How COVID-19 is Transforming E-Commerce
2020 was a challenging year for all industries. For better or worse, no industry has gone untouched by COVID-19. Despite the slowing economic activity, COVID-19 has accelerated digital transformation and put eCommerce at the forefront of retail.
The e-commerce industry grew like never before during the pandemic. There has been a huge shift in demand from brick-and-mortar retail to online shopping.
According to the UNCTAD report published on May 3, 2021, the impact of COVID-19 increased online retail sales’ share by 3% (16% to 19%) in 2020.
Strict lockdowns, social distancing, together with the strict confinement measures generated an increase in demand for online shopping.
And of course, the rapid development of the online sales and e-commerce industry forced marketers to adapt to the new reality and revise their strategies. This can help them have a better chance of surviving supply chain disruptions.
Thus, retailers are looking for e-commerce web solutions to create a strong e-commerce strategy and to stay afloat in the market.
In this article, we’ve put together some facts on how exactly COVID-19 is changing the e-commerce landscape and some tips for online retailers.
How COVID-19 is Changing the e-commerce Landscape?
As already stated, the huge shifts from brick-and-mortar sales to e-commerce are evident across countries. For example, India’s e-commerce order volume increased by 36% in the last quarter of 2020. E-commerce was considered the saving grace during the pandemic that helped millions of people get what they wanted at their doorstep.
Many Benefit, While Some Fall Behind
As per the survey conducted by Searchnode , 90% of the companies saw an increase in online sales. However, 6% said that their e-commerce revenue decreased during the pandemic.
Furthermore, based on the new circumstances, the product categories that people choose to buy online also continue to change. While medical, health, and safety products have the highest e-commerce sales, categories like jewelry, fashion, luxury, and travel have been experiencing significant losses due to the pandemic.
Opportunities and Challenges for e-commerce
At present, nobody can foresee the full-fledged impact of coronavirus on the e-commerce industry. Yet it is still possible to find various opportunities in a retarded market and a few are listed below:
- E-commerce will help not just big brands but even micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) expand their market reach, beyond geographical limitations.
- Tapping into social commerce is the perfect replacement for the unplanned purchase that were previously made in-store.
- Brands are also using different formats like live shopping and catalog ads to bring the in store experience directly to customers at home.
- Developing e-commerce web solutions has become one of the most demanding service requirements during this pandemic. Several small business owners are turning to a good e-commerce web development company to develop an app that suits their business model and requirements.
- Introducing various technologies like Augmented Reality(AR) and automated conversational chatbots in e-commerce web solutions can mimic the personal assistance that customers are used to receiving in-store.
As often stated, opportunities often come with challenges. Some of the possible challenges are listed below:
- The sudden surge in the e-commerce industry could lead to product shortages.
- The transport restrictions can lead to supply chain disruptions. A recent poll by the Institute of Supply Chain Management revealed that 75% of companies reported supply chain disruptions.
- Online businesses are facing new tax impositions that serve as a great obstacle for them as it will reduce their profit.
Practical Tips for Online Retailers
E-commerce doesn’t mean just having a brand name and selling products online. There are various factors that need to be considered before thinking about success. Listed below are a few tips:
Optimize the business for the new normal – The first and foremost step is to launch an e-commerce store with the help of a good e-commerce web development company. Compare with the competitors’ site and find areas that haven’t been covered by them and include those. Bring customers online – Let the customers know that there is a web store that is live and operational. Help them navigate to the web store.
Look after the demands of existing customers – Prioritize the demands of existing customers and support them when they’re in financial need. Help them find products that can get through this pandemic.
- Make the e-commerce platform meet the demand of B2B customers – Ensure that the web store displays all relevant information, is optimized to handle the complexities of B2B order, and is free from errors.
- Have an organized return process – Make sure that the return process is stress-free. If possible, add a tracking option to help customers know the progress of their return or order.
- Deal with supply chain disruptions – To avoid delayed deliveries and unprofessional customer service, always display real-time stock levels. Also, ensure that the items are marked as out-of-stock if it’s unavailable.
Don’t have a web store yet? It’s high time you launch one now!
Pandemics hopefully will fade, but eCommerce is likely to stay forever. So, now is the right time to start an e-commerce store to thrive in the market despite the Covid-19 pandemic.
There are just three things to consider before starting your web store – short-term possibilities, long-term changes in buyer behavior, and finally choosing the right e-commerce web development company.
Get started now and watch your online sales skyrocket.