Due to the pandemic and quarantine around the planet, consumer behavior has changed markedly. Shoppers visit malls less often and instead buy online. Following them, retailers should also change their approach to sales, and IT consultants can help them with this. In this article, we have collected the most notable e-commerce trends for 2021 and an analysis of how IT business consultants can help retailers.
E-Commerce Trends 2021
The field of e-commerce is constantly evolving and changing. Thus it is important for online businesses to follow trends and even technology developments to stand out from competitors and attract customers. What are the trends in e-commerce in 2021?
Nowadays consumers choose online stores with fast shipping, it is preferable for the delivery to be free of charge. Also, it is expected for the item to arrive within 1-2 days of ordering. It is important to modernize logistics processes to meet such requirements. It is preferable to locate more warehouses around a city, automate the acceptance of claims and return of goods.
2. A selection of sustainable brands
It has never been more difficult than in 2021 to build a brand. However, socially conscious consumers will buy products of some brands if their positioning resonates with them. Eco-brands are gaining more and more popularity, and this is because of the relevancy of timing. People want to do less harm to the planet and business wants to help them in this.
3. Omniacal sales
An emphasis should be placed on this point. To keep up with potential buyers a retailer has to offer its products everywhere, or his online store will go unnoticed. It is worth mentioning that keeping track of all of these sales channels separately is too time-consuming. Channels of communication with customers should be integrated into a single communication system for its efficiency. This is called omniacality. Except for the online store, a client can be influenced through all available sales channels: social networks, product aggregators, or contextual advertising. These channels are combined into a single system for the statistics to be conveniently analyzed.
4. Simplifying the interface
Minimalism is one of the top trends in e-commerce. An expensive and intrusive design does not solve business problems and honestly does not make a profit. The interface should perform purely a service function – to connect the user to the website and allow him to perform key actions. Do not distract the attention of the buyer, focus his gaze on the main thing with a simple and clear design. The main thing today is content, and the interface can influence decision-making, take the emphasis on itself.
5. Fast payment methods
There should be several different forms of payment for the goods: by credit card, electronic money, in a bank to a direct account, payment through ATMs/terminals. Paying for purchases using ApplePay, WhatsApp Pay, GooglePay, Facebook payments, and Twitter Buy is becoming a trend. The consultant should offer the online business to analyze the effectiveness of each of the payment systems, the speed of its response and, if necessary, add new systems. It is also recommended to avoid the shopping cart on the site so as not to overload the buyer with additional registrations.
6. Mobile Commerce
The prevalence of mobile Internet surfing over desktop was noticed many years ago, and since then mobile traffic has only been gaining momentum. If initially, a large share of visits fell on social networks, games, instant messengers, and various applications, now people have become more active in making purchases through smartphones.
IT consultant is responsible for preparing your site in advance. Using the Google Mobile-Friendly Test, he should find out if the pages are adapted for smartphones if there are problems with loading, and how convenient it is for users to be on the adaptive version. IT consultancy includes determining how easy and intuitive the checkout process is through portable devices.
7. Loading speed
This is a traditional trend, the relevance of which is increasing from year to year. The client won’t wait for the page to load. If this does not happen within a couple of seconds, he will leave. If earlier the threshold of acceptability of waiting for a load was from 3 to 5 seconds, now it has dropped to 2 seconds. This is the maximum amount of time the average client is willing to spend waiting for loading.
Remember that loading time is one of the ranking factors in Google search results. High loading speed primarily depends on the quality of the layout. If the page code is correct and the visual content is optimized, there will be no problem.
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8. Partnerships between companies
In 2020, a large number of projects arose with the participation of manufacturers, retailers, delivery services, telecom companies, and payment services to quickly and efficiently meet consumer needs in a pandemic. The possibility of such a partnership compensates for the absence of the creation of some business processes and allows companies to be flexible and resourceful in unpredictable conditions. In 2020, Amazon teamed up with Lyft to keep up with the growing demand for online grocery delivery. At the same time, Uber Eats announced a partnership with French Carrefour, Spanish gas station chain Galp, pharmacies, and stores in Brazil.
Chatbots speed up and make cheaper the process of interaction between the seller and the buyer, notify about applications and the status of an order. If chatbots are displayed at the right time and place, virtual assistants become additional channels of communication with customers. This trend may not be suitable for all businesses; an IT consultant should consult about its necessity.
Summarizing all of the above, we would like to note that new trends in online commerce appear every year and that it is worth keeping an eye on them for the business to keep pace with the times. Statista forecasts e-commerce revenue to grow to $6.54 trillion by 2022, this is up 85.27% from the $3.53 trillion recorded in 2019. This is one more reason to pay closer attention to your online business improvement now to succeed in the future. IT consultants will help you decide what is worth paying attention to and what is not suitable for the needs of this or that online business.
IT Consultancy in E-Commerce Business
The IT consultant is part of two sectors: the IT sector and the consulting sector. These are huge sectors with many sub-sectors and specializations. IT professionals have advice and recommendations that ensure the search, use, and management of IT assets and resources. Therefore, this consultant offers organizations the best practices for using IT solutions and services to achieve their business goals and solve their problems. He also often gives advice on organizing.
E-business consultants address the operational and technological needs of the business: improving the company’s database system; more efficient use of the Internet and intranet; development of a general software system to improve inventory management, logistics, online customer service, and more. Depending on their area of expertise, e-business professionals can advise on marketing, advertising, or web optimization solutions.
They can develop solutions both for companies that provide purely electronic services and for organizations that combine online and offline technologies to conduct business. IT consultants must have excellent communication and project management skills, information technology knowledge, and Internet-related organizational problem-solving skills.
The technology consulting cost differs a lot. Expertise level and location are the main factors that influence the final cost. Thus, in the USA IT consultants cost $79,000, in Great Britain – $60,070, in Germany – $62,598.
How IT Consultant Can Introduce Different E-Commerce Trends Into Life
An IT consultant must be able to choose what is needed for a particular business. Thus important elements are selected for the tasks and processes of the business. The configuration does not require the use of languages and special programming tools. The interaction of the customer and the retailer is carried out throughout the entire project.
Using their knowledge of the Internet services market, their types, and specifics, consultants determine which latest technological developments will be most useful for business. One business needs partnerships with other market participants, while another needs to focus more on changing the site interface. It is the consultant who gives his assessment of the effectiveness of this or that innovation for the business.
Also, the consultant is able to assess the technical side of the business and advise on improving the site’s performance or make a decision on delegating the task of developing omniacal sales.
IT consultant services often can pay off overnight. You could spend a lot of time on an issue, while this specialist is able to resolve it in a short period and help your business to stand out from the competitors. This is due to the fact that the consultant can competently analyze the situation and have time to adjust to it in time to keep up with the times and help your e-commerce business to be in trend.