Strategy

5 key trends disrupting digital commerce

Kristin Schepici
Kristin Schepici June 11, 2020
5 key trends disrupting digital commerce

As the COVID-19 pandemic threw the world into a tailspin, businesses were struck with the reality that they had been relying too heavily on the in-store channel. Weaknesses were exposed in supply chains and fulfillment operations. Legacy e-commerce systems couldn’t support new business processes and, to make matters even worse, systems were taken down by massive spikes in traffic.

The outcome is that we’re experiencing a digital commerce uprising of colossal proportions. As a result of the immense shift in business models that we are now experiencing, here are five e-commerce trends that are really taking off in 2020.  

Trend #1: Businesses look to marketplaces to meet customer needs 

Prior to the pandemic, digital commerce was well on its way to adopting the online marketplace model. In fact, in 2019, 58%1 of online retail sales globally were sold through marketplaces, a 22% increase over the prior year.

The pandemic has propelled marketplace adoption into overdrive, as we see both B2B and B2C businesses quickly deploying their own marketplaces to account for lost revenue and to remove reliance on struggling supply chains and fulfillment as well as onboarding new products without capital expenditure on inventory. 

Trend #2: A huge upsurge in hyper-local demand

Rules on social distancing have stimulated a hyper-local demand like we have never seen. Since customers are confined to their homes, on-demand deliveries, like UberEats and DoorDahs have skyrocketed. Businesses are viewing on-demand deliveries through an entirely new lense, and are rapidly deploying marketplaces to quickly add new suppliers and partners and leverage drop shipping to serve this hyper-local movement.

Trend #3 –  Omnichannel is a top priority 

Omnichannel has been pushed to the forefront for brick-and-mortar businesses. Buy Online Pickup In Store (BOPIS) has realized significant adoption, with 68%2 of US consumers having made multiple BOPIS purchases, according to data from Business Insider. Those who had omnichannel in place prior to pandemic are capitalizing on their investment by offering curbside pick ups or home delivery.

Trend #4 – Businesses are increasing their use of data, AI and machine learning to improve fulfillment logistics 

The pandemic has caused severe disruptions to supply chains, and changes in worldwide regulations continue to be a challenge for fulfillment and logistics. Businesses are turning to OMS with built-in intelligence (AI) to fulfill orders more efficiently and more cost-effectively. AI is helping retailers locate and use inventory from stores, even if they are closed, to serve online customers.  

Trend #5 – Expansion of digital customer service offerings  

Since the pandemic hit, support teams across industries have been hit hard and fast with a range of new challenges. The two big ones: vast increases in inbound call volume, as high as 50% or more and; new work-at-home models that require entirely new customer service rep (CSR) and management processes. Service organizations are dealing with these challenges by expanding their use of digital customer services offerings, from online chat to self-serve website resources. Digital alternatives help customers get the attention they need without having to wait in the call queue, while enabling CSRs do their jobs well by reducing their call volume.  

Seize the Opportunity

These five trends were gaining steam before the pandemic hit, and are now realizing adoption at unprecedented rates. Businesses worldwide turn to VTEX to help them turn these market shifts  into opportunities – with the first and only fully-integrated ecommerce, marketplace and order management solution. Contact us today to learn how VTEX can empower your business to seize the opportunity.

1 DigitalCommerce360
2 Business Insider

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