Covid-19 has changed the lives of every person: from ordinary consumers to businessmen and celebrities. The pandemic could not bypass the sphere of e-commerce. Back in 2020, many trading companies rebuilt their business processes and moved their activities online. Moreover, consumer habits have also changed during this time. In addition, many organizations and social networks created all the conditions for online work.
Given all of the above, we decided to collect all the essential information in this article. We will tell you about trends and share important statistics to help you run your business during a pandemic.
The Rise of E-Commerce
Sure thing, e-commerce developed before the coronavirus. However, it remains clear that the pandemic has significantly accelerated this process. For example, in the United States, e-commerce revenue has increased significantly over the past two years.
Industry upheavals forced retailers, including those who had not previously planned to conduct business in an online format, to begin to quickly implement solutions aimed at the effective operation of remote sales channels. Online stores and mobile applications have been actively developed. In addition to the sales themselves, delivery services and online payment have become increasingly popular.
Inflation has also made online sales more profitable. During the pandemic, consumers paid $30 billion more for the same amount of goods, according to Adobe.
New Approach to Business
It is important to mention that the way people do their business has changed significantly. Many have started using various tools or working with different promotion companies. In addition, the transition to the online mode made everyone think about the marketing strategies for doing business and attracting new customers.
Creating the best conditions for customers
Due to the shortage of goods, consumers managed to try many new brands. And competition has increased along with this. WOM Network reports that consumers have become less selective about the brand; customer loyalty has dropped significantly, and they change brands over and over again. Taking this fact into account, it has become harder for online stores to retain customers. Many of them try text club marketing for mailing lists to keep customers informed about all promotions and delight their customers with pleasant bonuses. You can learn more about this strategy here: https://smartercontact.com/blog/20-creative-ways-to-use-texting-for-business-communication/. E-stores are also working harder to provide maximum customer support. By the way, many stores try to provide as many payment and delivery options as possible.
Working with Marketing Agencies
In a pandemic situation and the transition of a business to an online mode, a marketing strategy and attracting new customers become vital. Although many companies have their own marketing team, they are still starting to turn to digital marketing agencies more often. Thus, online stores can not only make their business more profitable and known but also gain new experiences and improve the quality of work.
It is worth mentioning that advertising on social networks has also become more in demand.
Due to the coronavirus lockdown, some stores have begun to move towards “click-and-collect” online shopping, where customers purchase items online and then pick them up at pick-up centers. This strategy is especially popular in Europe.
Click-and-collect trading also allows for social distancing by limiting the number of people at pickup points and minimizing contact between workers and customers. It is faster and easier for owners of physical stores to work on such a system than to launch delivery, returns, and other services that online stores offer.
New Consumer Habits
During the pandemic, business analysts made dozens of forecasts ranging from panicky to optimistic. Now the situation has stabilized. And if in 2020 people were saving money, now they are spending almost as much as before.
The pandemic has affected not only the owners of online shops but also consumers. Millions of people have formed new shopping habits during the quarantine, and they have remained after the pandemic. Companies that want to successfully adapt to the new reality need to take this into account.
McKinsey & Company’s survey showed that the overall increase in the number of consumers making online purchases in a wide range of product categories was 15-30%. Besides, consumer intent to shop online continues to grow, especially in the essentials and home entertainment categories. There are more and more online shoppers in these areas:
- cosmetics and personal care;
- health products;
- electronic goods;
- education and online courses.
Despite this, people’s spending has declined, and these areas have suffered the most:
- tourism, e.g. hotel bookings, flight tickets, etc.
- home furniture;
- fashion and accessories.
In 2020, people used to save money and spend more time at home. Now cinemas, restaurants, and gyms have opened, but many people still have the habit of staying at home. So, consumers are increasingly choosing to buy food and household appliances for cooking instead of going to a restaurant. Some have switched to exercising at home and buying sports goods instead of going to fitness centers. Accordingly, sales of cars and luxury goods fell sharply at the beginning of the pandemic and are now recovering very slowly.
In short, the pandemic has had a huge impact on trade. Online commerce has become especially popular over the past three years. People are increasingly turning to online stores, preferring to make purchases from the comfort of their homes. Their buying habits have changed irrevocably, and their spending areas have also been turned on their head. As for the businesses themselves, many of their owners have changed their approach and improved their marketing strategies.
The combination of all these factors has given a pronounced impulse to the e-commerce market, which is likely to continue to develop rapidly in the coming years.