The global outbreak of coronavirus has changed the way how people purchase products and choose services and the way they are perceiving e-commerce.
The standardized rules of lockdown and the increasing uncertainty amongst customers to go outside and buy groceries and essential items have turned people towards e-commerce.
People have shifted their preference from brick-and-mortar stores, shopping malls, and supermarkets to online platforms to buy products, from essential goods to branded items.
With the initiation of the social distancing rule, the popularity of online platforms and online purchasing is also surging. You will clearly notice the covid-19 impact on the eCommerce market. Several people are adopting the idea of online retail and the rise in First Time Users on e-commerce platforms is clearly visible.
Examining the covid-19 impact on eCommerce market
The coronavirus has been totally different from the viruses we have seen earlier. Due to the complete shutdown and corona outbreak, the world was forced to stay indoors. And it’s safe to state that e-commerce and online portals were the real saviors, helping thousands of people stay indoors and get everything they needed at their doorstep.
IBEF has recently affirmed in its marketing report that the possibilities for e-commerce business in India are anticipated to hit $200 billion by the year 2026 from $30 billion in the year 2017. Moreover, the Indian e-commerce market is anticipated to surpass its US counterpart to be the second-biggest e-commerce market across the globe by the year 2034.
The COVID-19 pandemic, complete lockdown, social distancing, and staying indoors also pushed the customers from traditional to online shopping. From purchasing products to simply logo design services, people are preferring online options over traditional methods.
However, unpredictable customer demand and supply chain concerns can hit the e-commerce business. During the standardized lockdown, big e-commerce giants like Walmart also get affected by unusual customer demands. They experienced a drop in usual orders, supply chain interruption, and a raise in the shopping for groceries, essential toiletries, and other goods.
Currently, China is the biggest e-commerce market across the globe, with a net worth of approximately $672 billion.
Popular business data platform, Statista affirmed that there will be a rise in losses varying from 3-23% for the consumer retail segment. The report also revealed that the average revenue per user for retail e-commerce in the country was around 50$ for the year 2018, and it’s anticipated to go up to $75 by the year 2024.
On the downside of things, the shortage of productivity through the lockdown ended in the decline in jobs, financial losses, and pay cuts. The closing down of stores and several small and medium-sized businesses have urged people to divert towards the online retail sector to fulfill their financial needs.
Optimizing e-commerce business
E-commerce business is not just about choosing a brand name and selling products online. You need to find and target the right audience, product category, and interacting with your audience is crucial as it lets you cut down additional expenses and offer products that are relevant for your consumers.
Furthermore, for the growth of your business, first, you need to develop and launch your online store. As there is no direct one-on-one communication between sellers and buyers, you have to compete with other sellers in terms of offers, products, deals, and prices to stay in the competition. Since user behavior is changing with digitization, there are a lot of things that you need to consider before you think about success.
Things that you need to consider before setting your online business:
– The covid-19 outbreak has made online shopping more prominent. And you can have an edge over others by providing products that are not available at other online portals and stores. Owning a niche product line defines the costs incurred and provides you an advantage over your general opponents. Moreover, by refining out your market, you can discover regions that haven’t been touched by any of your competitors.
– You need to have an established inventory plan to match the unexpected rise in the demand for goods and services in the nation. A perfect inventory plan makes it simpler for you to collect, classify, summarise, and monitor all the orders. You will find several e-commerce portals having in-built features that let you maintain inventory effectively as well.
– You need to consider the possibility of RTO (Return To Origin) orders and the loss incited by it. The Indian economy is actually cash-oriented and therefore the RTO charges can be costly in cash-on-delivery shipments and any kind of mishandling related to such shipments becomes a load on your company.
– In this digital era, where everything is getting digital and online shopping portals are gaining popularity, you need to ensure that your venture has completely adapted to every online payment mode. As the payments are paid by the tap of a button, it discloses any geographical restrictions related to the order, builds trust in your organization, and also supports in securing any recurring payments handier as there is no involvement of huge amounts of hard cash.
– According to some insiders in the marketing industry, over 50% of Indians prefer cash-on-delivery methods for their online orders. So, the room for a cash-on-delivery choice to overcome any rush orders and to change visitors to clients is highly advised to reduce your additional costs, improve traffic, and track the costs of your company.
– As the e-commerce industry is packed with highly-competitive businesses, it’s crucial to perform competitor analysis thoroughly to get a clear understanding of the reality of the market. This strategy also works as a debug tool if you aren’t as popular and influential as your opponents, and also benefits you in forming more suitable marketing strategies for your business.
Starting up a new online business is not easy, however, the possibility of having one is more feasible than ever.
With a lot of businesses getting online to meet their demands and requirements throughout the year, The major focus on digitization and modernization has become the center of attraction and is anticipated to do so for ages to come.