The evolution of eCommerce in the last year

Diego Katzman

Diego Katzman
Published 13/07/2021 · 3 min read

Physical stores have indeed had one of the most difficult years in their history. And all because of the health crisis, the lockdown and the resulting closures of physical stores, changes in consumer habits, etc. But let's face it, it was coming. And 2021 has become that year where the changes acquired by consumers and businesses are taking hold.

Join us in this post and discover how eCommerce has evolved in the last year.

How has eCommerce evolved in 2020?

"Online sales have had an impact on eCommerce," "eCommerce sales growth in the UK reached 38%, "The UK is the fastest-growing country in terms of eCommerce in the last year."

How many times have you heard these kinds of statements over the last year? As the pandemic has progressed, changes in eCommerce have become more and more visible. For example, the online retail sector there has shown growth in turnover in the United Kingdom, Germany, France, and Spain, among many other European countries. In addition, figures of up to 146 billion euros have been reached over the year in countries like the UK. (E-Show Magazine)

The growth of eCommerce has been evident over the last year, and although there is a fear of the unknown, physical stores have had to rethink their business models. Many were caught with active online stores but with little user value. Others had not even begun to consider their digital transformation and opened an online store in record time. In any case, COVID-19 has forced them to rethink business strategies on all sides.

There are two key factors in the evolution of eCommerce:

  • Digital transformation and its consequent digitisation and automation. It is vital for the near future.
  • Omnichannel experiences to maintain and build relationships with customers in a much closer and more reliable way.

2020 has been a watershed year for commerce in every respect. Now that we are in a new era where new entrepreneurs must adapt to recent forms of management and regulations, it is time to look at 2021 with the adaptation lenses on.

What will happen?

How will eCommerce change in 2021?

Or rather, how is it changing? As we look to this year, we see an immediate and promising future in eCommerce. Trends show innovation and growth among retailers:

  • eCommerce will continue to grow as shopping norms evolve. In this regard, the younger generations are driving the eCommerce boom, changing the way brands approach and generate business.
  • Retailers will adapt to an increasingly independent consumer.
  • Physical retail will no longer be what it was. It will now also be transformed to give rise to new local and online businesses. In addition, they will leverage technology to create better shopping experiences and meet customer needs.

According to a study conducted by Shopify, "customers who may have been reluctant to shop online before are now comfortable with and accustomed to the conveniences offered by these new methods of shopping". In addition, we have extracted other data to check the evolution of eCommerce in 2021:

  • "68% of consumers in the UK believe that shopping locally is important, and a majority expect to shop more locally post-pandemic than before."
  • "70% of shoppers in the UK indicated that their ability to make contactless payments was important to them. 67% have said that it is more important now than before the pandemic."

The future of the eCommerce sector holds the evolution of all those companies more willing to adapt to changing times. Are you one of them?

We could say that eCommerce is undergoing a rapid evolution during the pandemic. Sectors such as fashion have doubled their activity compared to previous years. Food delivery, household cleaning products, and medicines have been the most purchased products online.

Some top trends for eCommerce in 2021

After taking a broad overview of the evolution of eCommerce during the COVID-19 pandemic, it's time to think about the trends that are here to stay. Here are some of them:

  • Augmented Reality. Many online stores are looking for new strategies to improve their customer experience and increase personalisation.
  • Chatbots. They are a good alternative to improve the customer service in real-time and interact with them in a simple way.
  • Mobile payments. Although they are an alternative with a long history, more and more users are using their smartphones to make online purchases.
  • Voice search. This is an increasingly popular trend involving the digital transformation of businesses.
  • Artificial intelligence. It is increasingly present in business processes and thanks to it, online shopping is being optimised.
  • Business Intelligence. Dashboards allow the monitoring of activity peaks by days and hours to correct and optimise conversions.

How do we leave uncertainty behind? What is the roles of technology in the recovery of the global economy? What about eCommerce?

Key findings on the evolution of online retailing

We have compiled the conclusions you should remember from the evolution of eCommerce during the pandemic and want to show them to you:

  1. The number of retailers offering omnichannel experiences (chat, email, social media, SMS, etc.) increases.
  2. Technology and digital transformation have become the main ways to adapt to the situation, demands and user consumption habits.
  3. Changing habits in consumer behaviour. COVID could be the definitive boost to eCommerce, forcing users who were more reluctant to buy to use it and discover a convenient, safe and effective method.
  4. Social distancing has attracted and boosted online consumers.
  5. Online sales have multiplied throughout 2020 and will continue to do so in the coming years. In fact, turnover figures have increased by 30% compared to 2019.

Do you have any questions about the evolution of eCommerce? Tell us about them.

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