With 2020 now behind us, e-commerce in Ireland has changed forever. Online e-commerce stores have been growing year on year, but the growth experienced in 2020 was unprecedented. This trend is expected to grow even more in 2021. More and more online e-commerce sites are popping up every day. For some of these stores, there was no other option for them if their business was to survive due to COVID-19. Bricks and mortar stores have closed their shops for now, for most, their e-commerce store is the only avenue for revenue but what does the future hold?
2021 Checklist for E-Commerce Stores in Ireland
If you have not already, building an online e-commerce store is nearly a must at this stage. The longer this lockdown and COVID-19 goes on the more people are getting used to buying online and are comfortable with it. Creating an e-commerce store in Ireland is now easier than ever with the likes of Shopify offering an easy-to-use platform. Here is a checklist of trends to look out for in e-commerce Ireland 2021.
DTC (Direct to Consumer)
It is looking more and more likely that brands will go direct to the consumer. When you look at a lot of bricks and mortar stores, they are really a distributor for your favourite brand. Take a branded pair of football boots for example, does it make more sense for the companies’ brand to sell directly to you or for the brand to sell to the bricks and mortar shop and then on to you. With a lot of bricks and mortar stores in Ireland closing in 2020 brands gravitated towards using their own e-commerce platforms to sell to the consumer.
E-Commerce Ireland – Buying Local
Sometimes it seems like it’s easier for us all to order from the big multinationals and have delivery in a few days but what about local Irish business that had to close their (physical) doors? We have seen a push in late 2020 to support Irish brands with initiatives such as Shop Local Ireland. Take a local bookshop that has set up an e-commerce store. They are generally going to be a little more expensive than the Multi-Nationals as they have a significantly lower purchasing power. The awareness of people has shifted through national campaigns and many consumers are happy to pay a little extra to support a local business. This is expected to grow in 2021. As the old saying goes, buy from the Multi-Nationals so they can get another new car or buy local and help a father or mother buy some dance lessons for their child.
Boosting Your Online Sales with the Right Content
Content is king- In 2021 this is going to be key for e-commerce sites in Ireland. When you look at the amount of relatively new e-commerce sites created, many might be selling a similar product or service. This leads to a great amount of competition to be on the top 5 results in Google or even the first page. Creating content to attract customers and stay above the competition on Google is one of the main trends for e-commerce sites to focus on.
Creating user-friendly content which is relatable to your store is key. Not only for Google rankings but to let the customer know who you are, what you offer, your best-selling points and why they should buy from you. There are many options, such as creating “how-to” posts and “top tip” blogs. When a potential customer lands on your site you don’t want to lose them without making a sale. We have created an easy guide on top tips on how to encourage customers’ add-t0-cart conversions to boost your sales. Standing out online will be difficult so creating content on why your potential customer should buy your brand or product will be key.
A vast majority of e-commerce stores offering free shipping and free returns. The trend of free postage and returns is only going to keep on growing. Competition in the e-commerce world is only growing and if your competitors are offering this, maybe you should find a way in your margins to offer this too. Free shipping can encourage shoppers to make a quick buy, rather than shopping around to see if they can get a similar product that offers free delivery.
Personalised Online Shopping Experience
With people unable to go to stores due to lockdown, can a website still offer an experience for the customer to make a large purchase without ever seeing in person what the product looks like? Take Ikea for example, they have a brilliant e-commerce site and offer an exceptional experience when designing a kitchen through their video meetings with you. If the consumer is happy to “buy off the plans” they could be spending anywhere between €3,000 – €10,000 without physically seeing the products.
Can you offer a virtual experience for your product or service? Take a car salesman for example, for years creating a relationship with the potential buyer has been key. Some businesses in this area have now started to offer video walkaround viewings of their cars and video meetings to try and bring their selling experience online. We expect this trend to increase with consumers spending more on e-commerce sites than before as it becomes the new norm.
Ethical online shopping
Before the pandemic we saw a huge surge in people becoming more environmentally aware, take single-use plastics for example. Can you offer your product in a sustainable way- Can you use all recyclable packaging to the customer when you send your product? Could you make customers aware that you do this? Would you look at the option of balancing the carbon footprint of your products by donating for every order to reforestation in Ireland for example? These are just some ideas to become more e-commerce ethical, but it could be the difference in a potential customer buying for you or a competitor!
Follow these 2021 e-commerce trends and track your website’s visibility on Google Search Console. You would be surprised by how adding content to your website can help increase your exposure on Google. Contact LumiPay to get your website ready for easy and secure payment solutions because you definitely want to make sure you make the most out of your website’s visitors.