E-commerce - Expand Your Customer Base with Halal Certification
As the COVID-19 Pandemic continues to reshape consumer buying behavior, thousands of companies that invested in e-commerce have thrived. According to the Q4 2020 report from the U.S. Census Bureau, total e-commerce sales for 2020 were estimated at $791.7 billion, an increase of 32.4 percent from 2019. Total retail sales in 2020 increased 3.4 percent from 2019. E-commerce sales in 2020 accounted for 14.0 percent of total sales. E-commerce sales in 2019 accounted for 11.0 percent of total sales.
Much of the shift in consumer buying behavior from in-store shopping to online shopping is projected to continue far into the future. Now savvy consumer goods producers and retailers are looking to reach new customers domestically and geographically to expand their e-commerce customer base.
A great benefit of e-commerce is the fact that companies don’t have to invest in building or renting retail space to attract customers. Companies can attract buyers from the four corners of the world provided that they understand the needs and desires of their customers. For consumables, this often requires understanding and conforming to cultural and legal requirements. ISA helps customers with their market expansion objectives by advising them on international export compliance as well as cultural sensitivities.
Domestically, with Halal certification, brands can attract sub-groups like green consumers, vegans, vegetarians, quality conscious consumers and consumers with health related or dietary concerns. Certification verifies ingredient and process compliance, and enables shoppers to purchase products with peace of mind.
With international market expansion, what brands and retailers need to keep in mind is the legal and cultural environment of each country they market and sell to. Before selling products abroad, many countries in the Middle East and South East Asia require a Halal stamp of approval from a recognized certifier.
Certification can open doors to millions of consumers worldwide, and give e-commerce vendors a competitive advantage over non certified vendors.
For example, during the pandemic cosmetic sales declined in North America and Europe, but increased dramatically in the Middle East and SE Asia. In some countries, women wear cosmetics indoors at home. The extra time spent at home meant higher sales. Halal certified cosmetics saw a global increase in sales during that time.
E-commerce is an investment of scarce resources which many brands can no longer put on the back burner. The most successful companies and retailers during the pandemic have been the ones who were able to quickly pivot to omnichannel marketing. This investment is expected to generate returns well into the future. To expand their markets, brands that invest in e-commerce can give themselves competitive advantage by certifying their products Halal and thereby increase their reach.
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