Digital commerce is peaking throughout the world, altering the way buying and selling are done. The new approaches, methodologies, and trends change so fast that sometimes it becomes a challenge to choose the right one. Following the trends is essential but understanding them is even more critical. In 2021, the industry will have its focus, so make sure to adjust your business to keep up with the market.
The digital era has already changed the way people communicate, receive information, work, move, and live in general. No wonder that the commerce industry got affected by digital transformation as well. The times when marketing and selling were two separate instances are gone because the concept of digital commerce encompasses both and even more. Let’s see what digital commerce is, how it impacts the commerce industry’s digitalization, and what trends to follow in 2021.
What is digital commerce?
Digital commerce (Dcommerce) is a form of ecommerce; it is used to buy and sell things online but encompasses much more than mere transactions with money and goods. Dcommerce includes marketing effort involved in a transaction, people who make this possible, visualization of the sold product/service (content), customer experience, pricing and promotions, analytics of those transactions, etc. Basically, digital commerce is a philosophy and a guide on how a business can perform a transaction online, what needs to be done, who needs to do it, and how to ensure that the customer gets back again.
Dcommerce vs ecommerce
The rapid development of the market led to drastic changes in the buyers’ demand. It is no longer enough to show customers an image and a button ‘buy,’ so the old-school ecommerce strategy no longer applies to the selling and buying on the web. Since many online visitors and users shifted towards mobile commerce (53.9% of online buyers are expected to do it via a mobile device by 2021), the selling strategy and the whole infrastructure had to be changed. Many big fishes turned to digital transformation consulting services to predict the market and be ready for the major change. As a result, the manner of selling products was altered: from computers and laptops to phones and even watches. Furthermore, all the departments involved in the process, including but not limited to developers, designers, customer care experts, or marketing specialists, changed the focus and gave rise to digital commerce as another field in the global exchange of products.
How does digital commerce drive digital transformation?
The shift towards digital technology services happened a long time ago when Alibaba, Amazon, and eBay were still in the first development stages. Today Dcommerce does not reinvent the wheel or make companies go digital; it only strengthens the existing trend. Many businesses have already introduced AI, blockchain, AR, cloud solutions, etc., into their daily processes, so let’s see what new ideas digital commerce can offer to a business, even an already digitalized one.
1. Voice commerce
After Apple released Siri in October 2011, a lot has changed. Voice messages, voice recognition, voice-based translation software, voice orders, voice everything! The market is of voice commerce was expected to reach $40 billion by the end of 2020, but the numbers continue to grow. Digital commerce shows the importance of turning to voice-lead technologies because they are faster and more convenient in daily life. Smart digital transformation companies turn to software development based on voice because this is more accessible, and it is the real future of human-technology interaction.
2. Personalization of service
Personalization of service is an old trend in marketing of all kinds, but digital transformation technologies gave the concept a second life. Since, in general, digital commerce aims to deliver the best service at all fronts (from the first impression of the software or app to the perfect post-sale selection of goods and promo codes), it required major changes. For example, if a customer adds something into a basket on the web, the same item should appear in a mobile app. Another aspect includes advertising that has to follow a user everywhere (throughout accounts, apps, and even devices). Digital commerce through the thorough implementation of AI and big data also helps businesses analyze their buyers to anticipate the upcoming change and be ready for it.
3. Easy adaptability
The concept of digital commerce promotes flexibility in everything: from app development to the adaptation to market demand. Commerce businesses can adopt the greatest flexibility through cloud digital transformation. Cloud allows dividing the front-end online storefront or customer interface between an app and the back-end commerce core. This allows making app solutions lighter and easier to amend should the need comes. Again, cloud-based applications are not some know-how in the world of software development, yet Dcommmerce promotes company digital transformation by extending the use of the common technologies for particular needs.
4. Support operations
When the pandemic hit the world in March 2020, it became clear that customer care departments would lack hands. Everything from groceries to real estate shopping had to go online, so digital commerce forced many companies to implement knowledge base solutions and chatbots. Digital transformation companies rushed into the development of help systems for self-help and scripting chatbots; this strategy ensured that minor issues like password reset could be resolved instantly and effortless. Considering also that chatbots can cut about 30% of operational costs, digital commerce foresaw the benefits for the support teams when it all started.
Key trends in digital commerce for 2021
The truth is, all the driving principles of digital commerce remain in 2021 for digital transformation companies. Businesses will go on with chatbots, self-help support materials, personalized services, and will start working towards voice-relying solutions. Yet, there are particular directions of company digital transformation that a business can adopt to meet the market needs.
Mobile and omnipresent commerce
The tendency to use a mobile device for shopping continues to grow, and this is inevitable. Many customers start shopping on the go and finish their purchase online with a laptop or maybe an Alexa, expecting their shopping cart to be filled with the same products as the cart in a mobile app. Such a company digital transformation towards mobile and omnipresent shopping will only increase in 2021. So in terms of digital commerce, the shift towards a universal and optimized solution for all devices should become the #1 goal for 2021. And keep in mind that about 30% of buyers would abandon their carts if the solution is not mobile-friendly or there is a lack of synch between the app and the web software.
New payment options
There is a wide array of fiat currencies as well as e-wallets, payment solutions (like PayPal or Payoneer), and new emerging currencies that the commerce has to accept. If a customer has Visa and the store accepts MasterCard only, it will lose about half of the potential buyers. The same story is with the rest of the options.
2021 will continue to grow on Apple Pay, Bitcoin, Google Pay, and many other payment solutions. The concept of digital commerce ensures to highlight the idea of all payment-methods acceptance for the ecommerce stores. This means redevelopment of some apps, implementation of new digital transformation technologies, and even the creation of new solutions. But this all is happening because a potential customer who cannot pay for a service or goods can never bring revenue.
As it has already been mentioned, the old-good buying model doesn’t work anymore. Instead of selling a service once and for all, companies like Netflix implement subscription-based purchase methods. At the same time, food stores like Walmart allow their buyers to re-buy the same item again with a single click to avoid searching for the right product on the website. Most digital technology services also expect digital commerce to impact the way people buy things. No longer will this be a single payment; the strategy is to plan more of a rentals/leasing type of selling model, for example for expensive goods like smartphones, laptops, or appliances. As a result, digital transformation consulting teams will focus on introducing gradual payments systems that resemble the loan payments in the FinTech world.
Direct social media selling
About 42% of ecommerce businesses plan to switch towards direct selling via social media channels in 2021. This shift was significantly enhanced by the COVID-19 pandemic, but the trend is likely to stay for long. Such digital transformation requires considerable changes in the company’s infrastructure to ensure that the standard user journey and the technology underneath it match the sale’s new flow. It also means the utilization of more robust support for social media channels and a more detailed marketing strategy, including SEO. Considering that 52% of people discover new brands in public feeds, the possibility to instantly sell them something will drive profits significantly.
Digital commerce as a concept and philosophy is trending today and will continue to evolve in the upcoming years. The tremendous shift towards mobile use is changing the way online commerce is happening, and it requires significant digital transformation even for successful ecommerce stores. The top trends include shifting towards new payment methods and commerce via mobile devices and social media channels. The omnipresence of the buyer’s experience will also continue to drive the change towards the implementation of the new efficient digital transformation technologies.