The unprecedented events of 2020 secured a year of rapid growth for the e-commerce sector. Consumers were confined to their homes for a large proportion of the year, meaning that a large amount of online ordering has been out of necessity this year as opposed to anything else. This shift led to a 46% increase in online sales; the biggest growth in a decade. The pandemic has also ensured that consumers who were previously reluctant to make online purchases have had no option but to adapt, with 28% of online grocery shoppers making their first online order this year.
This has contributed further to the rapid digitisation sweeping across the modern business environment, leaving some brands no choice but to commit to some degree of digital transformation. Take Aldi for example, who in March decided to sell their groceries online for the first time ever. They started with a click and collect service with their UK Chief Executive admitting, “The business performance has been very, very solid…but we also recognise customer habits are changing and that we need to evolve our business to meet the new demands and we’re actively doing that.”
Businesses who are hesitant to turn to e-commerce have been badly hit. One of these businesses, Primark, could be set to lose £1 billion in sales. Confirming that digitisation is fast becoming an inevitability rather than a choice in strategy. Many brands have used the e-commerce boom as an offering of a new lease in life, benefitting from the digitalisation and creation of omni channel shopping experiences. Primark however, continue to pass on the offering of online sales but the longer the pandemic continues, the more harmful this stance could become.
With the pandemic rapidly increasing the usage of ecommerce, it has subsequently increased the digital expectations of consumers. What was once the expectation is now the norm. Consumers are striving for streamline online shopping experiences. Shopping Baskets which allow you to pick up where you left off; easy methods of repeat ordering and simple checkout experiences are all now vital components to creating an effective online sales platform. Failure to implement an effective and efficient online presence could result in the modern-day consumer going elsewhere.
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SOURCES; ONS, BBC NEWS, THE GUARDIAN