Small businesses employ almost 50% of Australian workers, so there is no doubt they are essential for keeping Australians employed. 2020 was a rough year for small businesses, having to adapt to the tumultuous new commerce landscape. Lockdowns, loss of income and insecurity saw businesses struggling. However, strife often breeds innovation, and the world of eCommerce has seen a surge in the last 12 months. So what can we learn from the year that was, and how can you use those lessons to improve your business?

Here’s 3 big things to learn from 2020

  • eCommerce is your new best friend
  • The mobile experience matters
  • Utilising social commerce


Online shopping skyrocketed last year. As areas in lockdown, working from home and physical distancing became a regular part of life. However, consumers’ wants and needs didn’t abate, instead they took to the web. According to PayPal’s 2020 eCommerce Index, over 2 million Australians began doing their shopping online, and around 40% say they will continue this heightened level of eCommerce in post-COVID conditions.

Ignoring these trends will stagnate your business. Take a look at your online presence and analyse it from a consumer’s perspective. Are you accessible? Are you easy to contact? Is your content up to date and optimised?

eCommerce is your new best friend, it’s time to get comfortable with it (if you haven’t already).

Mobile Matters

The use of mobile devices for online purchases has been steadily rising for years. While consumers were purchasing more laptop and PC devices and in fact doing 13% less shopping on mobile devices last year, ignoring the mobile experience is not the way to go.

There is still a market of 50% of Australians who shop from their mobile devices. So how can you optimise your mobile marketability? Consumers are most likely to go with a business who builds trust and security. An online presence should be organised, optimised and accessible, a customer journey that the customer understands. A page that is non-optimised and overwhelming will cause negative reactions and ultimately drive customers away.

Always test your customer experience across all devices to ensure a seamless customer experience.

Social Commerce

It’s no surprise that with consumers confined to home entertainment, social media was a go-to medium for many consumers. Consumers purchasing through social media remains a steadily growing trend currently made by 24% of Australians. The amount consumers spend on social media has also increased from an average $5 to $25 per month last year.

While other consumers aren’t ready to start buying via social media due to privacy concerns, they are still accessing these social media sales platforms to browse products and make informed decisions.

If you haven’t already, invest in setting up a social media presence that invites customers to become more aware of your brand before making a decision.

Wrap up

As the world strives to adjust to a new normal, now is the time to get your business on the front foot by optimising your online presence, analysing your customer journey, and making use of the trends and platforms available to businesses in 2021.