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10 Defects in the Online shop – and How to Fix Them

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10 Defects in the Online shop – and How to Fix Them

Good online shops are a rare breed – they’re convenient, they’re accessible and they offer a wide variety of products. But there are always problems in paradise, and these 10 shopping problems highlight them. These defects will not only make your life harder – the lack of an adequate response might also cause you to take your business elsewhere. But with our advice and guide to business registration in the USA, you can learn how to keep your customers satisfied. So, which of these 10 problems do you have?

✖1. You’re not clear about the shipping charges.

It’s the most common problem with online shopping portals and it often has a simple solution: communication. If you declare your shipping costs, at the beginning of the purchase process, you are less likely to lose customers before they’ve even completed their order. Make sure that your homepage is as easy to navigate as possible and that you have no problem communicating with customers on social media.

  • Develop a transparent pricing system that clearly shows all price components: product price, shipping price (including all eventual costs), and VAT (or other applicable tax). You can make it even more convenient for customers by including a calculator that enables them to estimate the final overall cost of their order.

✖2. Customer service doesn’t respond promptly.

Just like any other online shop, online stores need to provide customer service, and your customer service team has many people to answer the phone, solve problems and help customers from all over the world. If you don’t respond quickly to messages or don’t give customers sufficient information about the status of their orders you risk losing them as customers – and once again as potential return buyers.

  • Make your customer service as efficient and accessible as possible, not just via e-mail but also through social networks. In addition to providing immediate help, you can be proactive in predicting trouble and anticipating problems. This will help you respond more efficiently to customer needs and improve your service.

✖3. You don’t show the shipment status online.

In the most recent years, online shipping companies have improved considerably, making it easier for customers to track their packages in real-time using web portals and mobile apps. But while they provide tracking services, online shops often fail to communicate the status of the order online.

  • Don’t just leave things up to your shipping provider. Make it as easy as possible for your customer to track their order. Add a tracking number or link to your homepage, your delivery confirmation email, or any other communication with them. If possible, provide a localized response, so you can specify costs for different parts of the world and provide an accurate estimate of delivery costs in advance.

✖4. Your website isn’t mobile-friendly.

Almost 80% of internet users use a mobile device to browse websites. For online stores it means that you need to view your website from the perspective of a mobile user – otherwise, you endanger your customer’s shopping experience.

  • Test your website on multiple devices and make sure that it works on all modern web browsers (mobile and desktop). You can do that with free tools like the Google Chrome Frame plug-in for Internet Explorer or phone emulators like Opera Mini, which allows you to see how your site looks on different phones.

✖5. You ask them to register before they buy.

More and more people browse online stores on their mobile devices and expect these stores to be fully responsive. According to a recent report, this is quite an important issue because most online shoppers will abandon websites that don’t work well on their smartphones. It’s unfortunate, but as soon as a customer receives a message like “You need to register to make purchases”, it’s very likely that they will abandon your store and look for another one.

  • Have a clear call-to-action on your homepage, which guides customers through the entire process of purchasing and gives them access, regardless of the device they use. In addition, you should ask them to register only if it is necessary to complete the purchase or access special offers or offers that cannot be completed otherwise (eg. free delivery).

✖6. You don’t use Google Analytics.

Google Analytics is a free service that provides a lot of valuable information about your website in real-time, allowing you to understand how users interact with your site and what content works best for them. You can use these statistics to improve your website and increase its efficiency.

  • Write down your website’s URL in the analytics section of Google and install a tracking code on every page of your site. If you’re using any other analytics service you can use a Google Analytics plugin for that.

✖7. You don’t use simple and convenient payment methods.

Most online shoppers are more comfortable when they can complete a purchase without having to enter their credit card data multiple times or create an account. That’s why payment with PayPal is becoming even more popular.

  • Select the most convenient payment method (eg. PayPal, iDEAL, Sofortüberweisung) according to your market and provide easy access with no unnecessary links or redirects (eg. PayPal login button).

✖8. You don’t respect their data.

Online stores often collect information about their customers, such as an email address, a password, and a phone number for which they should be given more control over how it is used. But sometimes this information is revealed without an obvious “opt-in” when customers have no idea that it is being collected and when they don’t get to choose whether to share this information with you or not.

  • Make sure that the information you collect is essential and relevant to your customers (eg. email address for password recovery). Never collect a customer’s address or phone number, because of the risk of being a fraud (according to legislation in different countries).

✖9. You are not serious about operating as an online store.

In most cases, online stores are simply websites on which they sell products. But many online stores do more than just sell products by taking orders, writing and delivering them directly, or reselling them from other retailers – they operate according to business rules that differ from those that apply in brick-and-mortar shops.

  • If you want to sell a product that’s in high demand, you need enough stock to satisfy all your customers. If you have any special offers or sale items, list them on your website and make sure that you have the appropriate amount of stock.

✖10. You don’t use any marketing tools.

Marketing tools help you promote your online store and reach new customers while monitoring your online presence through Google Analytics and creating valuable customer profiles through Customer Relationship Management (CRM). Marketing tools are developed for a wide range of resources – from time-poor bloggers and small business owners to large companies with a budget for comprehensive marketing campaigns across multiple channels.

  • Keep an eye on your website stats for free with Google Analytics. Set up a free account with HubSpot, which allows you to set up tracking links and learn about your users, or start with a free trial of MailChimp, which enhances your online store by providing the opportunity to send marketing emails at low cost.


As you can see, many pitfalls can negatively affect the success of your online store. It’s not easy to stay on track and avoid these mistakes, but with the right knowledge, it is possible to avoid them. This article will help you learn what things might go wrong – so take a look at it every time you’re launching a new site or updating your current one. If you know other reasons why sites fail, please share them in the comments below.



