While every business has definitely felt the impact of COVID-19, not all have been struggling. Payment firms with ecommerce platforms already in place have actually thrived as consumers flock to online shopping. Shopify Inc. is the perfect example.
In February 2021, Shopify revealed just how much it is investing in shopping and payment apps to capitalize on the growth experienced in 2020. In the words of the company, it’s a simple case of a “future that arrived early”. So far, Shopify has launched a mobile-shopping assistant, Shop. It has also introduced a new version of its point-of-sale technology, Shopify POS. And, at the start of the year, it extended its fast-checkout service, Shop Pay, to social media giants Facebook and Instagram.
“Our outlook coming into 2021 assumes that as countries roll out vaccines … and populations are able to move about more freely, the overall economic environment will likely improve, some consumer spending will likely rotate back to offline retail and services, and the ongoing shift to e-commerce, which accelerated in 2020, will likely resume a more normalized pace of growth,” the company stated in its fourth-quarter and full-year earnings release.
Thus far, Shopify’s efforts are on track. With all of its fine-tuning of payment products and new launches, Shopify registered $977.7 million in revenue, up 94% from the same period in 2019. For the full year, revenue jumped 85% to 2.93 billion.
COVID Shopping Trends that are Here to Stay
The biggest take away from Shopify’s example is that many of the consumer behavioral changes seen over the past year could become permanent – so it’s wise to take them seriously. Pivot, adapt and overcome. The best thing you can do for your business is to study consumer trends and activity, find out how they affect you and make adjustments as needed.
Here are a few trends that are likely here to stay:
Brand switching – The forced shift in how consumers shop (online vs. in-store) has led them to change brands as well. This is due to items being out of stock, financial concerns, time to try new brands, etc.
Redefining wellness – With so much more time spent at home and health concerns during the pandemic, a flood of consumers have sought products that provide overall good health. Both physical and mental. Sales of indoor exercise gear, garage gym equipment and subscription mediation apps are just a few examples of popular purchases by health conscious consumers.
The workplace – At the end of 2020, just 28% of workers expected to return to their workplaces. This means a lot less wear-and-tear on vehicles, parts and accessories, different clothing purchases, less lunches on the go, etc. It has also disrupted the once-reliable model of marketing certain goods at specific times of the day.
All in all, businesses shouldn’t expect things to ever go back to what they were before. The best move now is to embrace the changes taking place, make sure you have reputable payment processing solutions (like Pinwheel Pay), and provide the security, options and convenience consumers today expect and demand. Now is the time to experiment with new technologies and get in touch with what your audience needs most.
Content crafter Alex Wilmont has been active in the payments industry for over 15 years. He lives simply, gives generously and loves his 2 dogs. His mission is to enhance and innovate the fintech industry for years to come.