How Meta e-commerce Emerging in retail?
2021 will be the beginning of a new age for online shopping and retail. The pandemic triggered a huge transformation in everything that is digital. And while 2020 will be an exception with regard to the rapid rate of adoption, the customers’ new behaviours are going to be around for the long haul. In the coming five years, digital activity will continue to increase from their rapid base.
Beginning this new year Insider Intelligence plans to devote additional analysts to the ever-digital world of shopping, extending our scope of most important retail trends, bringing greater range and depth of our ecommerce and retail forecasts, as well as an increasing number of important indicators of performance (KPIs) as well as benchmarks.The Retail Industry Saw Numerous Developments Since the Pandemic Began
Retailers have begun to embrace new possibilities and cater to the needs of consumers that have been growing from the beginning of 2020. Numerous developments kicked into high gear in the last 18 months.
Purpose-Driven Brands Take Centre Stage
The past year has revealed how vital it is for companies to be aware of social concerns when they try to stand out and stay ahead of changing customer demands.
Being green is in fashion. The May 20, 2021 Stifel and Morning Consult survey revealed that 71 percent of US adults aged 18 to 55 are more concerned about product sustainability than they were one year ago. Sustainability can encompass a variety of concepts, from recycled fabrics and reused packaging to delivery options that help reduce carbon footprints.
Green business practices cover all over the place, but most are focused on these aspects:
Sustainable and reusable materials:
A major and popular initiative is the push by retailers to make use of more environmentally green products. For instance American Eagle Outfitters’ x Jeans Redesign collection focuses on durable, recyclable denim , which is finished with water-saving strategies. Croce recently announced their intention to be a 100 percent vegan company by the end of the year. West Elm Kids launched sustainably manufactured bedding and furniture that is made of recycled, reclaimed and sustainably harvested materials.
Reduction of carbon footprint. Retailers and their suppliers are hard at work to reduce their carbon footprint across the value chain, from production through fulfilment, to the store’s operations. For instance, Amazon is investigating the production, use and disposal of its entire range of devices in order to reduce its carbon footprint. Mastercard’s latest carbon calculator lets bank customers easily get information on the carbon footprint from their transactions. Carbon labels are now being added to everything that include food, beverages, electronics and cosmetics.
Reusable containers that can be reused. Packaging harms both the earth and our planet in two ways. The production process consumes lots of energy and water as well as chemicals. It is also a significant source of waste in the landfills due to the fact that containers aren’t usually recyclable. A number of brands have begun using reused packaging to alleviate the environmental burden. Dove is one of them. Dove has a refillable stainless steel deodorant bottle; and a host of others such as The Clorox Co. and Nestle have teamed up with Terra Cycle’s Loop to create recyclable containers. Kiehl recently introduced products with pouches that can be used as a stand-alone or for refilling existing plastic bottles. The brand says the project will save on the average 80% of plastic than the typical single-use container.
Manufacturers are also able to create packaging using recyclable materials, or guarantee that it can be recycled easily. Many Consumer packaged goods (CPG) businesses are focusing on this aspect. For instance, Unilever has stated that it plans to cut the amount of plastic packaging made from virgin materials by half and guarantee that all plastic packaging is recyclable and recyclable or compostable in 2025. Nestle as well as General Mills similarly have goals of making their packaging recyclable or reusable in 2025 and 2030 respectively.
Green Business certification:
Alongside the reduction in carbon footprint, businesses are now focusing on building businesses that don’t cause harm to the environment. Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) store certifications are a step in the process. Starbucks is a pioneer in this area, and is planning to create, construct and run 110,000 “Greener Stores” globally by 2025. Other certifications focus on an assessment of the flow of materials across the supply chain and into society. For example, Best Buy’s reverse logistic facility located in California is an example. It is certified as a zero-waste facility.
Contributions to causes that are environmentally friendly. Many brands are weaving environmental issues into their branding strategies by making donations to causes. Patagonia is one of the most praised US apparel brands due to its environmental efforts and has for a long time committed one percent of its revenues or 10 percent of its profit to conservation. A number of smaller, less well-known brands have made donations as part of their eco-conscious business. The vegan beauty company Ethique is one example. It makes more sustainable, less expensive products for hair care and contributes 20percent of their earnings to charities.
Sustainability-focused consumer attitudes are more prevalent in younger generations, however awareness is increasing for all. The majority (82 percent) of the millennial internet users in the US polled by MaCher and Compose[d] stated that sustainability is a top priority when purchasing cosmetics, clothes as well as travel experiences. The majority of baby boomers surveyed said they agreed. While the values of consumers don’t always translate into behaviour, it’s evident that sustainability will continue to be the primary focus of consumers.
Inclusion practices are no longer just a nice thing to be able to do. In the middle of 2020, issues related to race were front and centre in the US since the majority of the populace was restricted and spending a greater amount of time using social media. People demanded change while diversity and inclusiveness was the top priority when brands reviewed their role in encouraging social norms.
