Riding the ecommerce wave

Wix’s head of ecommerce marketing, Liat Karpel Gurwicz, reveals how the retail landscape is evolving with consumer expectations and how brands can keep up

How did brands and retailers respond to the Covid-19 pandemic?

It pushed every brand to adapt; initially they had to survive but then it was about figuring out how to thrive through new business models and by spotting new opportunities. Every business was shifting, whether it was bricks-and-mortar retailers going online for the first time or online businesses adapting their supply chains, focusing on different target markets or adjusting their sales channels. Companies that had only sold wholesale or through retailers were suddenly adopting a direct-to-consumer approach.

More businesses selling online, as well as more consumers shopping online, fueled hyper-growth for ecommerce. In 2020, Wix users processed more than $5.4bn on the platform, while we experienced 140% year-on-year growth in sales transactions and 114% growth in sales revenue.

How are customer expectations evolving and what do brands need to do to adapt again?

The world is in a different place now. Shoppers expect brands to meet them where they are; that might be in a physical store, but it could also be while on their laptop at home or on their smartphone on the go. They also expect a much more seamless interaction from the brands they buy from. While many people still want to shop in stores, they expect that brand to remember them in terms of their loyalty points and shopping history. And remembering them is important: data from the Smile.io app in the Wix app market shows that loyal customers spend five times more than average customers.

Last year, the challenge was getting online and selling there as fast as possible. As we progress into more relaxed restrictions and some countries go back to a more normal way of life, the biggest challenge for companies is figuring out how this ecommerce component becomes an ongoing part of their business.

How can retailers integrate ecommerce successfully?

First, they need to embrace omnichannel. Once they are selling in multiple ways, they need a platform that allows them to manage all their inventory, sales and orders in one place, along with shipping, fulfilment and delivery. Customer data should be stored there as well, alongside financial data and analytics.

Whether selling on a website, an online marketplace, social media or in person through a point-of-sale system, it is all integrated.

The biggest challenge for companies is figuring out how this ecommerce component becomes an ongoing part of their business

The other crucial piece is retention and reengagement of consumers; really thinking about how to grow long-term value from customers through loyalty and repeat purchases. That requires great email marketing and SMS marketing infrastructure, as well as tools for reaching shoppers in a targeted way, such as automated abandoned cart emails, which increase the sales of Wix stores by up to 29%. Retailers really need to dig into the data and segment customers to send out relevant offers and build rewards programmes across all channels.

How does Wix support companies on their ecommerce journey?

Our holistic ecommerce platform allows retailers to not only build and manage an online store, but manage their product catalogue, inventory, sales and analytics from a single dashboard. The platform syncs across all channels, including offline sales via our fully integrated point of sale. We have more than 50 payment providers on the platform, as well as our own native payment provider; analytics across everything our users are able to do; shipping and fulfilment, including syncing with third parties; and our own CRM platform, Wix Ascend, which provides email marketing, live chat, invoices, business automation and more.

That is what the platform looks like now and we will keep growing and moving with our users as they grow in the years ahead.

For more information visit wix.com/ecommerce

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