Lockdown: An opportunity for E-commerce to Rise
June 4, 2021
Blog 73 – Lockdown: An opportunity for E-commerce to Rise
Pandemic has been cast upon as a global crisis where the whole world was brought to a halt. Streets were deserted and businesses slowed down significantly. Manufacturers, wholesalers or retailers struggled miserably. Employees suffered because of company restructuring and salary deductions. A few questions remained unanswered after the advent of Covid-19:
How did people shop, especially for personal care?
How did people buy sources of entertainment?
How did retailers search for their loyal customers?
How did the businesses cover up for the losses?
How did small to big companies regain stability?
All these questions were answered by one platform: E-commerce!
E-commerce: A positive Impact on Shoppers
As millions of people stayed home in early 2020 to contain the spread of the virus, digital channels had become the most popular alternative to crowded stores and in-person shopping. E-commerce turned out to be a ray of hope for a million businesses across the world. Due to reasons like pandemic, internet access and digital growth; the number of digital buyers has gone up considerably. In 2020, over two billion people purchased goods or services online, and during the same year, e-retail sales surpassed 4.2 trillion U.S. dollars worldwide. As of 2020, e-commerce marketplaces are the outcome of the largest share of online purchases worldwide.
However, loyalty played an important role in upselling of products where consumers relied on already shopped online sites while others compared prices on various shopping sites for a final buy. With more and smaller businesses coming online to find stability in their businesses, more and more shoppers were becoming experimental about entering new avenues. Boost in E-commerce Traffic
One of the reasons why e-commerce is gaining huge popularity is the ease of operation on mobile phones. In 2019, 60 percent of all retail website visits worldwide were due to smart phone usage. With an improvement in the digital infrastructure, more users were relying on digital platforms like e-commerce for shopping essential or luxury items. Mobile integration has shaped the future of e-commerce considerably and profitably.
Life Before Pandemic Vs Life After Pandemic
There has been a huge change in the lives of the customers after pandemic, just like e-commerce shopping though customer behaviour in terms of shopping still remained the same. Read on to know how:
- Customers who usually waited for promotions or seasonal discounts before pandemic do the same while waiting for sales or discount codes even after the pandemic.
- Customers still subscribed to newsletters to be up to date on new arrivals, pandemic or no pandemic.
- Customers who visited the entire mall to compare prices and then make the final purchase still visits other online stores on e-commerce platform.
- Customers who preferred window shopping find themselves equally happy in the online world. Searching and making wish lists online is even easier than just leaving their favourites in store.
Rise in Online Payments
Digital payment platforms have also not just seen a surge in the number of transactions but the number of downloads of digital payment platforms have also almost doubled. According to a survey of 42,000 respondents by consultancy firm Local Circles, buying essentials and mobile recharges are top use cases for digital payments and Paytm and Google Pay are among the top digital payment apps being used by consumers. These respondents said that out of all the payment modes, 33% said they used Paytm, 14% Google Pay, 4% PhonePe, 10% Amazon Pay, 6% BHIM while 33% used other apps. Many first-time users who were earlier not very keen on using digital payments’ mode for payments are readily using it for contactless payments and to avoid spread of the virus through notes.
Convenience of Faster Delivery
One of the major reasons why shoppers are considering a particular brand or online store for their products is the fast delivery service. Amazon offers delivery to the remotest areas of the world. Lot of logistic companies geared up for faster delivery service to a lot of e-commerce businesses. Delivery and take-out services have been the saving grace for most restaurants, helping them stay afloat during this pandemic. An analysis by New York Times of data from Earnest Research, which tracked credit card and debit card purchases of nearly six million people in the United States shows that while customer spending on fine-dining, fast-casual and fast-food dine-ins have plummeted, food delivery services have seen an increase of up to 50%.
Expanding Customer Base
By providing online deliveries, businesses have expanded their customer base by reaching out to newer demographics which they had never imagined to ever go to. The only difference is that now companies have to pay extra special attention to their digital and e-commerce experiences post the advent of Covid-19. Consumers have more options to consider now and the companies that meet and exceed their needs will build loyalty and lifetime value. So strategically planning e-commerce marketing should be first put into line. Instead of door-to-door marketing for smaller brands, they can now invest less money on promotional ads and yield more conversional leads.
Corona virus has affected majority of lives. It has undoubtedly influenced and will affect the e-commerce market. We are still not able to predict 100% of what will happen in the coming months but we can keep track of market trends, analyze competitors and introduce changes that increase sales.