It is hard to deny the impact of the pandemic on worldwide commerce. Online stores along with the brick-and-mortar shops are trying to grasp the new opportunities and minimize the negative impact of lockdown and social distancing. In this article, SOLVVE examines how eCommerce has changed due to pandemics and what to expect in the nearest future.
“New essentials” and new consumer behavior in eCommerce
Depending on the geographical location, different states have employed different measures to stop the spread of the virus, and social distancing has taken the lead in it. From simply keeping the distance to setting restrictions on how often one can leave a home, new safety measures heavily impact the common commerce routines shaping new behaviors in consumers.
More consumers have chosen to shop online to observe social distancing rules. According to Statista research, in March 2020, different countries saw changes in the frequency of online shopping, going from 12% to 57% depending on the country.
Different areas have been on lockdown or significantly restricted and regulated public spaces for over a month now. Taking into account that quarantines and lockdowns will probably last for some time, we can assume that enough time has passed to create new habits in people around the world.
According to GlobalWebIndex report, about 50% of consumers said that they will not go back to regular in-store shopping “for some time” or even “a long time” after the regulations are relaxed again. On as little as 9% of respondents are ready to go back to stores “immediately”.
Spending more time home has brought to life new trends forming a new category of goods referred to as “new essentials”. These include office supplies, sports-related items, all sorts of home decor and improvements, as well as hobby materials and toys covering nearly 40% of spendings at the moment. Some other categories that saw growth during the pandemic are literature (+16%), health eCommerce (+9%), and retail (+6%) during January-March 2020.
How to handle these changes?
As we have found out above, the changes in consumer behaviors are evident and will last for some time even after the pandemic. The chances are high that the convenience of online shopping and payments is here to stay for many consumers who have not engaged in it before the pandemic. Econsultancy notes that the global reattribution of shopping apps rose by 43% from March to April: users who once downloaded the app have returned to it again.
To keep up with thуsу changes, here is what your business might need.
If your business is not yet selling online, it is a good time to consider this option. It will allow you not only to engage your existing users but to reach out to new ones through, for example, social media. If running your own online store or ERP system is out of your capacities at the moment, subscribe to existing marketplaces to handle it on your behalf. Amazon, eBay, Instagram, and Facebook are already up and running for businesses of all sizes to engage.
For those who are already selling or providing services online, take some time to brush up some parts of it. Update your business listings on popular search platforms. Review your website ranking and optimize it if necessary. Consider improving your customer experience through refreshed interfaces, secure payment systems, one-click purchase functionality, etc.
If you have any questions or ideas related to eCommerce or fintech in your projects, do not hesitate to contact us. Let us make this happen!