Invest in New Technology to Handle the Surge in Online Fashion Purchases

Increase in online fashion purchases

To say that e-commerce has experienced a veritable explosion during the Covid-19 pandemic is nothing new. This is not limited to North America, countries all over the world are experiencing huge increases in online markets. According to a 2021 Spain online fashion report, the e-commerce channel has gained 2.7 million customers in Spain and penetration now reaches 43.4% of the resident population.

incremento compras online moda

Online fashion sales have risen from 9.3% in 2019 to 19.4% in 2020, while 13.6% of consumers have purchased online or plan to do so. This spectacular rise in a business segment, that had already been growing, does not mean that Spain will catch up with other more developed countries. On the contrary, all countries, even those that had advanced the most in e-commerce, have experienced spectacular growth. The case of the UK is a good example because it was already considered an advanced and mature market, nevertheless, it has experienced a boom during the pandemic. According to a recent survey conducted by McKinsey and Dynata, in the UK, fashion e-commerce is expected to represent 50% of the UK market by 2022, compared to the already very high 35% today. In the UK, online market penetration reached 75% in 2020 and is likely to rise to 85% next season.

It is not a narrowing of the gap that separated Spain from other fashion markets, but everything points to the fact that we are facing a real market transformation that affects all countries, regardless of their level before the pandemic. The new buying patterns of consumers, which were already apparent, have become a normalized preference in one year, and in some segments, even dominant.

71% of fashion executives worldwide expect their online business to grow by more than 20% this year. Industry players are therefore facing a decisive moment in which they will need to make important and relatively quick decisions if they want to stay on board a train shows no signs of stopping.

Invest in technology to respond to market demands

The online shopper has become accustomed to standards of excellence and values. Precisely those standards that make logistics management in the fashion sector more complex such as availability of sizes, safety and predictability of delivery, ease of return and omnichannel sales experience with stores. A whole range of requirements that are impossible to manage without the use of appropriate technological tools, both for warehouse management and for transport, integration with systems and logistics management in general.

Many retailers are already investing time and money to improve their digital platforms and develop their online strategies, such as the warehouse management system, or WMS, that even have specific packs to meet the needs of online commerce in which stock management, visibility, traceability, and real-time control are no longer very convenient options but unavoidable requirements.

As omnichannel driven demands become the norm, with resulting customer satisfaction harder to achieve, supply chain professionals need to leverage advanced WMS technology to keep their operations nimble, efficient, and scaling – especially in these volatile times. Given Generix Group’s completeness of vision and ability to execute, as recognized once again by the Gartner analyst community, their Solochain WMS is well-positioned to help companies needing a modern, flexible, and agile solution that can easily adapt to their changing needs. Contact us to learn more.

This article originally appeared here. Republished with permission.

shopping cart

Shopping Cart Abandonment: A Challenge for E-Commerce

Unfulfilled shopping carts are rampant in the retail industry and represent a significant source of additional revenues. Too many sales are left pending due to the lack of a smooth process and relevant options presented in real-time to the consumer. To “tighten the weave” of these abandoned sales, retailers need to manage unique and omnichannel baskets. Here is an analysis of best practices.

According to Baymard Institute, 55-75% of initiated shopping carts are abandoned. Despite these statistical findings, shopping cart abandonment is not fatal to retailers. Retailers like Cultura and FNAC have been demonstrating this for several years with a dynamic, 360° approach to their customers’ selections. Their strength? Ensure an overall view of the product selection and associate additional offers and advantages in real-time, regardless of the customer channel (at home, on the move, in-store).

Distributors: Aim for the Top!

“This ‘seamless’ connection between physical and digital channels is the first prerequisite for better basket completion” explains Philippe Petit, product marketing manager at Generix. “The second element relies on the retailer’s ability to analyze, in real-time, the nature and value of products, and to trigger personalized offers in correlation, which improve customer satisfaction and the retailer’s margin.”

According to a study by AB Tasty, a personalized e-commerce customer experience can increase the revenue generated by 15%.

To turn this promise into reality requires a software suite capable of transforming “static” shopping carts into dynamic allies for retailers. Omnichannel Sales ensures this mission by integrating ‘sales gas pedals’ that offer customers discounts, additional products, advantages or loyalty points depending on the products they select,” says Philippe Petit.

Golden Rules

1. A high-performance shopping cart is unique, omnichannel, and seamless

2. It is managed in a personalized, contextual, and real-time manner

3. It is a customer relationship and satisfaction tool

4. It improves sales, margin, and loyalty

The customer in search of omnichannel fluidity

Consumer journeys are made up of constant back and forth between several spaces (physical and digital), several terminals and several moments (information searches, price comparisons, analysis of comments, delivery conditions, etc.). In networks that combine in-store and online sales, too many baskets turn into a trap, due to a lack of management that is in line with this “mosaic” of expectations and behaviors.

There is also the case of franchised stores, which do not always have the same management systems as branches, resulting in a discontinuity in customer relations. In marketplaces, the rate of completion of baskets varies greatly depending on the costs and delivery conditions of each supplier.

The unified basket, a factor of recurrence, recognition, and valuing of customers

“The absence of a unified shopping cart, managed in real-time, penalizes the brands. Between two distributors that are apparently equivalent, customers always choose the one that offers them the most simplicity and recognition,” continues Philippe Petit. To reverse this trend, Generix Omnichannel Sales aggregates data into a single basket, thus freeing retailers from the problems of re-entering or merging files.

The solution integrates the entire spectrum of information including the basket (items, value), the customer journey (physical and digital), the transaction, promotions, loyalty, and history (recency, frequency, value). This makes consumers feel known, recognized and rewarded for their loyalty. “This is a strong element of differentiation, with a purchase act that is supported from start to finish, regardless of the channels and paths,” emphasizes Philippe Petit.

The statuses can be configured (pending, abandoned, or canceled). The customer, the sales advisor, and the after-sales service can find, in real-time, the shopping cart created via an e-commerce site, a wish list prepared on the phone, an order placed on a salesperson’s tablet.

The retailer can create and instantly distribute discount codes sent by SMS, encouraging consumers to go to the store or online. Omnichannel Sales even offers web services for VAT processing and legal collection of shopping carts generated via a salesperson’s tablet or an in-store kiosk.

