2019: E-commerce Industry in Review: Biggest Takeaways

E-Commerce Seller Financing   •   December 23, 2019

2019 e-commerce review

As another year is coming to a close, it’s important for e-commerce store owners to review the year and the trends for the coming year. This is essential to evaluate the progress of the business and set goals to grow it and boost sales in the year to come.

2019 has brought about $3.53 trillion in sales, and the number is expected to rise to $4.2 trillion in 2020. E-commerce is becoming the go-to shopping method, with a growing number of customers choosing to shop online.

2019 has also introduced various changes that are going to shape the future of the e-commerce industry. Let’s take a look at a few of the most prominent ones and what you should take away from it to keep growing your e-commerce business in 2020.

Key Takeaways from the 2019 E-commerce Review

1. One-Day Delivery

In April 2019, Amazon announced its one-day shipping to its Prime loyalty program members. Walmart followed with the same one-day delivery. While Amazon changes its Prime Users a $119 yearly fee, Walmart’s one-day delivery is available for free, but it’s for select products only.

Target was another business that introduced fast delivery in the form of same-day shipping. The success of Target’s curbway pickup, where users buy online and then drive to the store to have their package delivered to their car, is another indicator that shoppers want to shop online and they want to get their purchase fast.

What does that mean for small e-commerce store owners?

Shipping speed matters. So, you should look into providing your shoppers with competitive shipping and delivery speed. Make sure that you inform your customers about the time and time zone until when orders need to be placed to be shipped the same day. Provide tracking options so that your customers know where their package is and when exactly it will arrive.

Moreover, you may want to consider adding an expedited shipping option. This would allow your customers to get their products much faster for an additional price. This can be effective during the holiday season as millions of buyers leave holiday gift shopping to the last minute.

If you run a dropshipping business, most AliExpress suppliers take a few weeks to deliver orders. If your business is in a saturated and highly competitive niche, it could be a good idea to look into suppliers located in the US or Europe for faster shipping.

2. Shopify Fulfillment Network

Amazon FBA service has been around for quite a while now.  So, other platforms are looking for ways to ensure that they can compete with Amazon. As a result, Shopify has announced its intent to set up its own fulfillment center network that it intends to spend $1 billion on.

Along with the fulfillment platform, Shopify is also considering to improve user interface as well as add new features such as the ability to edit orders.

So, if your e-commerce store currently relies on marketplaces to sell its products, you may want to establish your own platform in addition to that. There are multiple benefits to having your own e-commerce store. Shopify’s new developments are making user experience better and shipping faster and more effective, making your e-commerce store as competitive as online marketplaces.

3. Increased Interest in Sustainability

Multiple surveys show that customers, especially in developed countries, show a growing interest in sustainability. This does not include just the products themselves, but also the packaging. More and more customers prefer products that are sustainable, come in sustainable packaging, or have a sustainability seal.

Therefore, you may want to look into sustainability as one of the aspects of your business to work on in the coming years.

There are numerous ways in which you can start focusing more on sustainability, such as:

  • Adding new sustainable products or an entirely new line of products to your inventory,
  • Swapping plastic wrapping to sustainable wrapping,
  • Placing products in reusable bags or totes that display your brand name and logo,
  • Offering a subscription service that offers your customers a discount for refilling existing containers if you have your own line of makeup, cleaning products, or similar items,
  • Supporting organizations that focus on sustainability.

If you would like to make your brand more sustainable, don’t try to do that overnight. Start making small changes and improvements and add on over time. Make sure to notify your existing customers as they may be excited about such change, making them more supportive of your business.

Are you ready for 2020? What events from our 2010 e-commerce review is going to affect your business the most? What changes will you implement?