What Changes is the Coronavirus Bringing to eCommerce?
The COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted and impacted the daily lives of citizens in an unparalleled manner. The governments persist to attempt hard for protecting lives by imposing lockdowns, testing, segregation, and treatment.
Concurrently, restricting outdoor movement except for supplying and procuring essential goods and services. The role of e-commerce in both wholesale and retail trade is something that has stepped in a rapid way.
Social distancing has become the new normal and has been efficient in containing the spread of Coronavirus up to an extent. However, this may create substantial challenges in delivering essential goods such as groceries, medicines, etc. at consumers’ doorsteps.
This may also be considered as a complementary measure for ensuring the on-time availability of vital commodities for consumers. This rather presents lucrative avenues and business opportunities for the eCommerce owners during the pandemic and beyond.
With COVID-19 and resultant lockdown, people are encouraged to explore online purchasing options for essential products and services.eCommerce owners must anticipate this shift in consumer behavior and stay prepared to cater to the emerging demand in doorstep delivery.
Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) can attain access to large markets with the collaboration from the eCommerce businesses. Besides, eCommerce businesses may benefit farmers substantially by enabling them to evade intermediaries and middlemen.
Farmers can enjoy the flexibility to sell their produce directly to wholesale buyers such as corporate grocery stores, restaurants, and Agri-businesses, etc.
There are various modes of enabling Agri eCommerce such as
- eCommerce owners may plan to establish an online presence if not done already. This will reinforce their brick-and-mortar presence substantially.
- eCommerce platforms may consider collaborating with local grocery stores for on-time and efficient product deliveries. eCommerce service providers must consider tweaking their trade model during the lockdown to strive. By connecting the farmers with end consumers in a more direct manner may prove beneficial for them in the longer run.
Opportunities for eCommerce
- To avoid public places, consumers will move towards online purchasing. Services such as home delivery. And the online divisions of retailers will become major beneficiaries.
- It will be observed that post-holiday consumers will repeat the online buying pattern who purchased during the holiday season. This denotes that consumers may follow the same purchasing process again so after the Coronavirus pandemic.
- Currently, the advertisers are running through outdated advertisements that aren’t relative to the situation. If the campaigns are switched to the current social environment, they could be more impactful.
Challenges for eCommerce
Taking the right alternate move may help eCommerce to mitigate the recession and, in most scenarios, with opportunity comes challenges. Bu using a few applicable strategies, challenges, and threats can be addressed. Some examples of potential issues are:
- Product shortages and reducing consumer demand could be a major concern in eCommerce growth if the economy goes into recession. The industry needs to bridge the gap wherever there is a supply chain issue pertaining to growth.
- Exploring convenient ways for the consumers through eCommerce channel to shop with pick-up and same-day delivery.
- The rise in online orders builds pressure on business to meet the demand.
Here are some of the negative impacts of COVID-19 on eCommerce businesses.
Discontinuation in the production chains
To combat the spread of Coronavirus production houses and factories are being shut temporarily as a preventive measure.
Ultimately this impacts the production and supply chain. Also, it affects the small-scale business operations as they might be forced to discontinue their production operations due to the slack of stocks/raw materials.
Declining Consumer Activity
Shipping agencies may encounter the ultimate burnt due to inadequate stocks or inventory. This would lead to a direct impact on shipping agencies and this will make out of stock situation for most of the consumers hence consumers trend will be in a declining trend.
If this trend persists then the unwillingness among consumers will increase to make online purchases and the outcome will slow down the sales and revenue.
Stay Connected with The Manufacturer Base
It is crucial for the eCommerce business to understand the ground reality hence they must reach out to the suppliers or manufacturers and strengthen their supplier relations.
In these trying times, eCommerce owners must emphasize nurturing communication with their consumers, suppliers and other stakeholders to keep the engagement effective.
Look out for Alternate Supplier Sources
It is very logical for the eCommerce businesses to have a backup plan while staying connected and strengthening relationships with suppliers or manufacturers.
They must not rely completely on the global suppliers and should expand their local supplier network to avoid the stock scarcities.
Boost Customer Relationships
Customers are well-aware of the supply shortages and delays in deliveries in these trying times. Real-time communication will do wonders to keep brand perception positive.
To garner unwavering customer trust and loyalty, eCommerce owners must leverage all of their communication channels such as websites, email, and even social media presence to stay connected with their customers.
At the outset of COVID-19 pandemic, online businesses are encountering growing concerns regarding financial risk, customer and supplier relationships.
Yet, some of them appear well-positioned to benefit from the shifts in consumer behavior caused by the Coronavirus outbreak.
Stakeholders must collaborate, and support each other in finding innovative solutions together, for addressing the current and upcoming challenges, since enabling eCommerce will help in reducing the harsh impacts of COVID-19 pandemic.
For further queries, do reach out to the experts at Vinculum today!
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