According to a study by OpinionWay and iloveretail 48% of French shoppers use their store while in a store.

Clear and efficient returns management: An important decision factor for e-customers

Returns are the third most important decision factor for e-customers, after price and delivery terms. The clearer the brand is on the conditions of return (deadlines, logistics), the more it encourages customer trust and commit to purchasing.
“Generix uses the complete information of the registered baskets in the case of a partial or complete return of a purchase”, underlines Philippe Petit. Whether it was generated in-store and/or online, the single basket kept in Omnichannel Sales facilitates the management of returns, with the same level of information whatever the origin of the order (mobile, web, store, call center, etc.).

Generix hopes to eventually offer an analysis of the reasons for basket abandonment, whether it’s due to a product line’s pricing policy, an over cost between the product’s value and its delivery cost, or a lack of clarity on the return conditions. The result is a significant reduction in the number of unfulfilled shopping carts in consumer e-commerce.

As omnichannel-driven demands become the norm, with resulting customer satisfaction harder to achieve, supply chain professionals need to leverage advanced WMS technology to keep their operations nimble, efficient and scaling – especially in these volatile times. Given Generix Group’s completeness of vision and ability to execute, as recognized once again by the Gartner analyst community, their Solochain WMS is well-positioned to help companies needing a modern, flexible and agile solution that can easily adapt to their changing needs. We invite you to contact us to learn more.

This article originally appeared here. Republished with permission. 


Common E-commerce Mistakes to Avoid: How Many Are You Making?

E-commerce is a truly amazing idea. You can market your product to thousands of customers without the marketing budget of a multinational company, take orders, and deliver them all at the same platform.

With the COVID-19 pandemic locking people up in their homes, online shopping has become the new norm, making e-commerce almost a necessity for most modern businesses.

While the possibilities are endless, it’s easy for things to go wrong with e-commerce if you don’t keep a few basic points in mind. If you’re wondering why your online business hasn’t achieved the growth it should have had, here are some common mistakes you might be making.

1. You have insufficient information on your store.

While everyone includes basic information like product descriptions and pricing, it’s easy to neglect the pages you think are unimportant.

One page people tend to neglect is the “About Us” page. You might think buyers aren’t interested in reading about you but you’re wrong. Buyers are curious about the person or company they’re buying from, especially if you’re just starting out and not big yet.

A well-written about us page helps you connect with your customers by sharing your personal story with them, which builds trust and credibility. At the end of the day, less buyers are going to bounce off your store.

At other times, e-commerce stores fail to clearly outline sales terms and conditions, leaving users confused about their refund and exchange policy. This can turn away a good number of buyers (no one likes taking risks with their money!), so make sure to include this information in clear terms in your store. A good online business lawyer can help you in this regard.

2. Your store is not designed for phones.

Mobile phones are a major medium people use to shop online. You could have the most amazing store, but if it’s not optimized for mobile phones, you’ve lost a lot of customers in an instant.

Open your store on your mobile browser, and see if it runs as smoothly as it does on a desktop. If it’s displayed incorrectly, lags, or is not very responsive, it means you need to have a conversation with your software team!

3. You haven’t researched the market.

This mistake can be made with any business, but it’s particularly easy to make with online businesses because they’re so easy to set up.

You can have full confidence in your product, but your business won’t flourish if no one wants your product. So it’s extremely important to find out the demand your product has before launching a store.

Another common mistake people make is failing to niche down. You should clearly define your niche, and then aim to engage your target audience. If you don’t niche down, you won’t be targeting a specific audience. You’ll basically be shooting in the dark.

4. You’ve neglected SEO.

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is what makes your store visible on the internet. When you type “best pencil holders” in Google, you see a list of websites. Those websites aren’t ranked randomly but by how well they’re optimized for search engines.

Every piece of text that you put onto your store (from product descriptions to the About Us page) is an opportunity to make use of the right keywords and improve your SEO. Many e-commerce owners neglect the content they put on their website when it’s one of the most powerful tools to drive the right kind of customers to their store.

But SEO is not just about content. As competition between websites is increasing, SEO is getting more and more complex with constantly evolving on-page and off-page SEO best practices.

So it’s unlikely you’ll be able to tackle your store’s SEO by yourself. If you’re a startup, consider working with a budget-friendly SEO agency to take your store to the next level!

5. You’re not loud enough.

You can have the most amazing e-commerce store out there but it’s going to be useless if people don’t know about it.

You need to make use of all marketing platforms available to you to promote your website. Creating a brand identity and a story that people can relate with help in website promotion, so it’s a good idea to work on those aspects of your store as well.

Placing ads on social media platforms, collaborating with influencers and YouTubers, and making the right use of SEO content are some ways to promote your website. Many more ideas exist, and no one idea alone can turn things around for your store.

If you’d like to take all the ideas and turn them into an effective marketing strategy, your best bet is to work with a good digital marketer who can help you scream out as loud as possible!

6. You’re failing to close the deal.

The checkout process is the most important part of your store when it comes to closing the deal. If it’s too cumbersome, there’s a very good chance your customer will abandon the cart.

Your goal should be to make your checkout process as smooth as possible. You can do this by ensuring good page load speeds and a clean, intuitive user interface. At this point in the buying process, you should keep things minimal and avoid distracting the customer with offers, promotions, and advertisements.

It’s also helpful to keep the information required for making the purchase minimum — today’s internet users crave instant gratification and too much typing while shopping online annoys them.

Finally, try to offer as many payment options as you can. Nothing breaks the heart of an e-commerce customer like the unavailability of their preferred payment option, which sometimes is the only option they really have!


Finding Time and Cost Savings in International E-Commerce

If you’re involved with U.S. retail supply chains, you’re likely very much aware of the extent to which the COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated the adoption of e-commerce and shifted the sales dynamic. You are also likely to be equally aware of the supply chain challenges associated with meeting the demands of online orders and the impact on customer service.

