In the face of consistent disruption, e-commerce has exponentially risen as one of the few sectors to thrive throughout the coronavirus pandemic. From small businesses to global marketplace leaders, all facets of the e-commerce world reported sales that accelerated digital adoption by three years.

With e-commerce sales expected to reach record-breaking figures by the end of the year, sellers will need to capitalize on the growth and prepare now for a post-pandemic future.

Here are five trends sellers should look out for in the new year.

The Online Marketplace is on the Rise

Over the last year, we’ve seen global online marketplaces such as Amazon, Etsy, Alibaba, and Rakuten report record sales as consumers relied on online shopping. Almost half of online shoppers now admit to making a purchase on an online marketplace, and their role as selling platforms has become pivotal to the growth of e-commerce.

Now, more than ever, online marketplaces have shown sellers they can easily expand outside of their borders. Using Pingpong’s cross-border payment solutions, merchants can save time, receive money in customer’s local currency, pay logistics in local currencies, and reduce high conversion rates when using online marketplaces.

Diversification is a Priority

Earlier this year, disruption to production lines caused sellers and industries to evaluate their supply chain model after shortages, production, and shipping came to a standstill. The disruption has shown that relying on one supply chain could open up businesses to further vulnerabilities, and sellers will need to coordinate with new global suppliers now. Encompassing reliable payment partners and a diversified network will allow sellers to remain resilient, capitalize on revenue streams, and improve service quality.

Social Commerce is the Future

The manner we consume, interact, and use technology to shop is becoming increasingly hyper-connected through social media. Statistics show that 87 percent of e-commerce shoppers believe social media helps them make a shopping decision, yet only 40 percent of merchants use it to generate sales.

In China, the world’s largest market for e-commerce, social media platforms such as WeChat are being used to make payments, market, and shop among major supermarkets to small street vendors. By 2021, more sellers are expected to use these methods, and the ‘future of commerce’ will become a reality.

Expect faster delivery

Consumer preferences in the age of instant gratification have drastically changed to create the ‘new normal’ of instant delivery. Every aspect of the purchasing journey needs to be instant, and research shows that almost half of consumers abandon shopping carts over delivery issues.

However, agile sellers can address these pain points by diversifying their supply chains to keep with evolving fulfilment requirements. By investing in the right logistics and fulfilment services, sellers can deliver the right items to customers at the right time and mitigate any stock shortage disruption.

Traditional retail shopping events are a thing of the past

Holiday season events have looked a bit different this year. Black Friday events are online, Cyber Monday lasted over a month, and the rush for in-store doorbuster deals lost its urgency. Almost a third of consumers say they are less inclined to shop on Black Friday than they were a few years ago and consumers are now turning to online sales stretched over 12 months. To facilitate these new behaviors, ensure you hold a visible global presence year-round.

Plan now, in advance

This year has been challenging for sellers. Disruption to supply chains, digital divides, and learning costs have all become intensified through survival. The uncertainty is likely to continue, and every seller should be taking steps to learn from mistakes that hindered sellers at the beginning of the pandemic. With a strategy focused on digital transformation, local knowledge, regulatory readiness, and a network of global growth partners, sellers can enter the new year confident they can circumvent any new challenges.

Find out why over 750,000 eCommerce merchants around the world trust PingPong to save them money on cross-border payments, VAT payments, supplier payments, and more.