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January 31, 2022 | Authored by: Roy Barak

In 2022, e-commerce is “the” commerce

In 2020, e-commerce sales in the US accounted for over 15% of retail receipts, a record high. There was a 15 to 30% increase in the number of people who buy online across most consumer categories. It was the year of the e-commerce boom. That much is undisputed.

Even as the pandemic restrictions are slowly lifted, people can’t get enough of e-commerce or hybrid shopping experiences, like BOPIS (buy online, pick up instore). So much so, that we are now seeing unprecedented demand for retail warehouse space.

In 2022, I think we can all agree that there’s no such thing as “commerce” and “e-commerce” anymore.

E-commerce IS commerce. Period.

What does that mean? Let’s break it down.

We are all e-shoppers now

Just a few years ago, online shopping was the domain of certain demographics and niches. Millennials shopping online? That’s a given, but now, expect to see all age groups strengthening their e-commerce habits. Consumers everywhere are more connected to their screens than ever before, and this puts the convenience of online shopping in the palm of their hands. True, millennials and high-income earners are still in the lead when it comes to online shopping. But there are also plenty of Gen X and Boomers, and even Gen Z is making its digital mark, particularly in the categories of take-out food, apparel and footwear, and at-home entertainment.

Personalization is the norm

It seems almost quaint now, but think back to the concept of a “personal shopper” service at a department store. The idea was to create a uniquely individual commerce experience, with the help of a personal shopper who finds the products that are just right for the individual. Smooth, comfortable, and convenient. Today, e-commerce can do the very same thing, at scale, providing personalized recommendations that are interesting and compelling for specific users. This is what a great subscription does too – it gets rid of all the noise, pinpointing and providing a personalized experience that is as best suited as possible for the subscriber’s needs. Of course, you need a next-gen subscription platform to do it, but it is completely possible and even easy to implement.

Data is everything

How did the personal shopper know what products to offer the specific customer? By asking questions, noticing their shopping behaviors, and getting to know their unique tastes and preferences. In the world of e-commerce, that’s now the job of data. Data is the foundation for powerful e-commerce experiences. Subscription intelligence powers the engine that drives e-commerce that truly connects consumers with their preferred products, services and experiences. In fact, when comparing commerce and e-commerce, data might be the most important differentiating factor of all. Make sure your data is clean, smart, and effective.

Making meaning

Today’s consumers don’t just want “things;” they want meaningful experiences. They look for sustainability rather than luxury. They prefer brands to be authentic and driven by humane values. The challenge in e-commerce is creating those moments of meaning when the connection with the customer is purely digital and distant. This is where data-driven marketing comes into play once again. By getting to know customers from the smallest details of their online behaviors and preferences, e-tailers can indeed build deeper relationships and amazing consumer experiences; amazing enough that they do a solid job of replacing the face-to-face experiences of traditional commerce and satisfying customers in the virtual commerce space.

Commerce begins with E

With the mass shift to digital consumerism, it’s time for retailers to truly embrace the “e” of e-commerce. That starts by acknowledging that there really is no differentiating line between commerce and e-commerce anymore. With the support of an integrated next-gen subscription tech platform, retailers can successfully move their customer experience online in a way that is personalized, meaningful, efficient, comfortable, and satisfying.

About Author

Roy Barak

Roy Barak

Roy is a seasoned business leader with over 15 years’ experience in management, technology, strategic planning, market analysis, operational execution, and financial modeling. As CEO, Roy leads the company’s global business, guiding key stakeholders across the company to develop innovative strategies and solutions that drive top-line revenue and profitability. Roy is a strong advocate for corporate social responsibility. As the sponsoring executive for Amdocs Pride North America, he champions the company’s philosophy of acceptance, diversity, and inclusion. Previously, Roy served in management and financial positions at Amdocs. He holds a bachelor’s degree in economics and business administration from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.