The e-commerce industry has exponentially growing since past few years and the COVID-19 global pandemic has only served to skyrocket its growth. The latest figures displayed the US ecommerce online sales that generated total $581.5 billion in the first threequarters of 2020 alone.
With these astronomical figures, businesses are only motivated further to move towards digitizing their operations. Thee Commerce giant, Amazon has witnessed its sales soaring high last year, encouraging other retailers to pick up the online root. As a result, retail brands like Zara and H&M decided to shut down thousands of their physical stores across the world, in an attempt to refocus their efforts on e-commerce.
It is evident that COVID-19 has only increased the pace of eCommerce growth. However, the flip side of that grow this that competition is also growing. To keep up with the competition, businesses need to know what the biggest challenges in eCommerce to thrive while moving forward.
1) Higher Customer Expectations
2020 has fueled online shoppers’ high expectation and these customer expectations will increase in 2021, making it one of the biggest challenges in eCommerce in the coming months.
Customers have lot of expectations, including about the things they may not even realize they want, which includes:
• Low-cost or free returns
• Free shipping
• A well-optimized website where it’s easy to find any information
• 24 x 7 customer service options right on your website
• A consistent shopping experience across all devices
• The ability to use any number of digital payment options
As an eTailer, your first instinct is to address customer expectations at every step. You have to be proactive in every department to provide a smooth shopping experience to your customers. Also, keep looking for trends for future and what your competitors are doing. Get their first, if not last, and build your marketing strategy accordingly.
2) Increased Difficulty in Attracting Customers
Advertising channels and platforms are going under change constantly, which has made engaging and attracting customers extremely challenging as they can easily find products and brands in several different ways.
Trends that you need to consider:
• 63% of product searches start on Amazon
• 66% of people prefer a short video over text to learn about a product
• 49% of consumers follow the recommendations of influencers
It all means that you need be adaptive. Refresh your online marketing efforts by leveraging new channels, new trends, and new opportunities.
A solid cross-channel strategy along with an efficient advertising management solution can help you access data and in sights, which includes using high-performing keywords and audience information across different channels to maximize Amazon Advertising campaigns.
If you are new to display advertising, it’s high time to consider it and utilize it to reach your ideal customers with the right messaging at the right time during their buying journey to increase both awareness and conversions.
3) Increased Importance in Automation Technologies
To solve all the complexities that come with eCommerce and to maximize on the opportunities, technology is your best friend. Provided it is the right technology.
An ideal technology would be one that offers a seamless integration with your other technologies to enhance your efficiency.
The technologies that would top the list for eCommerce and online marketers in 2021 are artificial intelligence(AI) and cross-channel advertising management solutions.
AI or machine learning includes using algorithms to learn from repeat patterns. AI algorithms are behind Google Smart Shopping. Search engine and voice search results also make the use of algorithms to deliver the best results.
Similarly, paid marketing platforms, such as PPC advertising, use AI tool to help digital marketers automatically optimize their search and shopping campaigns. The advantage of AI is that it works much faster than people. With AI powered tool, your team is free from performing any manual adjustments or optimizing bids and can focus on strategy and other important activities.
Cross-Channel Advertising Management
Due to the rapidly increasing number of channels and ways to reach customers, a platform that allow businesses manage multiple channels and across platforms — search, shopping, display, and social —all in a single place is a game-changer.
The ability to access data from Amazon Advertising, Google Search, Various Shopping Campaigns, and Facebook Shops and then using that data to optimize all channels and campaigns can immensely help your team move at a much faster, more effective pace while maintaining a stable ROAS.
When you utilize the right technologies, they not only save time savers, but they also help you stay agile, maximize performance and ROAS, and help you take a lead in the competition.
Other than these three changes, a significant eCommerce challenge in 2021 will be continued uncertainty. We are not talking about the uncertainty resulting from COVID-19, but the everyday uncertainty that comes with the continuous evolving industry and technologies.
Hence, expect the unexpected and stay on your toes and innovative as you can in 2021. Also, make sure to stay strategic that will help cope with the changes with stability. You just have to focus on your best converting ads while retaining the flexibility you need to move and adjust your campaigns and strategy as required.
The PPC Winner team helps Amazon sellers worldwide develop and regularly refine strategies using AI Powered PPC Automation Tool to optimize your advertising campaign the best way possible. If you want help refining your
strategy and run a successful campaign, schedule a call with our expert to see how we can help.