COVID-19 has a global influence on the entire world, affecting all businesses and markets, leaving nothing safe. One particular category which has suffered immense hardship is retail and the future of eCommerce. COVID-19 has demanded almost all marketers rapidly adjust their strategies and navigate unexplored territories. Some of these changes will continue to stay even after restoration efforts set in.
With storefronts facing challenges all over the globe, retail brands have instantly adapted themselves to sustain in the modern marketplace. Throughout this journey, several eCommerce and retail brands encountered a tough question while approaching the challenge introduced by this crisis, which is: Does our organizational infrastructure equipped to manage new customer consumption practices?
The term “digital transformation” has always been the main focus of businesses. This organizational growth was designed to drive businesses from the analog generation to digital, with all consumer touchpoints owning a digital fingerprint, both offline and online. Digital transformation was meant to check everything right from building a better in-store checkout experience to a website designed with the customer experience in mind. This global pandemic has shaken the core of our very definition of the new “normal.”
Earlier, consumers visited an online shop, like if they were in the market for any specific product. It was easy, straightforward, and we were all just overjoyed but now we have the choice to buy from the comfort of our sofas, just sitting at home. Over the years, e-commerce has evolved beyond this and has become so much more pervasive and personal. This current crisis has made people experience brands much more digitally and stay more connected with them online. Technology is helping people be productive in their everyday lives and work, whether they are people who work full-time for a company, or are students, or small business owners.
A lot of innovation is coming as there is new and unmet demand for brands to be innovative for reaching their customers online. Right from running their household to helping their kids’ education to work for a living. Several organizations are shifting their business models to establish this “new normal.”
Analyzing the First Impact on eCommerce
COVID-19 has been remarkably different from what we have ever observed and seen. As the world went into a total shutdown, it was safe to state that e-commerce was the saving grace at that time and even today, serving millions of people to stay home and get what they needed at their doorstep.
Consumers at that time always avoided stepping out unless it was very critical. This initiated and developed online products and services offered with trouble-free shopping experiences and at the same time, restricting your exposure to extensive commerce risks and charges. Some research was done which states that the Indian e-commerce business is assumed to overtake its US counterpart to grow into the second-largest market for e-commerce in the world by 2034.
E-commerce after COVID: Required Coordination, Flexibility, and Adaptability
As we all know that how this COVID-19 pandemic has reshaped the whole world, more customers have now started shopping online in larger numbers. Research shows that department stores are assumed to diminish by over 50% for this entire year. After the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic, customers all over the globe are heavily reliant on e-commerce to buy everything from basic goods to holiday gifts. While e-commerce is predicted to expand by nearly 25% in 2021:
- COVID-19 urged shops throughout the world to remain closed for months and lately reopen under strict new guidelines.
- The time in lockdown has caused an e-commerce growth, with the pandemic accelerating the transformation from physical stores by roughly four to five years.
- Associated with widespread stay-at-home plans and concerns over the virus, this pandemic has accelerated the adoption of e-commerce by customers and businesses overnight.
Exploring the old days of quarantine preparation, we can see that:
- Online grocery marketplace sales and traffic jumped year-over-year, globally.
- Non-essential purchases collapsed as panic-buying of food, health, and home goods increased.
- Home upgrades such as appliances and building furniture increased by 4X, and customer electronics like laptops and smartphones were also in huge demand.
There’s no doubting that these numbers are remarkable. But when we observe a little deeper, there’s really powerful information after them: the COVID-19 pandemic is an opportunity to rethink how our businesses work. To take leadership in this modern world, every business needs to invest in flexibility, agility, and adaptability. This also empowers you to utilize your commerce engine to create, launch, and run your online marketplace, transforming your business while introducing innovative business models.
Final Verdict – Mapping the Future of E-commerce
Over the past few years, the initiative has worked as a global helpdesk for emerging countries to fulfill the knowledge gap on e-commerce information and resources, and catalyze partnership amongst its partners. Since the outbreak of the pandemic has raised awareness of the e-commerce opportunities and risks arising during the crisis. You need to identify ways in which businesses should develop and less developed countries can overcome the challenges.
You should consider the following points:
- Since the pandemic has made online shopping obvious, you can have a definite advantage over others by allowing niche products that are not available at other online stores. Having a niche product line describes the expenses acquired and gives you an edge over your competitors.
- Choose an e-commerce platform with built-in features that enable you to manage inventory efficiently. Having the right inventory design makes it easier for you to save, organize, review, and track all your orders.
- In a world where online shopping is gradually becoming the norm, you should make certain that your business has thoroughly adapted to all online payment methods. Since the payments are done with the click of a button. This benefits in making any recurring payments more comfortable as there is no involvement of huge sums of hard cash.
- It’s very significant to do an accurate analysis of your competitors to gain a better understanding of the market realities, as the e-commerce platform is loaded with competitive businesses. This also assists you in forming more suitable strategies for your business.
So, whenever it comes to future of ecommerce, you should always prioritize relentlessly. For example: If you own an eCommerce store for any period of time, you would possibly experience the sense of needing to do a number of things but will only have the time for ten. That’s why you need to prioritize it constantly.