The truth is that extended time in transit is expected to continue to be a reality for the foreseeable future even as the international container shortage eases. The sheer volume of goods moving into U.S. ports is causing significant congestion and creating delays in offloading planes and cargo vessels, as well as inland transport. That’s the not-so-good news. The better news is that for those sectors where consumer expectations for delivery times are more moderate, there may be an opportunity for time and cost savings through the recently implemented United States-Mexico-Canada agreement and an even newer program put in place by U.S. Customs and Border Protection.

Meteoric Rise

Before diving into the supply chain relief, it’s worthwhile looking at the sheer magnitude of the change in America’s retail landscape. The numbers speak for themselves. 2020 marked the first year in which e-commerce sales grew while in-store purchases declined. And the growth trajectory was meteoric – an estimated $860 billion was spent by consumers via online purchases, representing a 44% year-over-year increase in online sales. What’s more, a McKinsey study conducted in August 2020 shows 20% of consumers who adopted a new digital shopping method intend to continue using it after the pandemic. The same study shows the move to online shopping is evenly spread out across socioeconomic categories.

All this means that while the current surge in e-commerce activity is undoubtedly being fuelled by rotating lockdowns and an inability for consumers to spend on widely used services, such as entertainment, accommodation, health and wellness, etc., the big shift to online purchasing is here to stay.

A new way of doing business

Yet, even as online sales have served as a boon to retailers looking to keep their businesses afloat while navigating the uncertainty wrought by the pandemic, it also creates a range of new risks and challenges, including a broader competitive landscape, an entirely new approach to marketing and sales, supply chain and warehousing considerations and customer service expectations.

The supply chain crunch

Since the outset of the pandemic, global supply chains have been in a state of disarray – from the production shutdowns in China in the Spring of 2020 to the subsequent sluggishness of the country’s outbound port activity that led to empty shelves in the U.S., to the continued container shortage and port congestion at many key ports, such as the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach. Traditional and e-commerce retailers are struggling to get product into the country.

As time in transit has grown significantly over the past year, many consumers have grown accustomed to long delivery times (three weeks or more) for online orders of non-essential consumer products (e.g., apparel and footwear, electronics, household décor, etc.). This represents a potential cost-savings opportunity, particularly for those online vendors facilitating direct-to-consumer orders through overseas suppliers while leveraging U.S.-based fulfillment and distribution centers, which may also help ease overall long transit times.

How to save money and time in transit

U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) is currently testing a new program that allows importers to expedite the clearance of goods that fall within the U.S. de minimis threshold of $800 through an advanced electronic customs filing called Entry Type 86. The program was put in place to help CBP streamline the import of individual consumer goods while maintaining strong security and other government department requirements.

Entry Type 86 falls under Section 321 de minimis and expands the categories under which goods can enter the U.S. with an informal customs entry. In addition, using Entry Type 86 means goods usually receive advanced clearance, reducing customs processing time at the port of entry. Moreover, Entry Type 86 does not demand the same calibre of administrative documentation normally required for goods regulated by Partner Government Agencies (PGAs) that don’t qualify for release through the Section 321 manifest process. As such, businesses importing regulated goods that fall within the $800 de minimis threshold can leverage Entry Type 86 instead of having to do a formal customs entry. This further reduces the administrative burden and hastens the processing of de minimis goods entering the U.S. via Entry Type 86.

To make the most of Entry Type 86, importers would shift the destination of their imports at the time of customs clearance from an Express Consignment Carrier Facility (ECCF) where e-commerce goods are typically processed to a Container Freight Station (CFS) bonded warehouse. While processing via ECCF can expedite clearance because a customs official is on site to clear goods, the process is quite costly. Entry Type 86, however, removes the need for a customs officer to be on site as the goods are cleared before their arrival through the advanced electronic customs filing. The outcome is expedited clearance at a lower cost.

Niche opportunity

Because Entry Type 86 is relatively new, the vast majority of businesses are unfamiliar with the process. Businesses looking to take advantage of Entry Type 86 should take the time to evaluate what is required and make the necessary investments to facilitate the process. In many cases, this will require working with a third party to reconcile what technology and operational changes are needed to ensure proper use of Entry Type 86 from a technological and administrative standpoint.

Northern Relief

By shipping goods into a Canadian port and having goods repackaged for final delivery through a bonded warehouse in Canada that has close proximity to the U.S.-Canada border, and then transporting the goods by ground freight into the U.S. using a Section 321 filing, U.S. online retailers have the opportunity to reduce overall time in transit as the Canadian ports may be less congested.

Moreover, the use of an e-manifest allows for imports to be processed far more seamlessly than a formal customs entry, reducing the possibility of goods getting delayed at the point of customs entry and expediting overall time in transit. In addition, routing through Canada – a USMCA trade partner – allows U.S. importers to still take advantage of the duty and tax savings associated with the U.S.’s generous de minimis threshold. In other words, routing through Canada offers the possibility to U.S. importers of achieving savings in both time and cost.

However, there is the touchy issue of Section 301 tariffs on China-origin goods, which have frustrated retailers in the U.S. since the onset of the U.S-China trade war in 2018. While imports that fall within the de minimis threshold have thus far been exempted from Section 301 tariffs, a temporarily shelved proposal being reviewed by the Office of Management and Budget has the potential to change all that. The current administration of U.S. President Joe Biden is still crafting its policy on China and leveraging allies to put pressure on Beijing to change its economic policies. That policy could include broadening the scope of U.S. tariffs on China-origin goods, including tariffs on goods that fall within de minimis. As a result, enterprises and/or their distributors looking to take advantage of Section 321 and Entry Type 86 should partner with an organization that closely watches regulatory changes and apprises them of those changes so they can pivot accordingly.

