In the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic, many of us have been forced into a sort of shock digitisation. In record time, we all learnt how to attend meetings, buy groceries, keep in touch with our loved ones and show up for class entirely in digital form. We have become digital.

Consumer behaviour is changing fast. Even before the pandemic, we could see clear trends such as more e-commerce and smaller gaps between physical stores and mobile solutions. During the pandemic, online grocery shopping has really taken off and this seems to be a permanent change that will remain in place even once restrictions are lifted.

Over the course of 2020, many brands were forced to rethink their strategies and understand new customer journeys. Nowadays, there are many customers whose only relationships with certain brands are digital. Those who manage to create simple and value-adding digital customer journeys will survive, while those who do not can expect tough times ahead.

Brands with experience within omnichannel marketing and which have already developed robust digital capabilities are well prepared for competition, even from spritely upstarts. The increased importance of digital competitiveness is going to drive up the costs of maintaining a digital presence. We are guaranteed to see prices which reflect this increased level of importance.

If 2020 was the year you realised that your core business needs a solid digital presence, then you will need to find a suitable platform and go from there. This is the new normal. It goes without saying that changes directly related to the pandemic are not going to last forever, but consumers will continue to demand a well-functioning and entirely digital customer journey from here on out.

The good news is that all the platforms you need to succeed already exist today. What you need now are resources, patience and knowledge. The biggest challenge is to find the right digital voice and to hit the mark.

Focus points for 2021:

Personalisation. Both products and services. Businesses which can offer a product or service with scope for personalisation are going to emerge victorious. This could be anything from simple embroidered monograms to a tailormade garment.

Sustainability. A clear trend within e-commerce is sustainable consumption. According to the Harvard Business Review, 65% of participants in a research project said that they prefer to buy from brands which consciously strive to be sustainable. It is highly likely that we will soon see greener solutions within logistics and transport being used by e-commerce companies.

Four trends to expect in 2021:

  • Continued growth within e-commerce, but at a somewhat slower pace
  • Higher prices for online advertising
  • Personalisation of products and services
  • Focus on greener logistic and transport solution among online retailers
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