How to Maintain Momentum as We Move into the ‘New Normal’

It feels like the pandemic has been a ’golden age’ for e-commerce. Last year, consumers spent $861.12 billion online with U.S. retailers. That’s up 44.0% from $598.02 billion in 2019, and growth is expected to continue in 2021. In the last week of October, shopper footfall in the United States was down by 36.7% when compared to the same period in 2019, as consumers changed the way they shop, owing to statewide lockdowns, store closures and the fear of contracting coronavirus. As a result, many retailers launched curbside pickup as a way to get products to consumers safely. So, what will the ’new normal’ look like for e-commerce? At Croud, we believe that there are four key trends that have the potential to disrupt and reshape the landscape in 2021. So how can you maintain momentum in these shifting sands?

Competition is always round the corner and an unassailable position in-market can be upset with a new entrant. In times of plenty, it’s easy to over-invest in marketing, not scrutinize performance well enough, while not investing in the future, because of the success of now. Last year VW spent around $20bn on innovation; when Tesla launched, it was one-third of that. Don’t find yourself having to play catch-up. Take this opportunity to get a clear view, not just of your customers, but your long-term marketing strategy.

The Pandemic Upstarts

Regulation, Red Tape and Restrictions
Earlier this month Google announced that it would be removing all third-party tracking across its properties, and Apple has just rolled out its latest iOS with significantly enhanced consent mechanisms. Both these changes will have a large impact on the way that we buy and measure media. More broadly we are seeing significant stand-offs between Facebook and Apple, between Google and Australia, and between the CMA and the whole industry.

Personally, I look forward to a world where hundreds of unspecified, non-transparent data-points are no longer arbitraged to inform targeting. This will make our jobs harder, but I believe we will be better for it. Invest in people, not just data-sets – great planning and great thinking is what will drive effective media. The added benefit will be that more money will likely go directly to the makers of trustworthy content, which will not only be good for society but will help placate the regulators.