The long and short of it

Entering into or significantly expanding e-commerce represents a significant set of challenges to businesses, much of which is related to supply chain and distribution headaches. Looking for ways to reduce time in transit or find cost savings where time savings aren’t possible will be critical not only during the shutdown period of the pandemic but well into the future as the online landscape becomes more competitive and puts downward pressure on margins.


Jill Hurley is a U.S.-based director of global trade consulting at Livingston International. She brings a wealth of expertise in the development and implementation of import/export compliance programs, compliance audits, export licensing requirements, supply-chain security, the preparation, submission and oversight of penalty mitigation projects and assistance with U.S. trade remedies, such as anti-dumping and countervailing duties, and intellectual property orders.

Michael Zobin is a Canada-based director of global trade consulting at Livingston International. His expertise includes supply-chain optimization; duty deferral and drawbacks; conducting compliance program reviews; developing compliance procedures; voluntary disclosure; and post-entry review.


How has E-Commerce Adapted During the COVID-19 Outbreak?

The pandemic had a massive impact on the retail industry. People were driven to the safety of their homes, which was an opportunity that e-commerce did not miss. E-commerce adapted during the COVID-19 outbreak with ease, in such a way that had never been seen before.

E-commerce growth was documented even before the COVID-19 outbreak

Over the past ten years, e-commerce sales have grown from 13% to 18% approximately every year. The consistency is simply astonishing. The difference from offline sales is substantial because retail stores haven’t increased their sales by more than 4% for more than 16 years now.

2020 was the most successful year for e-commerce

Because most retail stores and shops all over the world closed because of the COVID-19 pandemic, people needed a different shopping channel. E-commerce proved to be a safe way to purchase food and other necessities. With that said, it is not strange that the increase in online sales for the last year went up by a whopping 32.4%! Overall, e-commerce shops achieved sales in the value of over $270 billion! By some predictions, that level of increase in online sales would have happened around 2022 or later if it hadn’t been for the pandemic to speed up the process. Offline sales also had an increase of 6.9%.

How e-commerce grew by product category

E-commerce adapted during the COVID-19 outbreak at a fast pace. Let’s see what product categories had the highest jump in sales.

Food and groceries online sales

By far, food and groceries were sold the most via online channels. The jump in online sales was over 100%. In fact, around 17% of people in the United States had their first online shopping experience last year. The need for social distancing and a mandatory curfew in countries worldwide made people stay at home. So, the only way of acquiring groceries was through an online delivery system.

Toy sales jumped through the roof

It is not strange to say that toy sales jumped through the roof in the last year. Stuck in their homes for most of the day, people craved a little bit of fun and excitement. Video games and puzzles were the most sold items, closely followed by musical instruments. The increase in sales was by over 63% since 2019. The overall profit of toy stores was somewhere around $1 billion, which is a jump of 500% in online sales from the previous year. It is even more amazing to say that online sales of toys and games jumped by 1000% in the first two months of the pandemic.

People still need physical activity

Gyms all over the world suffered a defeat thanks to the COVID-19 outbreak. However, the European gym and fitness equipment market increased online sales of home fitness goods, and the same thing happened in the United States. It is good to know that people still need to exercise, even if prevented from going out.

Before the lockdown, sporting goods retailers had a steady jump in sales by +45% over the past few years. The most sold items were bicycles and rollerblades.

However, when the gyms shut, the online sales of gym equipment for homes increased by over 100%. What is impressive is that stores that didn’t previously sell online, nor did curbside pickup delivery, launched these channels in less than 48 hours.

The COVID-19 pandemic was the right time for house remodeling projects

When the pandemic started, there was a noticeable increase in people moving to the suburbs. Living in a less populated area sounded like an excellent way to stay protected and follow social distancing rules. As a result, suburban housing and furniture sales propelled the American reconstituted wood product market.

Furthermore, people used the opportunity to make massive home improvements and start remodeling projects they were postponing for months or years. Also, the online sales of home improvement products substantially increased by 52% thanks to the people moving into their new homes.

Nonessential items also had an increase in sales

Nonessential items belong to those categories that didn’t have a direct connection with the shift in the shoppers’ habits caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. These include car parts, clothes, jewelry, flowers, and similar categories. However, even those online sales jumped by more than 30% since the last year. The growth increase was a bit slower than the essential markets, which is not that strange.

E-commerce adapted during the COVID-19 outbreak, but what comes after?

It is true; e-commerce adapted during the COVID-19 outbreak at a fantastic speed. However, what can we expect in the years to come? Without a doubt, this trend of using online sales will continue even after the pandemic is over. Nevertheless, the retail industry should not be concerned for the time being. Even with this spike in online sales, most purchases, in fact, over 80%, still happened in stores. The majority of people are slowly getting used to the benefits of online shopping. We are all creatures of habits, and habits die hard. It does not come as a surprise that the benefit of staying at home while shopping is growing closer to our hearts with every passing day.


Kayla Jenkins is a passionate blogger and writer for Best Movers NYC, with a degree in economics and marketing. Encouraged by the recent fluctuations in the retail industry, she now focuses on exploring the effects of the pandemic on the future of online and offline sales.


How Digital Marketing Affects the Growth of Business

Through modern technological progress and evolution, small and medium-sized enterprises do whatever they can to preserve the reality for the remainder of society.

To capture a growing and highly profitable Internet marketplace, brick and mortar companies are either adapting their business model to an online model or expanding established marketing activities through digital marketing strategies.

Digital marketing outsources and innovations give companies the most significant potential for sustainability, survival, and even corporate growth in the digital arena to which they are led.

Digital marketing advantages

Digital outsourcing allows entrepreneurs and companies to concentrate on more lucrative activities, particularly administrative activities, which are costly and do not generate added value.

In this context, multiple and observable short-term and long-term advantages of digitally externalizing accounting are available. Other benefits of digital marketing include improved brand loyalty and online marketing driving.

-Potential for continuous contact with prospects regardless of their distance

-Quality in costing

-Easy brand consciousness and loyalties 

-Quick control of marketing responses and efforts

-Both digital marketing strategies will not, however, work wonderfully and work well.

