Aside from being a health crisis, the COVID-19 pandemic is also a crisis for the world economy. One sector that has been dealt a particularly large blow is the retail sector. The pandemic has caused permanent alterations to the supply chain and changed the market trends for what customers are willing to spend on. It has also completely transformed what customers want out of their shopping experiences.
But there’s one sub-sector of the industry that’s stayed alive, and that is currently experiencing a surge in popularity: ecommerce. Ecommerce, which pertains to the buying and selling of goods online, is set to be the “new norm” for shopping in an era of safe social distancing. Those who are currently involved in ecommerce, or those intending to become ecommerce entrepreneurs, should understand what exactly is in store for them.
This article details some important market insight that’s come out of the COVID-19 pandemic, and how it can affect sales. Stay informed about what kind of environment you’re doing business in—and rise up to the challenge as an ecommerce entrepreneur.
More People Will Choose Ecommerce Outlets over Brick-and-Mortar Stores
Since the directives for community quarantine were issued, many more customers turned to ecommerce outlets for products they’d normally purchase in physical stores. But this may remain the trend in the long term for the following reasons:
Consequently, entrepreneurs can expect a consistent demand of products through their online channels, and they should be ready to meet this demand from their customers.
More People Will Be Reliant on Online Payments
It’s also highly likely that customers will want to lessen physical trips to the bank and minimize transactions that require handling physical cash. A larger demographic of customers will make online banking and digital payment apps their default methods of paying for items.
This is important for ecommerce entrepreneurs to take note of, as sometimes it’s the available method of payment that will complete a sale. If you own an ecommerce business, you will want to accommodate multiple methods of payment for the convenience of your customers.
Buyers Will Gravitate Towards Essential Needs and Other Items Needed in the “New Normal”
The pandemic has also affected customers’ spending on certain products, and some items are more in demand than others. Among the most quickly moving products in the “new normal” are:
As an ecommerce entrepreneur, it may help you to choose which among these products you can sell to your customers. You should also formulate strategies for marketing and pricing these products, as competition from other ecommerce businesses will be tight.
Buyers Will Appreciate the “One-Stop Shop” Business Model
A business model that will reign in the COVID-19 era of ecommerce is the one-stop shop. This is the kind of ecommerce outlet that buyers will visit in order to fulfill multiple needs at a time. Customers will be willing to add items to their cart in order to maximize shipping fees and to make the most out of single transactions.
It may help for you to style your ecommerce business as a one-stop shop where customers can purchase multiple products. A good strategy is to market your business towards a particular niche, for example home cooks or workers looking to upgrade their work-from-home setup. Once your buyers learn that they can take care of several needs at your shop, they’ll purchase more and add to your sales.
Customers Will Expect More Out of their Online Shopping Experience
Lastly, customers are expected to pay more attention to their online shopping experiences and be discerning of how different ecommerce outlets performed. They will continue to be on the lookout for the brand that affords them safe, streamlined, and convenient experiences. They will also pivot away from ecommerce businesses that are slow to deliver and have too many steps involved in their purchasing processes.
To stay competitive, you’ll want your ecommerce business to be efficient and for your processes to be as free as possible from friction and delay. If you serve your customers well in such a precarious time, they will remember you and return to your shop for a repeat experience.
Conclusion: A Call to be Excellent as an Ecommerce Entrepreneur
Ecommerce is here to stay, and it will be a permanent fixture in customers’ purchasing experiences long after COVID-19 has passed. Entrepreneurs need to be extra responsive to the fast-changing landscape of the ecommerce sector. Stay informed about what’s happening, and attend to your customers’ needs so that their lives are safer, easier, and more enjoyable to live. That’s what will keep your business afloat today—and ready to confront new challenges in the future.