The narrative that retail is dying is quite popular among many e-commerce players. But is the industry actually collapsing? While we hear horror stories about retail bankruptcies in the media and the horrendous aftermath of the pandemic for many businesses, in the past year, retail sales have gone up again. Experts project that by 2025, retail profit will reach at least $30 trillion globally.
Despite the slight increase in retail’s success, it’s safe to say that retail is on the verge of disruption. The high customer demands and the need for convenient, digital services force many businesses to adapt, which means switching to the electronic world. It’s not arguable that the role of the store is changing, and customers are quickly changing their habits as well.
That leads us to the ultimate question of whether retail is dying and how it’ll impact the future of e-commerce. Keep reading to gain more insights regarding this topic.
Retail is Changing but isn’t Going Away
It’s clear that consumers have changed their habits with the widespread use of technology. But does that mean that they aren’t spending? The answer’s no. The pandemic’s restrictions may have cut bridges, but since that’s out of the line now, people are heading back to the stores and leaving their money there. From renewing their wardrobe to upgrading their kitchen, the retail industry is experiencing another boom.
Naturally, some consumers see more benefits in retail compared to online stores, and when we think about that, it makes a lot of sense. You can touch and see the items in an actual store. Seeing other customers face-to-face and interacting with the personnel makes a difference, especially in helping decide if you want to buy that item. For this reason, some businesses keep their physical locations open despite providing a questionable profit. In this case, they see their store staff as a huge asset rather than a costly expense. Oh, and not to mention the shipping drama. This is another factor that physical stores don’t have to deal with.
How Businesses are Benefiting from E-Commerce
According to Statista, e-commerce sales worldwide reached a threshold of more than 1.3 billion dollars in 2024. Experts say that by 2024, the number will skyrocket to 6.3 billion. Marketers argue that with this type of expansion, it’s hard to maintain and keep your e-commerce business successful mainly because of all the competition. On top of that, as more companies go digital, it’s more complicated to attract new customers. Experts say that advertising expenses are huge, and for some e-commerce startups, they aren’t on the budget.
Despite the challenges, e-commerce attracts new investors due to its ever-evolving opportunities. Of course, modern e-commerce players must have a unique strategy and the right budget and aim for a segmented audience rather than speak to everyone. Smart and innovative e-commerce brands have wild chances to succeed. With all of the benefits of the digital sphere, no wonder why so many companies are switching to e-commerce:
It’s more convenient
An online store is open 24/7, meaning that you can shop there anywhere, anytime. On top of that, many e-commerce businesses provide a wide range of items or digital services in one place. You can filter and search for personalized offers, which leads you to save time and money since you don’t have to cover traveling expenses.
You can expand your brand
If you’re a business owner searching for new opportunities to expand your brand, e-commerce is the go-to strategy for entering new markets. The transition from a traditional brick-and-mortar store to an innovative brand can be drastic. Typically, e-commerce players focus on having a great online presence, including exceptional customer service, an informative blog, great ads, influencers, and overall presentable social media. With that in mind, these tools can help expand your product range, at the same time, gain more customers.
It’s easily scalable
As your e-commerce business expands, naturally, you’ll want to add more items to the list as well as broaden your target audience. Customers will dictate requirements that’ll require making some changes. With an e-commerce website, everything’s simpler. You can easily scale your business accordingly. Analyzing customer behavior analytics, adding appropriate payment methods, shipping options, and all that jazz is easier when it’s online. You don’t have to think about moving to another premise and can focus your energy on upgrading sales and enhancing your marketing strategy.
What’s Next for E-Commerce?
According to the latest expert insights, rising e-commerce acquisition costs push brands to focus on fostering long-term relationships with their customers. To reach this goal, organizations will need to strengthen their customer connections by exploring and identifying a clear voice for their brand in the near future. Generalized services without the feel of a personal connection won’t make a successful e-commerce brand today. Of course, the competition is again putting pressure on the e-commerce sector.
That’s why today’s e-commerce experts suggest investing more in brand building. This way, you can boost conversion rates and increase the customer lifetime value. Here are a few tips on how to improve your e-commerce business in 2022:
Gather more data about your customers
Have clear target goals and a detailed strategy that’ll help you reach them. There are many ways to analyze and collect data, but one o the easiest methods is through customer surveys. They easily help you measure your brand and allow you to learn more about your customers, which eventually will help you build a better reputation, and a transparent relationship with your customers.
Utilize different channels
Do you think that TV advertising is dead? Similar to retail, despite the contrary belief, it’s not. Having an e-commerce business allows you to experiment with various channels, such as connected TV, voice shopping, or even digital messaging apps. Standard ads are great, but due to the rising costs, you can branch out and try out new alternative channels. Also, don’t forget to think about your niche. Some brands today use Discord as a way to advertise their product. Maybe such a strategy will work for your brand as well.
Improve your security
Yes, we’ve come to the fun part. As much as people enjoy e-commerce and the ability to shop online at any time of the day, it has a darker side. Sharing data and spending money isn’t dangerous online. Despite that, we have bad actors and scammers that try to utilize the digital arena for their benefit. That means e-commerce businesses need to be extra careful when choosing payment providers. On top of that, specific measures need to be taken. For instance, Identity Verification is vital when onboarding new customers to your e-comm platform. This way, you can prevent hackers and other suspicious users from registering and accessing important data.
The Bottom Line
It’s important to stress that the hype around retail being dead is a bit extreme, as the post-pandemic retail sales numbers have successfully denied such a theory. Will we have even more e-commerce players soon? The answer is one big absolute “yes”. Despite the competition, e-commerce hasn’t reached its peak yet, and due to the high demand from the customers, more services will most likely start selling their stuff online.