Online replay standard of digital marketing

The days have passed when company owners still embrace the idea that digital marketing is only for multinationals and big businesses with the money to execute an online marketing campaign.

With digital marketing, small businesses now have open opportunities to outsource.

Cost-effective rather than conventional

Small enterprises have smaller budgets and little capitalization.  Digital Marketing provides them an extra strong and extra economical marketing network with results.

Conversion of Digital Marketing

Business goods and online services calculate success, depending on your website’s intended objectives by the percentages of income traffic transformed into leads, subscribers, or sales. Your traffic is nil without conversion, and your marketing struggles would increase excessively.

Assistance in achieving greater profits

Higher converting rates through efficient digital marketing strategies produce sustainable income for you and your business. In the IPSOS Hong Kong report, Google confirmed the organization that uses digital marketing techniques compared to those not using are 2.8 times higher in sales growth expectancy.

Enables contact with target audiences

The ability of internet marketer platforms to communicate with targeted consumers in real-time is why digital markets are embracing conventional marketing chains. Your customers expect interaction in all ways when they connect with your company.

Reputation Builds Brand

The capability of appealing to targeted traffic is the power of digital marketing. These types of audiences are usually prepared to identify additional information about your brand, goods, or services and may be involved in buying what you sell. Granting what you promised would support you to produce a stronger connection with your target audience and transition into paying customers who go back and engage more often with your website.

People’s trust in marketing

Social media signals, social proofs, and testimonials consist of real customers who previously bought or used a specific brand or company for a product or service. The more accurate these social signals are, the greater the confidence rate of that targeted audience – most potentially consumers – can produce.

Encourages people to do good

While social signals and testimonials help build confidence from targeted audiences, digital marketing uses successful tactics that enable people to follow a positive course of action intended by your brand or company.

The site user continues to conduct conversion to leads or sales and is fully regulated. They are not coerced, but digital vendors can employ creative and inventive methods to promote conversion by calls-to-action.


It would help if you studied marketing through a business management program to take full advantage of digital marketing. After all, to stay on top, you must be successful.

You must understand how you can use it throughout your career with today’s power of digital marketing. So, look for the preparation and experience to succeed in the company now and in the future.

Outsourcing to a digital marketing agent makes sense if you want to take full advantage of digital marketing opportunities and expand a business.


Genc Emini is a Marketing Specialist in SEO for Ajroni Web Agency and has more than 6-years of experience. Genc is passionate about traveling, photography, and reading. Genc can speak Albanian, English, Italian, and Turkish.


Effective Digital Marketing Strategies for eCommerce

Running an eCommerce business needs extra attention and energy towards your marketing strategies. This is because apart from targeting new traffic to your platforms, you are also working to ensure that you entice existing customers to keep coming back to your store.

Even though we live in a digital age, there are still many challenges that eCommerce sites undergo. As the competition remains unforgivingly fierce with millions of shopping options, it becomes a lot harder to convince online shoppers to purchase products from you.

There have also been various developments in the eCommerce world, thanks to search engine giants such as Google. This is because people can easily check out the prices of products much quicker, compare the goods with those of competitors, and they can decide on who to settle on, even before approaching your site.

To ensure that you remain relevant and close more leads, you may need to relook your marketing efforts and stay ahead of the trends. Here are five effective digital marketing strategies for eCommerce sites that will ensure you capture your share in the $2.8 trillion annual online sales.

1. Define your sales cycle

Before you embark on any digital marketing campaigns and even before writing your business plan, the first thing you’ll always hear is that you should understand your audience. In the eCommerce world, going in without defining your user personas would be heading for doom, as the chances of your business failing are pretty high.

Every business is unique, and therefore, you ought to define your sales cycle before launching any marketing strategies. In essence, you need to know how long it takes for a customer to make a purchase on your website. Learn their journey and understand how they move through your sales process. This is the only way you’ll be able to come up with relevant eCommerce marketing strategies that will actually work.

Without a clear understanding of how long it takes for a customer to complete the entire sales cycle, you will find it a little more difficult, trying to pinpoint the areas of improvement and what platforms you need to focus on the most.

Furthermore, with such information, you are also able to know how to target and qualify leads, how to move them onto the next stage of the sales funnel, and what needs to be done to keep them coming back. Fortunately, all these can be done on a trial and error basis so you don’t have to be perfect with your first findings.

2. Optimize your checkout process

One of the biggest mistakes made by eCommerce business owners is the failure to have a seamless checkout process. Getting your prospects to the checkout page takes a lot of convincing and they are satisfied that your products would actually help them solve their pain points.

However, if your checkout process isn’t smooth, then you may end up noticing a high bounce rate emanating from your checkout page.

Ensure that all actions and buttons are clearly visible and that the visitor knows exactly what to do after they have added their preferred products to the cart. There are some methods that you can easily learn by registering to some of the best distance learning platforms, and get to know the different ways you can optimize your checkout page for higher conversions.

3. Provide helpful product descriptions

Having clear product descriptions will help a prospect throughout their sales cycle. They’ll be in a better position to understand exactly what the product is all about and make a decision if it would be helpful to them.

As for the seller, you will gain customer trust if you know how to correctly label your product. This will establish you as an authority, which can boost the customer’s trust in you.

Furthermore, apart from helping to convince your customers, having clear product descriptions can help your site even further through Search Engine Optimization (SEO). By using the right keywords within your product descriptions, search engine crawlers would be able to rank your page as an authority site, helping you to appear on the first page of the Search Engine Result Pages (SERPs). This will ultimately enable you to land on more leads and conversions.

4. Invest in retargeting

The hard truth is that 98% of website visitors do not make a purchase on their first visit. Most of them will be window shopping on your site, or maybe trying to compare you with a competitor. Another batch of individuals would actually add the items to the cart, and leave it half-way, even before they proceed to the checkout page.

