E-commerce is not slowing down. The e-commerce market is still transforming!
The Internet is changing almost daily. As well as the operation of companies based on the global network. E-commerce has been booming for the past several months. But there are dangers lurking just around the corner. Lack of specialists, rising prices of raw materials, logistic problems. It’s very likely that this will directly affect consumers, who will have to pay more and therefore will scrutinize the cheapest options even more closely. For many e-commerce stores it is a time of intense struggle for customers and to be or not to be their business.
– The world of e-commerce and digital marketing is constantly changing – due to new technological solutions, growing competition, legal modifications and the situation in the world. That is why we wanted to give the floor to those who know this world best – experts, specialists, owners of companies operating in e-commerce. They are the best able to explain to us how the e-commerce market will look like from the entrepreneurs’ point of view and how the situation may affect consumers – says Robert Stolarczyk, CEO of PromoTraffic, one of the leading Polish digital marketing agencies for e-commerce and b2c, which works with over 100 brands operating in various areas of e-commerce. The jointly created “Trendbook 2022”, answers many questions, explains trends, but also describes the concerns of entrepreneurs.
– While gathering material for our “Trendbook” we could not have foreseen e.g. that a war will break out just across our border. Already in the first days of Russia’s aggression we noticed changes, when e-commerce traffic decreased by up to 40%. Today the situation has stabilized, but there are still open questions. How the war will affect the behavior of brands? How will they try to compensate for the losses connected with withdrawal from the Russian market? How will customers behave, who have to reckon with price increases associated with, for example, galloping raw material prices? – notes Robert Stolarczyk of PromoTraffic.
Marlena Żurawska-Szuter, who is the head of e-commerce department at DELI2, an online deli, speaks in a similar vein. Zurawska-Szuter fears rising costs of doing business, and thus cuts in many areas.
– Inflation, increases in the prices of electricity, gas, fuel, as well as other goods will cause increases in many areas, such as. hoarding, logistic service, cost of goods delivery. Further development of e-commerce results in greater competition on the market, which generates higher marketing costs – comments a representative of DELI2.
In her opinion, 2022 may bring many restrictions. Consumers will look for the cheapest products, and the price fight for customers may reach unprecedented size.
– It will be extremely important to analyze the competitive environment, be it pricing or general industry observation – adds Marlena Żurawska-Szuter, on the pages of Trendbook created by PromoTraffic.
There is a growing shortage of specialists
The data of PwC analysts are quite clear. Nearly 80% of consumers have bought a product online at least once in 2021. On the other hand as many as 75% of respondents declare that they will maintain the frequency of e-shopping at the same level as now and 10% expect an increase in e-commerce activity. PwC adds that at least until 2026 the growth trend for e-commerce will remain stable and exceed 10%. Already today there are up to 100 thousand online shops in Poland. stores with online sales functionality.
– Fast does not always mean good, meanwhile, the immediate launch of an online store has become a necessity for many in order to maintain business. E-commerce, however, is not as simple and cheap as it may seem at first. Such rapid growth of e-commerce has significantly increased the demand for specialists in this field. Many people had to or still have to learn by trial and error, which will probably have an impact on the quality of competences offered on the labour market – comments Malwina Wróblewska of Terranova Polska Sp. z o.o.
One of the most important factors that affected the growth of the e-commerce industry was the pandemic. Due to many restrictions and out of concern for their own health, consumers have almost thrown themselves at online solutions. Brands that already had e-commerce solutions in place increased their competitive advantage in no time. Others had to invest a lot to keep the peloton from getting too far away.
– PCovid-19 andemia and related restrictions are not off the table, however. I mean disruption in logistics and supply chains. Most industries have problems with timely deliveries. Stable logistics and product availability are key for e-commerce, so this is where we may be looking with concern in 2022. At Lancerto we have also felt the slowdown in deliveries and had to rearrange the communication calendar related to premieres and promotions on some parts of the assortment – says Mariusz Serafin, Marketing and E-commerce Director at Lancerto, a men’s fashion store.
Serafin notes that the challenge will be to maintain the current dynamics of e-commerce development. – It is already an extremely competitive market, which is becoming increasingly difficult to enter and achieve success. The cost of acquiring a customer is increasing and customer loyalty is decreasing – he adds.
To satisfy the customer – remember about yourself
Growing commissions and costs of marketing activities on marketplace platforms are also a challenge for e-commerce stores. That’s where more and more companies are moving because large shopping platforms are most convenient for customers. Hence the popularity of Allegro or Amazon, which offer consumers the ability to purchase products from many different industries in one place. For now, competition among the marketplaces themselves is fierce, but experts predict that more stability may soon follow, and price increases may follow for brands that sell through them.
– The sum of these increases will certainly be reflected in the cost of purchase for customers. It is hoped that the momentum of the e-commerce business will not slow down despite the temporary difficulties, and at the same time this will allow prices to remain very similar – Izabela Ochalik, head of e-commerce department at Green Cell, a manufacturer and distributor of energy supply solutions for mobile devices, comments in PromoTraffic trendbook.
Also, many other facilities that are offered to customers, such as. deferred payment, can be a nuisance to the sellers themselves, and can sometimes even cause the business to lose its financial footing.
– The e-commerce market is definitely a place where the consumer rules. Huge competition fosters choice, but habits and ties – even if not as strong as in the past – can shape the positions of many online stores for years to come. Vendors must therefore look for ways to meet the expectations of their customers, but also link this to the profitability of doing business. A difficult task, but doable – comments Robert Stolarczyk of PromoTraffic.