A number of retailers and brands made efforts to be more inclusive. Initiatives in place prior to the outbreak were accelerated, such as:
Diverse supplier programs:
A lot of retailers are either developing or have partnership with vendors aimed at increasing diversity equity, equity and inclusion within their suppliers. Initiatives such as that of 15 Percent Pledge were launched that require major retailers to pledge a minimum of 15% of stores to businesses owned by Blacks. Macy’s created The Workshop Macy’s which is a boot program that was created in the past 10 years to provide minority and women-owned companies tools to be successful in the business. On June 20, 2021 Albertsons announced programs to give small companies owned by minority groups access to a lot of difficult-to-access working capital.
Different sizes and models:
One of the most significant changes in the fashion industry over the last few years has been the introduction of larger sizes. Brands such as Old Navy, Reformation, Madewell, Good American, and H&M have all made actions in the direction of this. Others such as Aerie, ModCloth, and M.M.LaFleur have also employed models of various body types to show off their merchandise. Nike’s advertisements have featured products that are inclusive, like their Nike Pro Hijab designed for Muslim female athletes as well as adaptive activewear for those with disabilities.
Livestream Shopping Catches On in the US
In vogue in China live stream eCommerce blends games, QVC-style shopping talks shows, auctions, allowing you to chat and buy in real-time.
The live stream market in China alone is more than every other country’s eCommerce market, with the exception of two. Live stream shopping began to take off in China about four or 5 years ago. It has grown into a 300 billion market in the past year and accounts for 11.7 percent of the total online sales for retail in China. To put that into perspective, this figure is what makes the market for live stream shopping in China bigger than any other retail eCommerce market around the globe with the exception of China in the US.
The trend gained momentum in the US in the last year. In the US live streaming was only getting started when the flu pandemic struck and gave it a dramatic increase. Brick-and-mortar shops temporarily shut down, and the public, confined at home, sought different ways to relax and shop.
US brands are looking for partners for their live stream shopping programs. Live Streaming is still an infancy purchasing experience within the US. Smaller, less daring online-only brands as well as established retailers and brands, are exploring the waters.
A majority are partnering with four kinds of players:
Networks of social media:
Many companies are making use of the huge existing audience of social media platforms as well as their ever-growing live stream options. Walmart’s collaboration together with TikTok and Sephora’s partnership with Facebook are two examples of this kind of practice.
Live Streaming apps:
Live Streaming apps for shopping are getting more sophisticated. There are a variety of new apps that have been launched that offer companies the chance to live stream on their platforms. Brands such as Diageo as well as Vans have joined forces with the Los Angeles-based Ntwrk; Ulta Beauty has been working with Super great, a beauty brand.
Home shopping networks that have been around for a long time. A number of established brands have established relationships with home-shopping players such as QVC and HSN (now both as part of Qurate Retail Group). For instance, Estee Lauder and Dyson sell on QVC. These old TV networks are well-established platforms for shopping that are built around video and have high levels that are well-known brands. However, the customers on these platforms may be more old than buyers on digital platforms.
In the year 2019 Amazon introduced Amazon Live, a series of live streams that concurrently allow companies to show off their products. Live Streams can be seen on Amazon product detail pages as well as in Amazon Live’s Amazon Live home page. But, Amazon Live hasn’t gained any significant popularity, with the most popular live stream just attracting a handful of shoppers at the most.
Grocery E commerce Expands
Much has been said about the soaring rate of US online shopping for groceries. It grew by 63.9 percent from the year 2019 to 2020, and it will increase by 12.3 percent to $122.39 billion by 2021. However, it’s only 9.6 percent of the total retail sales of groceries this year, which makes this one of only a handful of categories that have yet to achieve double-digit Meta e-commerce penetration. Does it merit all the attention it gets?
In the end, it’s clear that grocery Meta e-commerce is definitely worth the hype. In fact, the groceries “ecommerce moment” is underappreciated because of the impact that digitization has on the traditional retail value chain. The industry was once controlled by big CPG companies that used targeted advertisements on TV and strict control of distribution of physical stores is now strongly dependent on digitally native companies such as Amazon, Instacart, and Doordash.
Online grocery shopping will be around for the foreseeable future. Although the initial panic buying has slowed down and a few newly-minted online food buyers may eventually go back to physical stores The pandemic is likely to have a lasting impact on the grocery industry’s Meta e-commerce. The number of online grocery customers grew by 92.3 million in the year 2019 to 142.9 million by 2021, and we anticipate that number to increase. The online sales aren’t just being generated by new customers, too; many existing food shoppers will be directing their funds to online orders in the coming years. With advances in speedy delivery and the ability to click and collect the choices of consumers’ groceries will be influenced not only by price, but also convenience.
Future of E-commerce Metaverse in retail:
As businesses and retailers look to the future, the Metaverse, a new frontier, offers opportunities that are largely unknown.