If this is the case, you need to invest in retargeting marketing strategies. With this type of marketing, whenever someone visits your website and fails to make a purchase, and you could check on your dashboard that they were interested in a particular product, you reach out to them using other means.

For starters, you can use retargeting ads on other websites that the prospect may visit and bring to their attention your deals and offers on the specific product. Furthermore, if they had subscribed to your website, or had put in their email addresses, you can use these details to reach out to them and offer a personalized offer. By doing this, they will feel appreciated and can end up making the purchase from you.

5. Boost product visualization

People love what they see and if you’re an eCommerce business site owner, this is one of the first things you need to understand. Although content is king, you should beware of the type of content to add to your website. Although blog posts will be a boosting factor, they are not the key selling points.

Ensure to invest more in having quality images of the products you wish to sell. You should also use advanced methods such as 3D technology, where customers are able to view the product from all angles, including rotating 360°. One company, Fourth Source, has recorded increased conversions and sales from 25% to 30% when they used 3D images over flat surface photos for their products.


Having a concrete eCommerce digital marketing strategy will not only be vital for your company’s success through increased sales, but will also ensure you remain relevant to the changing trends and stay ahead of the competition. These five tips are just a starting point for you to up your game and get a piece of this elusive market share.


Lidia S. Hovhan is a part of Content and Marketing team at OmnicoreAgency. She contributes articles about how to integrate digital marketing strategy with traditional marketing to help business owners to meet their online goals. You can find really professional insights in her writings.



The world of e-commerce has undergone quite a year. And with everything going on in the world, chances are that growth, innovation, and change are what we can expect this new year as well.

Global growth or no global growth, you do have to stay on top of the latest trends if you want to stay on top in the world of e-commerce–otherwise, you will find yourself at the bottom of the heap. Let’s take a look at eight trends that are set to continue driving innovation in 2021 and beyond.

Mobile Continues to Be on the Rise

Even though mobile search overtook desktop a long time ago, mobile is still on the rise in every sense of the word. Focusing on the experience your users have when accessing your store via their mobile phones is certainly a trend that will not disappear soon.

Elements to focus on include:


-Ease of access

-Ease of navigation



A good example of the kind of mobile-first website design we are referring to is the LMNT Essential Labs website ( It is super-fast, it is responsive, and it has retained that mobile-friendly design on the desktop version as well, providing more cohesion.

Voice Search Is Also Important

By 2025, it is predicted that 75 percent of U.S. homes will have a set of smart speakers. And while voice search is currently still a bit of a dark horse for some users, Alexa, Siri and Amazon Echo are slowly becoming a daily part of many lives.

What you as an e-commerce store owner can do is optimize for voice search, and enable your visitors to execute voice-based search commands and navigation on the website (or at least on its mobile version).

This will be a significant investment, and you may be able to hold off on it for a while. However, if your target market is among the population that is already heavily relying on voice commands, the time is now.

Personalization as the New King of Marketing

Shoppers have always responded better to offers that were tailor-made for them. Think of personalized letters in the snail mail, or calls from sales assistants who have reviewed your loyalty card with a brand and know what kinds of products you like to purchase.

Today, with the rise of AI, e-commerce is heavily relying on data-driven personalization. You can now know more about your visitors and their behavior online than they themselves know about themselves. This leads to a bit of a safety and trust issue, but also provides an incredible shopping experience.

The more you can tailor your ads, offers and other marketing assets to a specific visitor, the better you will fare. Especially since other e-commerce brands are already doing it, and doing it well.

Social Commerce Making an Impact

As modern shoppers are spending more and more time on social media, it was only a matter of time before social media and e-commerce merged into one big happy experience.

Social media platforms are mini search engines themselves, and 55 percent of shoppers are making purchases from a brand’s own social media posts. As plenty of these platforms now allow shopping straight from the post, impulse purchases are on the rise–as are conversion rates.

A brand that has embraced social commerce is Zoma Sleep. This company has enabled their Instagram shop, allowing you to purchase one of their mattresses directly from the image posted on their feed. Never has it been this easy to get something delivered straight to your door.

More Payment Options are Becoming Available

Not too long ago, there was the option of paying for an online purchase via credit card, when PayPal and Stripe were still distrusted as a scam. Today, we have hundreds of ways to pay online, from cryptocurrency to wire transfer.

Customers are expecting different payment options more and more–especially since all the biggest e-commerce names have allowed for them (think Amazon).

If you are insisting on one (or two) ways to pay, you are likely missing out on some serious traffic, and you’ll need to consider adding more options as soon as possible. However, remember that you should first focus on the security of your store, and only then allow new payment options–they will not matter one bit if your data storage is hacked.

Dynamic Pricing is Here to Help

It can be very difficult to keep track of all the fluctuating prices in your niche and industry. After all, in order to remain competitive, you need to be able to adjust your prices when and if needed–and to be able to do that, you need to keep track of the prices of your competition.

Tools like Aura are here to help you out–if you are using Amazon as a marketplace. On the other hand, if you are using Shopify, you can also benefit from a dynamic repricing tool that will automatically keep track of the prices you set and alert you when a change needs to be made (or make the change for you).

The Importance of Order, Purchase and Inventory Management Automation

In the world of e-commerce, automating as much as you can is sometimes what sets you apart from your competition. And while they are busying themselves with the tasks you have automated, you have the time and resources to devote your energies elsewhere.

One of the key processes you should be automating is the management of your orders, purchases and inventory. This can easily be done with a tool like InFlow that will keep an eye on your orders and inventory, alerting you to every important change–while you grow your business.

B2B is Also on the Rise–Again

The B2B e-commerce market is expected to reach $1.1 trillion in 2021. As more of these businesses are moving online, you need to consider how B2B buyers like to be charmed. Working in a B2B environment is different from working in B2C–at least in the world of e-commerce.

What you need to consider is that millennials are becoming the new B2B buyers–so marketing for them is key. You also need to remember that Gen Z is also starting to make their mark on the workplace, and they do need to be treated differently.

