Ecommerce Is Already the New Normal
The rest of 2020 and even 2021 look uncertain, with some cities and states reopening, others seeing spikes in new cases, and experts unsure if a vaccine is coming soon or whether winter will bring another wave. What is certain is that the convenience and peace of mind of online grocery shopping is not going away as long as the pandemic is part of everyday life, and it’s unlikely to fade away even after that. Natural food retailer Sprouts saw increased net sales in Q1, thanks in part to a late March sales bump caused by COVID pantry loading. In April, sales remained elevated as even more customers began to adopt eCommerce as a preferred method for grocery shopping, which accounted for 13% of the month’s net sales. Sprouts’ leadership intends to focus on increased eCommerce capabilities and expects shoppers to continue to rely on delivery and pickup orders. Similarly, Kroger’s Q1 sales were up 19% year over year, with digital sales up an impressive 92%.
These retailers weren’t outliers. A recent study suggests that April’s online sales were double what they would have been had COVID not occurred. Clearly shoppers needed to adapt to the moment and they did--quickly and decisively. Now that customers have already made eCommerce part of their new normal, brands need to think beyond simply staying afloat during the pandemic.
Brands Are Playing Catch-Up
The age of maintaining simple websites and social channels is long gone. Customers don’t seek out your online presence to read your company history. They are looking for actionable information: Where can I find your product? What is the cost? Can I buy it online? How soon can I have it in hand? Whether they are going to your website, your social channels, or Google, they now expect your products to be available for online ordering.
The problem is that many brands—particularly food companies—have been slow to make eCommerce part of their business model. Far too many businesses consider selling their products on marketplaces like Amazon to be a sufficient ecommerce strategy. While it’s an important component to reaching customers, it’s not enough. Without a comprehensive plan to retain customers, build a relationship, and track performance, these brands are missing out on the valuable opportunity that eCommerce provides. With the pandemic accelerating the transition to eCommerce, brands need to catch up—and quickly. Prior to COVID, the fastest growing ecommerce categories were food, beverage, and health. Some industry experts now anticipate sales to be double what they had projected pre-COVID.
Jump-Start Your eCommerce Strategy
Great technology is clearly at the heart of an effective ecommerce experience, but you don’t need to build everything from the ground up. You can find a solution that brings you into the digital space and simplifies the back end process for your team. One to consider is Destini, a long-time SPINS partner and leading provider of “Where to Buy” solutions in North America.
For brands deciding how to most effectively enter the eCommerce space, Destini’s Buy Online application is the ideal first step. The application effortlessly connects customers to more than 40 top online retailers and grocery delivery solutions, many of which are already selling your products. It’s a simple and efficient way to bring your products to customers and begin building your ecommerce presence.
Destini Buy Online provides customers with 4 key traits that will make life easier for you and your customers:
- Simplicity: As an intuitive, user-friendly solution, Destini’s Buy Online application is simple to implement on any brand website, promotional landing page, or any other site where you want to lead consumers into your eCommerce conversion funnel.
- Convenience: Consumers are used to convenience, and they expect to easily search across digital and brick-and-mortar locations when they shop. Destini provides results for both online and in-store product search results. When they do decide to make an ecommerce purchase, they have a simple one-click experience with their online retailer of choice.
- Accuracy: Destini Buy Online solves a major customer complaint: inaccurate information. Shoppers don’t have to wonder if the results they’re seeing are accurate and up-to-date, as the application will directly pull price and stock availability from the online retailers you select.
- Tracking: Getting insight into customer conversion is an essential building block to a successful ecommerce strategy. Destini’s Buy Online analytics suite allows you to track click-to-sales conversion across retailers. You can also use the Basket Insights feature to analyze consumers’ full checkout cart, including purchase patterns and common product pairings.
If you’re ready to enter the rapidly growing world of ecommerce, Destini’s Buy Online solution will bring the speed, accuracy, and convenience consumers are now demanding, while also providing the data and insights required to continue growing a successful eCommerce strategy.