2020: The year of the e-commerce entrepreneur
We did the research, so you don’t have to.
At the beginning of 2020, e-commerce was predicted to represent 16% of total global retail sales and reach $4.2 trillion in global sales according to Statista. However, COVID-19 shifted consumer behaviours drastically around the globe, with Canada seeing a 146% growth in online retail orders and the U.S. seeing a 129% year-over-year growth in e-commerce. The e-commerce industry’s rapid growth translates to more supply and demand. We’ll quickly go over what the experts are saying about consumer and e-commerce trends in the COVID environment and how you can use this information to launch your successful online business and realize your passions.
Consumer trends in the COVID-19 era
Increased online shopping
It’s no mystery that the global health crisis and quarantine protocols increased online consumer shopping. Most industries saw more than 10 percent growth in online customers. In addition to overall increase in online customers, research shows that consumers plan to continue to shop digitally even when physical stores re-open. This demonstrates the increase in demand for trusted online businesses.
The beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic presented consumers with product or brand scarcity because of supply chain disruptions. A brand loyalist may have trialed a competitor product or retailer and either switched loyalties to another brand or have no brand loyalty for products.
Mass layoffs, product scarcity and consumer sentiment towards the global economy demonstrates the shift to a more mindful consumer. Shifts from optimistic, neutral or pessimistic are closely tied to each country’s current COVID-19 statistics and national health official statements.
Home is where the heart stays
With populations remaining at-home due to health concerns or activity limitations, consumers are spending more time in their homes. Most consumers claim they do not feel comfortable resuming “normal activities” and will look to medical professionals for guidance on resuming out-of-home activities.
What does this mean for e-commerce?
More demand means more supply. Companies are capitalizing on the consumer behaviour shift to digital shopping and many businesses can create online stores almost effortlessly with e-commerce platforms, like Slaite. The saturated market means businesses must stand out and we have strategic tips on how to begin your online print-on-demand drop-shipping business journey.
Find your space
With the increase in supply and demand, it’s important to build an online business that speaks to your passions and is marketable to an audience. For example, if you are a musician and you want to sell band merch, you can market to your fans or music lovers of your music genre. It’s important that your business space represents your passion project, your creative talents or a communal identity to intrigue your audience and build an authentic space.
Foster a community
With the increase of digital communities in the COVID-19 era, developing online connections and building a digital community is a sound tactic to build engagement, loyalty and digital word-of-mouth marketing. Consider beginning your journey with an online Instagram community and engage with people with similar interests to you. As your community grows, introduce customized merchandise and begin collecting customer feedback from your community. This will help build your print-on-demand online business foundation.
Understand your role in sustainability
Sustainability is seeing a huge trend in recent years. Specifically, with the onset of COVID, consumers are concerned about their purchases more than ever and the impact on their community. Running a print-on-demand drop-shipping business means you are not wasting unnecessary product by oversupplying inventory. As a Canadian owned and operated company, Slaite is dedicated to ensuring sustainable practices, optimal working conditions and green initiatives. Consider advertising your orders are made on-demand to reduce textile waste.
Use available free tools
Beginning an e-commerce may seem like it costs an arm and a leg but there are several free resources available to help you monetize your creativity!
To leverage the unique e-commerce environment, consider checking out free resources to help you get started:
Slaite is a free, no hidden fees print-on-demand and drop-shipping solution
Google Digital Garage offers free courses (sometimes with certifications!) to help small businesses learn digital marketing
Canva is offers a user-friendly and helpful graphic design tool with a free plan to create social posts, infographics, flyers and much more.
Hootsuite is a social media scheduling tool with a free plan to manage 3 social accounts and add free apps to your dashboard
Facebook Ads is a cost-efficient way to advertise on Facebook, Instagram and other social media platforms
Google Analytics offers free web analysis of your online store
Have more questions?
You know we’ve got you. Check out our FAQ page or send us an email to firstname.lastname@example.org and we will happily help you through your business journey.