It comes as no surprise that online retailers enjoyed a significant boom as a result of global lockdown measures. Stores – both the prepared and unprepared – were forced to shift almost entirely to online shopping models over an accelerated timeline.

Initially, consumers turned to e-commerce as their sole means of procuring both essential and non-essential items, with even markets that were previously highly resistant to purchasing items online eventually adapting and making the shift. The nature of transactions shifted, too, as demand for goods such as groceries, alcohol, and home improvement items grew considerably, while categories like apparel and footwear witnessed sharp declines initially.

Retailers offering features like AI-assisted shopping, 24-7 chatbot service, and click-and-collect performed well, as convenience became a key priority for online shoppers worldwide. In addition to this, e-commerce platforms with a robust, frictionless customer experience strategy – covering everything from browsing to delivery – benefited from the highest surges in demand.

It is undoubtedly an exciting time to be an e-tailer, but it's also important for online stores to remain realistic in the face of an unpredictable market. While closing brick-and-mortar stores may seem attractive to e-commerce aspirants, operating a storefront on the cloud comes with its own operational costs and challenges. Keeping a finger on the pulse will be critical, as the human need for physical interactions may result in a future in which shoppers crave in-person experiences once again. For now, many are still hedging their bets by investing in omnichannel solutions and we'll be watching their developments closely.

How we add value

Cedar has experience advising clients across the world on the design and implementation of future-ready e-commerce strategies. Most notably, our team of consultants recently led the research and development of an actionable online business roadmap for one of India's leading footwear retailers, implementation of which is now underway.

  • The most successful e-commerce strategies are customer-centric and, therefore, data-driven. We harness our proprietary data analytics expertise and tools to help you design a thoroughly informed digital strategy.
  • Digital transformation and complex technology implementation are at the heart of much of our work. Our collaborations with a variety of clients – everyone from retailers to bankers – positions us as a trusted partner in enhancing your digital infrastructure.
  • For retailers – and for the world – the digital-first era is here. Your marketing and sales teams will need to focus their efforts on effectively serving a digital-savvy audience. Cedar’s innovative marketing and sales tools are your key to unlocking digital success.

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