eCommerce has come a long way since its inception. While there was an initial rebellion for the transition from retail, things are on the other side of the table now. Undoubtedly, eCommerce has fought a lot to come through with a retail-like experience. Still, this process has increased by multiple folds in recent times and accelerated due to the pandemic. People are now ditching the retail experience to shop online, even for the needs of the essential products.
In other words, the pandemic fundamentally transformed the world where sellers once knew what the customers precisely wanted. Buyers worldwide are not just living differently but also making slightly different decisions due to different thinking. While retailers are shutting down, supply chains for eCommerce specifically are being tested fiercely. Not to forget that the disruption is widespread across industries, budgets, and scales. All of these and more factors influencing this change are making the customers look at brands and the products they sell through a new lens.
Even as the world tries to return to normalcy, government guidelines on social distancing and masks will continue to prevail. Similarly, the trends in customer behaviors are also likely to endure beyond the pandemic, drastically changing the eCommerce and logistics industry as we know it. However, by exploring the data we are receiving at the moment from multiple sources, we can still make predictions about what will stay with the evolving pandemic. That’s how sellers can stay prepared for these customer demands as time changes.
Understanding the Customer with Evolving Crisis
While sellers have been busy worrying about the economic slowdown and loss of business, the customers have concerns of their own. While most people are responding in a plethora of ways, a majority of customers are concerned from an economic and health perspective. Since the prolonged impact of the crisis will only unfurl in the coming time, customers are scared to understand how it will affect them in the future and what the implications will be for society in general. According to a recent study, 82 percent of customers were observed worrying about the health of others, while 84 percent worried about the impact on the economy.
Moreover, it was common to watch the customers hoard products and make purchases due to panic buying. From hygiene products to essential supplies like staples, there was an increasing strain on the supply chain because of the fear induced by most of the customers. While companies are still studying how their customers are behaving, one of the most likely ways to adjust to their needs seems personalization.
eCommerce is Here to Stay
With increasing stress on social distancing and norms to step out only if necessary, customers have begun to shop differently. Even in the pre-pandemic era, customers were getting inclined to eCommerce stores due to their lucrative offers, convenience, and cost savings. With the pandemic taking over, this process has been accelerated, especially for the category of essential goods and home entertainment. Statistics suggest that for product categories such as medicines, personal care products, household supplies, etc., online shopping has grown by 35%. While this trend is here to stay, we can expect a rise in the demand for some other products in a similar fashion.
More Millennials are Shopping
With the growth in online shopping taking place across all countries and age groups, the millennial population is leading the way. In other words, millennials and high-income people of countries are shopping online more, and their purchases are spread across both the essential and non-essential categories. Following the footsteps, Gen Z is also emerging as the front runner in eCommerce purchases. While they are purchasing more apparel, footwear, home entertainment products, many of these are getting cooked products and other products delivered.
Customers are Switching Brands More Frequently
Customers have become more than ever conscious about the choice of their products. They are rapidly changing brands and checking out options that seem more suitable as per the current situations. For example, with the growing awareness around healthy choices and hygienic options, customers have begun choosing products that claim these. Additionally, the change in brands is also observed due to the economic pressure, the closing of stores, altering priorities, etc. the brands that have benefitted from this are mostly big and reliable ones, who have seen as much as 50 percent growth in recent times.
Brands Must Convey Value and Stay Available
Some of the popular reasons behind the customers switching brands include the non-availability of a product, convenience of ordering, and value imparted by the brand or product. This means customers are looking for a greater degree of a personalized experience, whether it is from the product or the brand, be it in the form of logistics. With third-party logistics providers like Shyplite, sellers can now offer customers a delightful experience that also shapes the brand’s identity.
Customers are Weighing Health Concerns
Customers need more hygiene transparency about products. Since they are switching brands more easily, they are eyeing products with clear communication around their health and hygiene procedures. With the pandemic, it has also become mandatory for businesses to take precautions regarding their employees and establishments. The only need is to communicate these effectively to the customer. Those offering contactless options for food delivery, etc., are receiving more orders for their products. Similarly, in retail stores, customers prefer the option of self-checkout. While all customer segments are partaking in these steps actively, millennials and the Gen Z population are seen to be more conscious.
Most of the Shopping Intent is Around Essentials
In the past few years, customer spend patterns have changed in many ways. Fasted by the pandemic, more and more buyers are cutting down their spending on non-essential products. While this is because of the discomfort in the economy, it also reflects an increase in spending on the essential categories. From the non-essential categories, apparel and footwear are making a comeback, especially for the Gen Z category. While anyone can get started with selling essentials, the support of a logistics partner such as Shyplite is required to help deliver the products across multiple destinations with efficiency and speed.
Rise in More Value for Money Products
Customers today want more products that offer value for money. While the premium selection of products has not seen remarkable growth, buyers are more reluctant to purchase from those brands that provide more for less. Owing to these, we can see many brands come up with a more affordable range of products that aims to deliver the value sought by the customers. One of the most stand-out examples of these was the purchase of shampoo on Amazon. The value and mass of these products have gained shares up to 5 percent compared to offerings of premium selections.
Preparing for the Change with Shyplite
With changing customer attitudes, purchasing behaviors, and habits, it is likely that these trends are here to stay even in a post-pandemic world. For businesses across all sizes, this means a robust preparation in terms of inventory management and logistics. Shyplite, being one of India’s top logistics partners, is offering eCommerce sellers a helping hand to fight this situation of crisis with automated, efficient, and low-cost logistics. With Shyplite, sellers are finally able to deliver their orders with a customized experience. Be it the end-to-end tracking, branded tracking page, timely order notifications, or choosing the befitting courier partner for a particular order, the level of personalization that sellers can provide their end customers with Shyplite is unparalleled.
Another important factor that emerges from changing customer behaviors is the need for robust seller support. Sellers need agile solutions that help them resolve a customer’s query in the minimum amount of time. On the one hand, this will help them cater to a more significant number of customers while providing a quality experience. With Shyplite’s strong support team, sellers are guaranteed a speedy and efficient resolution. The best part of this lies in a truly affordable and seamless shipping experience that comes from a low shipping fee and no subscription fee.
With the recent changes in the past few years and the adoption of digital interfaces, customer behavior has changed significantly. This has led to a more rigorous automation-based business approach that is willing to optimize itself with its customer’s demands. With third-party logistics bringing about a drastic transformation in the eCommerce industry, sellers across all scales and sizes are finally able to provide their customers with an Amazon-like experience.