2020 was a year of unprecedented challenges that disrupted lives, communities, and businesses. The pandemic turned everything on its head and left people and organizations scrambling to find new, safe ways to continue working toward their goals—or simply to survive. COVID-19 affected individual segments of the economy differently.

But as the brick and-mortar world shuttered, retailers and brands raced to expand their eCommerce capacities. Despite job losses and economic anxiety, online sales grew by 44 percent in the US—the pandemic radically changed the way millions of people needed to shop for even basic necessities. eCommerce had been growing steadily for the past decade, but year-over-year growth nearly tripled in 2020.

Now vaccinations are ramping up around the globe, but we shouldn’t expect consumption patterns to go back to how they were. The genie is out of the bottle. People who had 4 Introduction never ordered takeout online now know how simple it can be. The same goes for groceries, holiday gifts, clothing, recreational equipment, and just about any other category of consumer goods. Yes, consumers are eager to return to restaurants and stores as soon as it’s safe. But they won’t forget how to shop online when it’s convenient. They also won’t forget the brands and retailers that make online shopping simple—or, better yet, enjoyable. For eCommerce retailers that get it right, 2021 can be about much more than mere survival. It can be the start of a new growth trajectory. At Wix, our aim is to make it as simple as possible for businesses to grow and succeed online. I personally look at between fifty and two hundred Wix customer websites every single day, and I’m constantly talking with our users through email, on calls, or social media to better understand their needs.

Last year, while millions of professionals and students were learning to work from home, I saw retailers accelerating through digital transformations of their own—often out of extreme necessity. Many were figuring out how to sell online for the first time. Others had reprioritized eCommerce, pivoting to make up for the loss of in-store sales. 5 Introduction Forced to think outside the brick-and-mortar box, lots of businesses not only adapted, but flourished. From a CBD wellness brand to a bottled water company to an innovative toothbrush maker—all found even better ways to build relationships with customers. Once they got past the initial shock, many of them found that eCommerce data helped them know their customers better than ever before. Beyond basic demographics, they could see what time people shopped, or what specifically compelled them to make a purchase. They could drill down into the types of products customers preferred and which items they typically bought together. With this level of detail, savvy eCommerce retailers built strategies for product offerings and content that helped customers feel connected and stay engaged. I

n the pages that follow, we’ll detail some of the strategies successful Wix users embraced to level up their skills and take advantage of the shift. For example, you’ll learn how a $2 million candle-making business saw its traditional revenue streams disappear overnight but still increased year-over- 6 Introduction year sales five times over by developing an amazing online experience for customers. You’ll read about how a spice store invested in a custom packaging solution to streamline order fulfillment. Plus, you’ll see how email marketing helped fill a strategic gap for a company that sells handmade kitchen knives and cutlery.

Download the Wix Guide here for four foundational eCommerce strategies to help help you create a comprehensive plan for success in the months ahead.