The consequences of Covid 19 have transformed the development of the Ecommerce market from an evolutionary pace to a revolutionary speed, according to digital agency Ascensor.

The Leeds-based firm estimate that Covid has accelerated the online market by five years.

Ascensor MD Andrew Firth explains: “We have seen the enquiries for Ecommerce capabilities rise by more than 1,000% during 2020. Continued lockdowns and socially distanced behaviour have limited in-person shopping and driven more customers online.”

“The result is that existing Ecommerce businesses have brought forward their plans and scaled up significantly. Many companies without previous Ecommerce capabilities have also been quick to move online using well-proven hosting and design providers.”

Andrew says that whilst it’s easy to understand the reasons for the move to greater online trading, it’s a fallacy to believe it can be achieved immediately.

“The direct-to-market web providers may suggest that companies can purchase an ‘off the shelf’ package and start trading online using ‘plug and play’ site technology. Often the user experience and performance of these websites is limited, the customer data processing may put companies at risk and the ability to optimise digital marketing channels is minimised due to an inaccessible code base.”

“For online retailers to be successful they need to ensure their website performance meets customer experience expectations, that data processing is compliant and that all relevant digital marketing channels can be exploited. This requires the support of digital marketing specialists who can take care of Ecommerce design, build, data security and data protection.”

Andrew says that the recent revolution in customer online behaviour is embedded. “The speed of the transition to online retailing, as a result of Covid, looks set to continue.”

“As consumer behaviour continues to consolidate online, the demands of Ecommerce customers will continue to dominate the plans of regional businesses.”

His assessment is a mix of congratulation and caution. “For those companies which have embraced the requirements of online trading, well done. Those who have not yet invested in this channel need to remember that confidence needs to be matched by clear planning, to achieve success.”

“It’s important to recognise the role and strategic contribution of Ecommerce as the effects of Covid continue to impact on retail customer behaviour. Those firms which plan and deliver their Ecommerce capabilities well, will succeed.”