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2020 Was A Year of Change. Here Are 5 Of Our Takeaways

January 14, 2021

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The past year has changed how we shop, work, and communicate forever. Here are five of Zehner’s takeaways.

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1. 2020 Accelerated The Growth of DTC and eCommerce

While we knew eCommerce was the future of retail, we didn’t know that 2020 would be the year of online shopping. The closure of retail storefronts has forced companies to invest in online pick up in store (BOPIS) options, subscription models, and personalization.

Data released this summer found that the COVID-19 pandemic expedited eCommerce’s growth by ten years in just three months. Brands have quickly realized that an online presence is critical and 90% of retailers plan to implement BOPIS options this year.

As more and more shoppers opt for digital shopping’s safety and convenience, the value of branded and personalized online experiences will continue to grow in 2021 and beyond.

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2. Fast, Mobile Optimized Sites Are The Future Of Online Shopping

Mobile commerce is responsible for 92% of eCommerce growth, making a streamlined mobile experience necessary for a brand’s success. Research from Google found that 53% of users will bounce from a site that takes longer than 3 seconds to load.

Fast, app-like shopping experiences dominated this past year, with many brands opting to move to a Progressive Web App (PWA). PWAs are fully-customizable web applications that enable component flexibility and improve the speed at which a web page renders and loads. In 2020, Zehner launched Alphapals and Barefoot Dreams, two sites powered by Nacelle’s PWA platform.

As eCommerce continues to thrive, we expect PWAs to become the go-to solution for brands seeking to modernize the user experience and increase conversion.

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3. Content and Community go Hand-in-Hand

As more consumers shopped online and learned about products through their favorite content creators this year, user-generated content has grown increasingly popular.

User-generated content continues to lend brands credibility as they leverage their community’s voices to tell brand stories and build the brand narrative. Cultivating brand stories has taken center-stage as more and more users catalog their favorite products on social media and capture how a product fits into their lifestyle.

Brands will continue to communicate the lifestyle and values of their products through social media. We expect that as more and more users seek out brands that they identify with, storytelling through photography and video will be more critical than ever. The release of Instagram shopping further solidifies the importance of user-generated content going forward.

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4. Shoppers Want To Support Brands That Do Good

Consumers are opting to vote with their wallets more and more by seeking out companies whose vision of the future aligns with their own. The COVID-19 Pandemic spurred the public to shop small, while the Black Lives Matter movement led many to support Black-led brands and reevaluate their ties with companies whose ethics didn’t align with their own.

At Zehner, we’ve continued to operate ZGood, our social impact initiative. In 2020, we launched Heal The Bay’s online shop and completed The Safe Place for Youth Beautification Project. These projects signal that we can volunteer our time and our services to our local communities even as we work from home.

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5. Rethinking Process Improves Communication and Collaboration

The past year has disrupted how we experience community, both in our personal lives and at work. As we’ve worked from home, our culture evolved as our company continued to grow. Digital platforms like Figma have enabled real-time collaboration and helped us find joy and a sense of community in different projects.

In a year that brought endless challenges, we are grateful to have a team that continues to look for the positive and be there for one another. We are excited about what lies ahead and look forward to sharing this year’s lessons with our clients and partners. Click here to get in touch and learn more about our services.


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