Think in terms of simpler solutions, better user experience, more self-serve options and providing all the information they need to make a purchase without them having to contact your sales team.

Trying to stay on top of all of these e-commerce trends might prove to be a challenge. However, if you manage to focus on the ones that pertain to your target audience the most, you’ll be able to greet the coming year well-prepared.


Karl Kangur is the CEO of Result Compass, a marketing agency specializing in SEO, social media advertising and lead generation, with offices in Tallinn, Estonia, Hong Kong and London.


New Fulfillment Frontier: Going the Last Mile in Package Management

We are moving into the traditionally high-volume shopping months—back-to-school,  Black Friday, Cyber Monday, the holidays, and post-holiday sales. All this increased activity will be layered onto the already higher-than-ever levels of pandemic online shopping we have experienced for the last few months. According to the National Retail Federation, parents report plans for record-breaking back-to-school spending, with a particular emphasis on laptops, tablets, and headphones.

With more students and parents staying home,  multifamily properties should take their package experience of the last six months and work to create a package management strategy that will carry them through the peaks of the next online shopping wave.

E-Commerce Grows Double Digits

Growth in e-commerce over the last few months isn’t a blip or even a spike. It is more like a Teutonic shift. Thanks to the shop-from-home impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, e-commerce is poised to grow 18 percent by the end of this year. There are more Internet shoppers than ever before, and those shoppers are buying more. That means more—many more—package deliveries to multi-family properties.

From Millennials and GenZ to Boomers, all generations are in the game. More than 75 percent of the American population has purchased goods online, ordering literally everything—from toothpaste and diapers to televisions and dishwashers—from an estimated 12 to 24 million e-commerce sites. This tsunami of brown boxes has forced managers and staffs of multifamily properties to become an essential part of the “last mile” of the e-commerce supply chain.

What Is “Last Mile” and How Does It Affect Property Managers?

In the shipping and delivery industry, last-mile traditionally refers to the final step in the delivery of a product from a warehouse to the customer. This final leg, which can range from just a few blocks to fifty or a hundred miles, is often the most costly and challenging segment in the entire logistics flow—especially as online customers have come to expect rapid-fire delivery—often same or next day.

Whether it be for security or logistical reason, national carriers such as UPSFedEx,  DHL, or USPS,  deliver to a property’s designated receiving area; making the multifamily property staff the de facto last step of the last mile. Your team then has to log, notify, and deliver the avalanche of packages. They lift and carry, stack, stash, and store and are responsible for the safety and secure delivery to the correct recipient.

Think Like a Carrier

Managers of multifamily properties can take a cue from these national carriers. Here are three tips to help you develop a proactive package management strategy that prepares multifamily property staff to handle last-mile deliveries like the pros.

1. Assess Current Delivery Operations: The volume and variety of deliveries over the last six months has been a graduate course in delivery management. You and your teams already know much more about the impact of last-mile deliveries than you did a year ago. Take a moment to document the last six months of experience by gaining insights from all involved in the process:

-Residents: What aspects of delivery are your residents asking (or complaining) about? Typical priorities are security, convenience, 24/7 accessibility, and adequate receiving space. Since COVID,  contactless solutions are at the top of the list. What else do your residents want?

-Staff: How are deliveries impacting your staff? Do you have enough temporary parking or are delivery trucks monopolizing the receiving dock or precious curbside front entrance? Are shelves and boxes ruining lobby ambiance? How are deliveries impacting efficiency or morale?

-Delivery Carriers: Reach out to the drivers and route managers at companies that deliver most frequently to your building—both national and local carriers. Talk to them about delivering to your property. Are other comparable properties on their routes handling deliveries differently? Do they have suggestions for your specific property?

2. Let the Data Drive: Go back to the basics to get ahead of this growing delivery tsunami. Work with your staff to create a process to identify, collect, and report the data you will need to make effective decisions about future package delivery. Here’s a get-started list:


-Package types, sizes, weight

-Packages per delivery and per 24/hours

-Pickup and delivery times/frequency

-Carrier information – Amazon, UPS, USPS, FedEx, DHL, independent carriers

-Local delivery information – Dry Cleaners, Grocers, Food Delivery

-Odd- and over-sized deliveries (skis to TVs)


-Returns, waste management, and recycling

Building Logistics and Demographics

-# of units, average # of residents

-Elapsed time between delivery notification and resident pick-up

-Delivery path: docks and bays, driveways, pathways, controlled access to building

-Mail and package handling

External Data and Information Sources

-Industry associations (property management, retail, and others) for benchmarks, best practices, and trends. Example: NMHC or NAA

-Industry consultants, suppliers or vendors

-Managers of comparable properties

3. Technology: E-commerce delivery giants reinvented the delivery industry from the 1960s on with technology. FedEx revolutionized time-sensitive and urgent delivery. Decades before the iPhone, UPS drivers broke ground with hand-held tablets. Amazon Prime takes first place in warehouse automation. Now, these companies are testing sidewalk robots, drones, and driverless cars. On the residence side, leading-edge property managers can apply technology to the “last mile” with software, smart locker solutions and access-controlled package rooms that deliver convenient and secure 24/7 access for their residents.

Plan for the Future

For properties receiving packages, many days already feel like Black Friday and Cyber Monday all rolled into one. From forecasts and consumer behavior, we can only expect deliveries of all types to increase. By utilizing interviews, data collection, and adding technology, property managers can build an effective and flexible package management strategy that will continue to scale into the future.


Donna Logback is marketing director for Package Concierge®, the trusted provider of automated locker solutions for the modern world. By combining industry expertise and cutting-edge/leading technology, Package Concierge seamlessly automates package management for multifamily properties, student housing communities, retailers, and office buildings. As the only vertically integrated solution, Package Concierge® products are built in the USA and powered by proprietary software to deliver on security, design and functionality. With over 75 million package transactions, Package Concierge® collaborates with customers to address their evolving needs by optimizing operations and enhancing user experiences through its scalable smart locker solution. For more information, visit