ECommerce, Digitalisation & COVID-19: What’s Next for Businesses?

ECommerce Future in Singapore - Creative Agency Singapore

We’re all hoping that things go back to normal as soon as possible amidst the bleak COVID-19 pandemic, where there’s a limit on movement, travel, and gatherings, as well as an economic recession affecting every business. But things will never be the same again, especially for the future of eCommerce in Singapore. Even for an eCommerce developer like us, we had to pivot and enhance our own operations during this difficult time.

With the conclusion of campaigning in GE2020, we believe the new government will lead us out of this recession but there’ll be seismic shifts for a lot of industries and brands. Looking ahead to a future without COVID-19, we can most definitely expect a lot of new things from the eCommerce industry around the world.

So, let’s look into our imaginary crystal ball together and go through what’s to come for eCommerce and businesses, and predict the trends with all of the digitalisation and COVID-19 plans going on.

Bigger Brand Focusing On ECommerce 

Every business, outside of medical and COVID-19 related ones, are affected by this pandemic. EVERY. We expected major travel-related brands like Singapore Airlines and Airbnb to take a hit. Even MUJI failed to survive the pandemic

Having filed for bankruptcy protection in July, MUJI expressed their desire to refocus their operations into online sales as opposed to physical stores. This is a clear indication to all the brands out there that online stores and eCommerce are the future of retail and customer service. Especially in Singapore where the market for many industries are saturated, it’s  important to open your options with eCommerce.

If you haven’t already, you should definitely be looking to focus on and improve your eCommerce strategy for your brand. Everyone’s doing it. Get an expert to build your ecommerce website and ask the right questions to achieve your desired conversions. 

More Small Business Entering

Not that they have much of a choice, but a lot of small businesses started relying more and more on eCommerce website development to sustain their operations during the #StayHome period. After all, eCommerce website design does play an essential role for brands.

The key reason for this surge is the relatively low cost to set up and maintain an eCommerce store in the first place. A simply Shopify plan is priced at US$29 a month, which allows you to have the basic infrastructure to begin an eCommerce operation. Granted, not the best image or set-up.

In short, eCommerce helps to cut cost, making it easy for smaller businesses to join in the more or less levelled playing field.

Return Policies

There’s a lot of uncertainty when it comes to the eCommerce transactions, which is why many from the older generation are hesitant to use them. As compared to retail stores, where you get to see the physical product before paying, eCommerce does have a few question marks.

It’s largely based on trust, which is why a lot of major eCommerce players tend to offer extensive warranty coverage from the likes of Lazada or return policies from the likes of Zara. This provides a lot of safeguard and protection for consumers who’re unsure of the quality. 

With the bar raised, it won’t be long before more brands warm up to the idea and begin offering them.

Faster Deliveries, More Perishable Items

Customer service is not the only standard being raised during this COVID-19 period. We’re also looking at faster deliveries within and across borders across the eCommerce industry, as more people are willing to pay for earlier delivery dates.

You’ve got Amazon’s drones looking to deliver products within the same day! As technology improves the speed of logistics and transport, we’re looking at a potential future of a spike in perishable items entering the global eCommerce market, such as cross-country delivery of food and flowers.

This will open up the eCommerce industry to every brand selling some form of products. Just ask yourself these questions before entering as a new business

More Tech — AR & VR

Another plus point of technological advancement is the inclusion of additional features within our eCommerce website development, such as Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR). Both VR and AR are severely underused within the eCommerce sector. 

Some major brands have already demonstrated the benefits of adopting AR into their sites, like IKEA’s Place application. The app allows users to experiment placing various furniture and household decorations in their house, which gives a clearer picture of how it would fit and look.

Imagine trying clothes, shoes, and accessories without changing out of your pyjamas or worrying about whether it’s clean — that’s a definite improvement in user experience!

Payment Options & Digital Wallets

There are already so many payment options available for eCommerce transactions — PayLah, PayNow, Credit Cards, PayPal, Stripe, and even bank transfers. As more people warm up to the idea of online payments, we should definitely see more payment options introduced into some of our favourite brands and platforms. 

Expect digital wallets like GrabPay, ApplePay and GooglePlay to make an entrance into eCommerce as payment options as well. It’s all about integrating new technology into sector for the convenience of the users and to make the payment process easier for your customers. 

Won’t it be great if you no longer have to find your wallet every time you try to make a payment online?

Experiences Commerce

Many experiences-based brands have taken a hit during this COVID-19 period, not that they could do much about it. Since most of them do require customers to be physically present for the experience, it was difficult for them to sustain their operations. 

Well, thanks to technology like VR, we could potentially see more of such brands providing their experiences online through eCommerce platforms. Putting the ‘E’ in experiences and eCommerce, this could revolutionise a lot of brands’ revenue and operations model.

You already have virtual gym classes and online courses now, why not take it a step further and bring a haunted house or ‘live’ concert to our homes? 

Not sure how to go about doing it? You can always ask your creative agencies some questions to start. 

We’re Your Logical Next Step

Planning and preparing for a crisis like COVID-19 requires one to think ahead and use existing technology to the benefit of your brand. Not to toot our own horn, but not all eCommerce website design companies in Singapore can achieve that for you. As a creative agency with extensive eCommerce experience in Singapore, our unique disposition and creative problem-solving skillset allow us to do so much more with your brand.

Whether it’s a straightforward eCommerce website development or a complex system with various automation involved, we’re able to deliver that for you. Best part? We’re approved vendors for the Productivity Solutions Grant (PSG) and Enterprise Development Grant (EDG) to subsidise both types of projects. 

Yes, contacting us will be your logical next step. 

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