The way we shop has changed a lot over the past few years.
Furthermore, many of us preferred going into the stores and having a browse for clothing, food, or appliances, but since Covid-19, people were forced to shop online and now people are acclimated to this lifestyle.
The younger generation has always been shopping online because that is what they know. However, the older generations are more comfortable shopping in-person than to shop online, but even those habits are consistently changing.
Not to mention the impact with suppliers and recessions, eCommerce has inevitably taken a hit. So, we will look at whether eCommerce is on the decline and how both consumer and businesses are having to adapt.
Sales Are Down But Why?
There have been thousands of online businesses that have noticed their revenue is down year on year. There are many reasons for this, with one of the main reasons being that shoppers were forced to shop online this time last year and as they weren’t going out spending money on drinking, eating out and holidays, they were spending more money online for things in their home or clothing.
So, comparing 2022 to the previous 2 years is impossible, with even the big eCommerce giants have suffered a loss during these challenging times. An example would be Zalando, which has recorded a decline in sales for the first time since it was founded back in 2008.
As well as lockdowns, the rising cost of supplies will have contributed to the issue, sparked by shipping delays which were mainly caused by Covid-19 with businesses having to make staff redundant as well as many staff having to isolate.
Due to these delays, a lot of retailers are struggling and making a change. For example, sourcing their materials more locally, which is more expensive. Everything has a knock-on effect, with Covid being the major contributor to many of these issues.
Have Interests Changed for a Consumer?
The short answer to this is yes, user interests have changed a lot. During the covid period when we were stuck at home, a lot of people would be purchasing products that were loungewear. Tracksuits were also a common item to wear during lockdown because we didn’t need to worry about going out and dressing up. Girls were no longer buying night out dresses for their evening parties with their friends, men were no longer buying aftershave and other products would need for their nights out. Everything was lounge orientated and more relaxed clothing.
Moving past Covid, shopping has become more normal again, however with many people having lost their jobs through Covid, people are far more cautious about what they are spending their money on. For example, people are making fewer large investments on their home and are prioritising essentials like food, rent and warmth for their home than luxuries like non-essential clothing. This is having a huge impact on e-commerce, with year on year sales being down 8%.
What Can E-Commerce Businesses Do?
The best thing that eCommerce businesses can do is to try and find gaps in the market that competitors simply aren’t offering. This might be offering free returns, as many eCommerce businesses are now reverting to consumers having to pay for their own returns. You could go in at a cheaper price point, with smaller profit margins but higher revenue overall through quantity.
You could release new product lines to recover the 8% decrease in eCommerce overall that is out of your hands. The best thing to do is to do a market analysis and look at your competitors, see what they’re missing and bridge the gap! If your business is currently doing well that’s great, but make sure that you take precautions to futureproof, as with a recession just around the corner, you never know what might change.
Will E-Commerce Ever Get Back To How It Was?
Eventually, online shopping will become popular again with trending online shops like Etsy for example. Many things in the world are affecting the world of online shopping, with shipping being one of the biggest issues and brands buying materials being another.
Plus, the cost of living has stopped people from buying non-essential products in general, not just when they are shopping online. Once the cost of living has reduced to a more normal level, shipping issues have been resolved and the prices of materials are lowered, we should see eCommerce reach the levels it once was.
Many businesses are suffering from the prices of shipping and materials. It doesn’t help that your target audience will have naturally changed their shopping methods but that is because of many other factors out of businesses control. E-Commerce businesses that only sell their product online will feel this the most. With a predicted recession just around the corner, the next year is unfortunately going to be unpredictable in terms of eCommerce.
- Peter has been reporting about business trends and insights for several years and provides the best biz digs to keep business owners and workers informed and educated.
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