommerce trends that matter right now?
Expand Delivery Options
The shipping process is changing and traditional fulfillment channels have faced a number of challenges over the last several months, creating delays and other problems for businesses worldwide. Increased shipping costs or longer delivery times can cause some customers to walk away.
Enter curbside pickup, or buy online pick-up in store (BOPIS). According to the National Retail Federation (NRF), half of consumers have tried it as a result of COVID-19. Further, 90 percent who did said it was convenient. Consumers love convenience.
If you have physical locations, you should promote a BOPIS approach. It could impact your revenue and attract shoppers who don’t want to go inside or wait for delivery. It’s a solution for any retailer, including restaurants.
Online Grocery Sets New 30-Day Record
Online grocery sales hit $5.30 billion in April. Grocery shopping was once something driven by in-store. Consumers weren’t ready to hand over their list to a shopper pre-COVID. Now, they are more than happy to do so.
Necessity drove demand, but the numbers aren’t dipping as the country opens back up — grocery stores were never closed. This shift means that grocery stores have had to become fulfillment centers. More employees were shopping aisles for customers, and additional storage became a need.
Grocery stores are adapting well. What can other retailers learn from their success? It’s two-fold. First, you have to be where your customers are in terms of convenience and preference. Second, they evolved their operations to handle online shopping versus in-store shopping. You may need to do the same.
Seasonal Still Matters
COVID-19 began in the late winter. At that time, summer was a bit of a hopeful future. Now, it’s here, and the pandemic hasn’t disappeared. Yet, that’s not deterring shoppers from thinking about summer. Leisure and outdoor eCommerce sales are up 109 percent since the pandemic. Shoppers are past the “necessity” phase of online shopping and seeking things they want, not just what they need.
People want to be outside, enjoying the sun. Parks and pools are now open, and consumers need supplies. This data point applies to any retailer. Move your messaging and your promotions to summer.
Payment Method Changes
Not only has the pandemic changed how people shop — it’s also transforming how people pay. A new report from Research and Markets cites the growth in contactless payment. This rise makes sense, limiting the need to touch anything.
Shoppers are also trying out new ways to pay online. They prefer methods with the strongest security, as fraud continues to be a concern.
Another trend in eCommerce payments is the rise of buy-now-pay-later options. This new process doesn’t charge interest and splits a cost into equal payments. Businesses receive payment in full, while the service collects payment from buyers. This trend matters because while consumers are unsure about the economy, they still have needs. Providing such an option could improve your revenue. Plus, you aren’t the collector here, so it’s valuable for retailers.
The eCommerce Shopper: Buyers Are Changing
One of the most critical data points to consider is that consumer priorities are different. They now care most about availability. Quality was once the leading motivator. This change illustrates the supply and demand. It’s also prompting shoppers to go outside their preferred brands. Take advantage of this trend by focusing on your availability advantage. It could win you new customers.
Are you ready for these summer eCommerce trends? Consider how they can alter your strategy and help you thrive in the new economy.
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