As non-essential shops closed and stay-at-home orders were issued, COVID-19 forced businesses around the world to quickly adapt and respond to changing consumer priorities and behaviors. How has the reliance on digital impacted online shopping since the start of this global pandemic?
In the U.S., online purchases increased by 50% and e-commerce sites experienced an average revenue increase of 68% in mid-April, indicating that people are buying more – or spending more – online. The same is true for France, where internet traffic increased by 70% and use of social networks increased by 61%, resulting in a boost in online conversions across online marketplaces and e-commerce websites, 18% of which have recorded a higher turnover. In Germany, 1 out of 5 people still opted to do their shopping online, while many took advantage of in-store pick-up service: online purchases with in-store pick-up increased by 71%.
Of course, this acceleration in e-commerce was not consistent across all industries and across all countries, with the exception of online grocery stores, which became an industry of necessity and experienced higher global traffic and sales – yet sometimes struggled to meet demand. Many e-commerce sites operating in the apparel, sporting goods, electronics, entertainment, home/furniture and the DIY market recorded increases in online visits and transactions in recent weeks, reflecting a shift in shopping behaviour as people prepared their homes for confinement.
As consumers equipped their home offices with office supplies and electronics, purchased sports equipment to remain fit at home, ordered gardening and home decorating supplies to keep busy, and continued to buy clothing and accessories online, we observe a gradual shift in buyer mentality and even a return to normal shopping habits. Moreover, the data shows that this change in consumer behavior is not likely to disappear, and consumers will continue to shop and spend more online, even once the pandemic is over.
If your company operates an e-commerce store, or is looking to get your retail business online, now is the time to optimize your online presence and the digital experience of potential customers. Make sure you consistently execute on all channels in support of the customer experience as online shoppers are exposed to your brand and products at multiple touchpoints. Traditionally, consumer expect to see at least 8 product images per purchase, so you’ll want to engage with them on all your social media platforms, apps, and e-commerce websites. Content such as digital ads, videos or product images should also be delivered in the right format for the right device, and of course localized to the market (audience, location and language) if your e-commerce website operates in several geographic locations. Offering a consistent and engaging customer experience is crucial to boosting sales, however it doesn’t mean you should be constrained by time and available resources in creating, reformatting and delivering rich content to the appropriate channel.
Digital Asset Management (DAM) solutions are designed to help retail and e-commerce brands meet these challenges. They power the entire media supply chain so that you can efficiently bring your brand and products to market, engage with consumers at all possible touchpoints, and create the best possible digital shopping experiences – globally and at scale. The omnichannel customer experience may be your business battleground, but now it is a source of opportunity too.