01 October 2020

The future of retail with Google

It’s been predicted that as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, growth of eCommerce has accelerated by eight years. In his talk at eComm Live last month, Anthony Jones (Head of eCommerce at Google) dived deeper into recent trends seen by Google, giving insight into how both established and challenger brands can gain a piece (or a bigger piece) of the growing online retail pie.

Anthony also provided an overview into how the demographic of the online consumer has changed – online retail has seen a 12% increase for the 45-54% age group, and a 19% increase for 55+, who have been forced online since physical retail spaces have been restricted. As a result, brands need to adapt to these consumers who are new to the online world. And one way to do this is by speaking their language.

Ultimately, the eCommerce champions will be the ones who keep it simple: simple language, simple UX and clear accessibility options. We now need to design for the person shopping, not the person running the shop – who could be younger, more tech savvy and more likely to find their way if the journey to purchase isn’t laid out perfectly in front of them.

Anthony’s talk also covered the ‘messy middle’ between the brand and its performance – the workings of the consumers’ mind (e.g. evaluation and exploration), which makes them decide against one brand in favour of another. With the recent rapid growth of the online audience, optimising product ads is more important than ever. But who will gain the loyalty of this new audience? Brands can entice customers out of the messy middle and into checkout by increasing exposure and urgency, offering free gifts and selling on features e.g. accreditations.

Anthony’s talk left me excited to see how established brands adapt to this new landscape, and even more excited to see challenger brands emerge and capture audiences who have a thirst for new brands as well as new things (afternoon tea delivery is now a thing, FYI).

The opportunities available online are now bigger than ever. As someone who is two years into a career in eCommerce, I can’t wait to see, and be a part of, the evolution of this industry.

Molly Galvin-Law, Digital eCommerce Executive, PHD Global Business

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