Have you ever wondered what would be the most unpredictable industry in the world?

There must be a bombardment of names in your mind. Yet the one echoing would be business.

Types, trends, innovations, mergers and acquisitions, and whatnot; businesses worldwide bring along unimaginable uncertainty. Now, if you are a businessman or soon-to-be candidate of a fast-paced online business sector, this article is for you.

Has your business collapsed overnight? Or has it become a marvel of success? Honestly, a yes in either of the replies is not surprising if we consider the recent events. Almost every domain of life has become quite erratic. This pandemic has induced unprecedented changes in human life. This change is beyond that infection prevention mask on your face. From social interactions to our business operations, everything has absorbed a transformation to a noticeable extent.

Technology has undoubtedly caused the most significant disruption. We already had a massive prevalence of the internet in our life before this pandemic. Now, the ubiquity of technology and online interactions is also significantly visible in the business world too. E-commerce has seen astonishing progress over the last five years. Countries have shifted to digitalization rapidly, and modern-day brick-and-mortar marketplaces have transformed into digital stores.

We have come a long way. Amazon received their first-ever online order in 1995 for just $27, and they had a total sales of whopping $125.56 billion in 2020. No other business has seen such an expansion even over two decades. Surprisingly, there was a sales increase of 44% in 2020. It tells us an entirely different story. It tells us about the changing trends of the online world over the last 15 months. It informs us about the shifts we are seeing and will observe throughout the very near future. It provides us the background of the very initial questions this article asked you. It highlights the reason why certain businesses are collapsing overnight or succeeding incredibly.

1. E-commerce, the future of business

Due to the pandemic, online transactions have increased by 39.7%. Mobile shopping and E-commerce platforms have gained immense popularity. Businesses devise policies regarding how to sell on eBay, operate stores on Amazon, and make the most of other E-commerce platforms. Global e-retail sales were an astonishing $3.5 trillion in 2019. Since then, they have only been growing even further. Under the influence of the pandemic, one can only assume how large this industry must have become.

According to Agility PR, 30% of millennials are now shopping online with more online store visits than ever before. It has become inevitable for businesses to accept this online transformation. All leading companies and those who want to lead have launched their online stores to capture this massive audience. Smartphones have become much more than just phones. They have become the modern-day marketplace. Therefore, businesses have to adapt E-commerce, mobile marketing, and online sales to ensure profitability.

2. Real-Time Experience a Click Away

You sense a premium feel as you walk into the flagship Apple Store. The moment you enter Zara’s outlet, you feel unique and classy. It is why these brands have such a loyal customer base. The entire game is about customer experience. With increasing online purchases, the online customer experience has also become an essential factor for businesses. Mobile apps, business websites, and online stores must possess the right pressure points to stimulate customers positively.

Artificial intelligence (AI), augmented (AR), and virtual reality (VR) has come to the rescue. Now we have online apps where customers can experience real on-ground store-like experiences through their VR headsets. We have automated bots to assist with online purchases. The best example can be IKEA’s VR app, where customers can place furniture items in their homes through their VR headsets. People can see how that furniture would look in their living room without actually putting anything there.

3. Personalization at the Verge

Customization, personalization, and individualization are the modern-day buzzwords. Everyone wants to self-reflect on the products they purchase. Today’s customer has become highly aware and take a very well-informed engaging decision. Moreover, there are innumerable options in the market. People prefer extreme levels of customization.

If they are paying for something, they want to dictate the attributes to the maximum limits. Online platforms have further increased this personalization. Nike has launched different personalization avenues like ‘Nike by You’ and NIKEiD Mobile. This trend is spreading very quickly. More and more businesses are opting for such options to cater to customers and enhance customer experience.

4. Let’s get Direct-to-Customer (DTC)

The next big thing the online world has produced is the Direct-to-Customer (DTC) channel. Manufacturers are now approaching and selling their products directly to customers. Third parties like distributors, dealerships, and even retailers are cutting out of the process rather quickly. This approach has made products more competitive and affordable. It has eliminated so many mediators.

Companies are launching their mobile applications and websites to connect with the customers. 73% of companies plan to invest in such online platforms by the year 2022. Many companies also utilize the existing online platforms like Amazon, eBay, and AliExpress to connect directly with the customers.

5. We are the Green Consumers

Green Consumerism is gaining a lot of popularity nowadays. According to a recent survey by HBR, 65% of the respondents said that they would purchase a more purpose-driven and respectful toward sustainability. People are opting for eco-friendly brands and tend to buy sustainable products.

One of the biggest reasons is the increased awareness of production methods and product carbon footprint. People have access to this information through online platforms and social influencers. Therefore, sustainability has become a selling point itself. Even the E-commerce  giant, Amazon, plans to reduce its carbon footprint significantly. Some of their officials also propose to bring it down to zero by 2040.

Conclusion

The ubiquity of the internet has radically transformed our lives. The way we interact has changed now in terms of devices used or mediums connecting them. The online world has revamped our entire perception of reality. Then why not the way we do business. The increasing significance of the internet of things (IoT) has undoubtedly incorporated monumental shifts in the domain of business operations. The five facets discussed above are just the beginning. There is a lot more to this dimension. However, the right path that takes your business to success is the one that is well-balanced between all these innovations. You should analyze your business’s external and internal environment and adapt the good online innovation that complements it the best. If you don’t want your business to stagnate, then don’t resist this shift.