Is this the new normal for digital commerce?
Digital commerce has surged all year and that growth is exploding as the holiday shopping season continues. As previously stated, we are in the midst of the busiest 6 weeks ever for digital commerce and this will reshape commerce for years to come.
There are a number of factors that have lead to the explosive growth of ecommerce this year. The pandemic is only one of those factors. Physical retail was in trouble long before the pandemic struck, and digital commerce has grown steadily ever since inception.
While the 'end' of the pandemic will enable shoppers to return to shopping in stores, that's still only one factor. Many retailers have closed already and it's likely many more will close in the upcoming months. Rather than boosting the survivors, many nearby retailers will suffer as shoppers no longer are attracted to shopping centers where half the windows are vacant and boarded up. Large retailers will return and continue to thrive, as those become the only stores that can attract customers on their own merit and have the backing to weather the retail troubles.
The path ahead for independent business is through digital commerce. Brands of all sizes will continue to make investments in digital commerce, where the experiences have improved immensely in just the last few years. Nearly every company can offer reliable shopping experiences with quality fulfillment options that rival those of the largest brands.
Customers rarely make a conscious decision to change shopping habits all at once. Most people start with one purchase, are happy with the experience, and then shift purchasing habits slightly over a period of time. There's no reason that won't be the case again.
The surge in digital commerce is real and will not ebb as the pandemic subsides. The pandemic uncovered many of the problems facing commerce. It's also pushed more investment into building better infrastructure, while forcing adoption upon customers who were previously resistant. The experience of digital commerce is getting better, while it's getting worse for physical commerce. The digital transformation is upon us.