The events of this year have profoundly impacted all of us. A global pandemic forcing us into our homes has forever altered not only our purchase behaviours, but more deeply how we interact with brands.
This last quarter of 2020 is set to be the biggest online shopping season on record. While eCommerce adoption has been steadily increasing over the last few years, it seems the global lockdown was the catalyst to alter our existing purchasing behaviour through pure necessity.
This immense shift in the state of the worlds eCommerce is further explained in our recent report called the Future of eCommerce.
How Did We Get Here?
There is some debate about what the first thing ever sold online was – was it a slice of pizza, cannabis exchanged between students at MIT and Stanford, a British granny with a dozen eggs, or a Sting CD? Either way, digital transactions have existed for more than 40 years but we are only now reaching the tipping point of online shopping at scale.
The Current State of Play
Despite recent growth, traditional retail brands in Canada have been comparatively slow to adopt eCommerce as part of their offering, partly from fears of alienating or upsetting traditional wholesale distribution relationships with bigger retailers and department stores.
However, this state of commerce is slowly shifting as Direct to Consumer Retail and eCommerce retail is becoming a more prevalent choice of shopping for the modern-day consumer. This is an important moment in the shift of the retail landscape as consumers evolve their purchasing habits and for many create new direct relationships with brands they already know and love.
What matters now and what does this tell us about the future?
The future of eCommerce is most certainly just ‘commerce’ but for most brands, achieving this future state is still a stretch goal. For this reason, we’d posit that brands who are ready to truly invest in creating the best purchasing experience across channels will be the ones that thrive in our post-pandemic world.
In addition, brands need to consider the narrative behind their values. This is because the events of 2020 have pushed consumers even more toward valuing brands that care about more than just the bottom line. Consumers today care about who they’re buying from and want to know that the brands they’re buying from are mission-driven. They’re also increasingly able to see through disingenuous “woke-washing” and want a brand that really cares about them.