eCommerce – A Way Forward for Businesses
“Change is the only persistent process in the world”.
And when it comes to the case of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, this statement has become remarkably valid. Today, the circumstances are changing with each second, making it too hard to foretell how businesses will respond to this unprecedented time. Even though entrepreneurs are aware of the fact that organisations that take a break during this situation may not rise up from the crisis, most of them are still wondering what new approaches are to be set up from their side now to thrive later.
The truth is that there is no specific answer to this question. Still, there’s one thing that stands out – businesses that inspect how the customer habits are changing and accommodate quickly to this new reality in time will see striking improvements in their profits, amidst this crisis and beyond.
The New Behavioural Shift
Along with reshaping various aspects of our lives, the pandemic has radically accelerated many new trends – and perhaps, the most significant of these is ‘eCommerce‘. The shift toward digital shopping was occurring even before COVID-19; however, as per a recent survey data from IBM, the pandemic has facilitated the quick transition from physical stores to online channels.
IBM predicts that the number of department stores will decrease by above 60% by the end of 2020. Meanwhile, eCommerce stores are anticipated to rise by almost 20%. This growth was articulated on the basis of huge sales driven by large retailers like Walmart (97% sales growth) and Amazon (40% sales growth) through eCommerce, during the pandemic.
Key Takeaway: The crucial queries that this survey intended to acknowledge is: if this pandemic-fueled online purchasing behaviour of the consumers is a short-term shift; if not, to what extent is it affecting the future. The solution, in this estimate, is that the current online shopping spree is not a temporary shift, and this pandemic has pushed it ahead by around five years.
The shift away from physical shops to eCommerce stores was already underway, but we have now leapt forward in time as to where we’d have been if this pandemic had not happened.
So, What Do We Need To Do?
As per the inferences from IBM’s report, department store retailers will have to turn to omnichannel retailing to stay competitive in the current and future contexts. Clearly, retailers will have to provide customers with a fully-integrated shopping experience through eCommerce websites, mobile applications, and pick up in-store.
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Still not convinced? Apart from the survey conclusions, here are more reasons for you to get in on the action and commence selling on an eCommerce platform:
- Overcome Geographical Limitations
If you are a physical store retailer, you are limited by the geographical area that you can sell your products. With eCommerce, you can overpower these limitations without any hassle.
The advent of the Internet has made the whole world a playground, where you can interact with your customers without any barriers. So, all you have to do now is to recognise your target audience correctly and proceed with the promotion works in the right direction.
- Lower Costs
Not having to manage a physical store, and automation of billing, payments, inventory management & other operational processes reduces the cost needed to carry out business. Consequently, with this lowered price, you can give more reasonable discounts for your customers which might, in turn, make them loyal customers of your brand.
- Quicker Actions
On your e-commerce website, customers can quickly search and locate the product they need and immediately checkout after making the payments without having to stand in long queues waiting for hours.
And if you’re seeking the help of an expert eCommerce website development company, you could have a website that even remembers customer preferences and shopping lists to enable effortless repeat purchases.
- Targeted Communication
When it comes to online retailing, you can collect various information about the customers through registration forms and cookies, and provide product/service suggestions as per their interests. This might help you to make the communication process with the customer more refined and make him buy more products or use more services.
Ecommerce platforms help a lot in displaying all the required information for a customer who is looking to buy a product. This will help you to promote your products well and help your customers make better purchase decisions.
- Available 24 Hours
Ecommerce will allow you to keep your stores “always open”.
From your point of view, this can help you increase the sales, and from the customers’ point of view, this will help them to buy whenever they are free rather than finding out a specific time to go out and purchase.
It’s Time To Invest!
If the thoughts mentioned above have made an impact on you, we would also like to add that the Internet is an incredibly crowded area right now and hence, this is the best time to build new eCommerce solutions and reach out to your customers over there. For all those who have already developed them, this is an excellent opportunity to reach even more customers.
What’s more, as several retailers have paused their online activities in the current scenario (an action that completely goes against common sense!), we’ll say this is the most suitable time to double-down on your digital marketing efforts too to optimise your online store and enhance the traffic to it.
So, that’s it! Stay safe and online! ?