Ecommerce’s rise in popularity is nothing new. In recent years, the major players—Amazon, Walmart, Alibaba, and others—have expanded significantly. Much of the world fell into lockdown in March 2020, forcing many businesses to temporarily shut down.
As a result of the pandemic, the use and availability of contactless payment methods have increased. Since the outset, online buying has been fueled by convenience, variety, and cost savings. However, the COVID-19 epidemic has enhanced the convenience of the online shopping trend.
COVID’S IMPACT ON E-COMMERCE
Although countries are steadily loosening their prohibitions, the future remains unpredictable. Even reopening companies have rules requiring social separation, masking, and limiting the number of consumers who can enter at one time.
People are increasingly tempted to shop online when traditional shopping becomes challenging or even frightening. The fact that consumers were already warmly welcoming Amazon and other internet shops made the move much smoother. Online income climbed by 44 percent in 2020, and by 39 percent in Q1 2021. There is a chance that it will continue even after the quarantine. Even when conventional stores reopen, the benefits of online purchasing will remain.
THINGS THAT HAVE AIDED E-COMMERCE
Let’s look at some of the reasons why consumers prefer to shop online.
- COVID FEAR:
People went to online purchasing in greater numbers than ever before as they accepted social DISTANCING. People will be wary even when the quarantine is lifted, and many may prefer to shop online from the comfort of their own homes. Contactless payments’ simplicity, security, and ease-of-use will continue to win over customers and businesses as consumer behaviours and expectations alter in a fast-changing world.
- PEOPLE’S SHOPPING HABITS:
As a result of the quarantine, people’s buying habits have shifted. As a result of the situation’s endurance, these inclinations have become ingrained. Once the stores open, customers will surely go out more. It is not to say they’ll quit the somewhat addictive and familiar experience of buying online.
- IMPACT OF MOBILE DEVICES:
With the rise of mobile devices, surfing and shopping on the internet has never been easier. Customers can use the device that is virtually constantly in their hand or pocket to place orders with one hand.
- TRENDS IN CLIENT’S PURCHASE:
Consumer loyalty to their preferred brands has declined for a variety of reasons. According to eMarketer, more than 80% of customers said they bought a different brand than usual in mid-2021, and this is a trend that began early in the pandemic. Lower costs (65 percent) and out-of-stock products are the most common explanations today (51 percent ).
- SHOPPING ON SOCIAL MEDIA:
Several social networking networks took advantage of increased online retail demand by adding more commerce capabilities, allowing shoppers to browse and purchase products from participating online stores without ever leaving the platform. These platforms are often tightly connected with e-commerce systems, allowing e-commerce operators to quickly promote their products across numerous channels.
Social commerce accounted for 3.4 percent of overall e-commerce sales in 2020, and that percentage is anticipated to rise.
PRINCIPLES FOR MAKING THE MOST OF THE E-COMMERCE REVOLUTION:
While the COVID-19 quarantine will eventually end, many of the current economic shifts are likely to persist. Here are a few reminders:
- GET IN TOUCH WITH YOUR CLIENTS: Connect with your customers across many channels, acknowledging that the same customer may shop on Amazon, another online retailer, or visit your store in person on various days.
- ALWAYS BE HONEST: Be honest with your clients if you’re having problems with shortages, escalating costs of certain commodities, or supply chain delays. Keep them up to date on what’s going on, and don’t try to disguise any issues.
- BE ADAPTABLE: Customers value having as many options as possible, when it comes to customer service, delivery, payment options, and any other facet of a deal during and, most likely, after the pandemic. For example, if you started providing home delivery service when you were forced to close, you may want to keep doing so even when your doors are open.
- ANALYSE YOUR DATA: It’s critical to know which platforms and channels are delivering the best results for you. Polls, customer service contacts, and monitoring social media comments and reviews are the ways to gather useful information directly from customers.
- TAKE ADVANTAGE OF SOCIAL MEDIA: Customers can connect with you on social media, bridging the gap between online and offline buying.
#1 Advertisements on social media Facebook, Instagram, and other sites can help you increase visitors to your online store.
#2 Promote your products on Pinterest. Pinterest is one of the best possibilities for selling physical products because many people visit the site to look for inspiration. Pins and boards, as well as advertising on Pinterest, can help you generate organic traffic.
#3 Engage your audience. It’s crucial to maintain contact with your fans. Monitor your channels and respond to queries and comments as soon as possible.
IN THE FUTURE, e-commerce WILL EXPAND:
E-commerce will continue to grow in the future. Virus outbreaks in specific places may temporarily boost the number of online orders and the need for home delivery. Cases may cool in other regions, enhancing in-person retail sales.
The retail sector will continue to be dominated by omnichannel and online purchasing, with a clear focus on worried customers with a low-contact mindset. Retail online sales are expected to expand by double digits globally through 2023, according to eMarketer.
Customers are appreciating the convenience of purchasing online more and more. While COVID-19’s restrictions may have increased the appeal of internet purchasing, this is a long-term trend that is expected to persist well into the post-pandemic era. Firms must give openness, flexible rules, and simple omnichannel solutions to take advantage of this.
As the advantages of e-commerce become more popular and competitive, this trend will accelerate.