2020 was the year brands kicked their e-commerce programs into overdrive.
According to eMarketer, global e-commerce sales grew 27.6% year-over-year, an increase from the 20.2% growth seen in 2019. This isn’t surprising — people were stuck at home during a pandemic and most relied on the internet to buy their essentials. But for brands, this meant they needed to upgrade their digital offerings. And those investments are only going to increase. A recent survey from Modern Retail and Glossy highlights the changes that brands and retailers made over the last year.
According to the responses from 98 brands and retailers, over 67% said they are going to increase their e-commerce investments over the next six months. For comparison, about 14% said digital investments during that period will decrease.
This is likely because the world is on the precipice of returning back to normal, and brands are realizing they can no longer act defensively and instead must think proactively.
Still, 2020 was certainly the year of quick thinking. A November survey from Modern Retail and Glossy showcased that more brands were testing out new types of fulfillment in order to be prepared for increased e-commerce sales during the holiday season.
Fulfillment wasn’t the only change brands and retailers made over the last year. In this most recent survey, 49% said they upgraded their entire e-commerce infrastructures. Meanwhile, 19% said they added new types of fulfillment or logistics to handle the increased demand.
Brands and retailers didn’t change just their e-commerce strategies. Many brands revamped what they sold in order to keep business afloat. In fact, 57% of brands and retailers surveyed said they launched new products in new categories over the last year.
Put together, retailers created a new playbook in 2020. And now they are figuring out which parts of it will continue into the next year.