The Future of Ecommerce Industry after Coronavirus

The recent outcome of Coronavirus that initially kept China captive in the first few months of the current year has now made a global impact. Companies in some infected countries have instructed their workers to work from home, schools have been closed, events are being cancelled or postponed and citizens in those countries have also started avoiding crowded places.
Recent studies suggest that the extent to which each country have taken measures depend on the severity of the virus in each country. A research conducted by YouGov in March 2020, revealed that more than 85% of internet users located in China and 83% users in Hong Kong admitted that they had avoided public places like restaurants, social gatherings and other family events in past two weeks. In fact, 27% of Americans and 14% in the UK admitted the same thing.
As cases of the COVID-19 spread, the marketing and commercial impact could be just as far-ranging, triggering profit alerts, physical store closures, unexpected price hikes and credit default cases among companies that depend on China’s extensive consumption power. Despite all these realities, there are companies that appear well-positioned to take advantage of changes on consumer buying patterns cause by the outbreak.
Ecommerce activity, specifically related to health and everyday grocery items, is growing in the world. Online shoppers are willing to spend hefty on products like hand sanitizers, shoe protectors, and anti-bacterial soaps so that they can avoid going to the stores.

Noticeably, the current consumer buying behavior is proving to be both productive and a challenge to e-commerce retailers.
According to Nicole Perrin, eMarketer analyst, “the intersection of merchandising and advertising has long made media-buying on Amazon complicated: You can’t just ‘set and forget’ a campaign if you risk running out of stock or if your pricing isn’t competitive enough to convince shoppers to convert.”
While many companies have already invested in dedicated teams and established specialized risk-management units, for many e-commerce businesses this type of supply chain disruption is an unexpected situation that many are not ready for.
The Future of Ecommerce Industry after Corona Virus

When it comes to the current Coronavirus pandemic, most people fall into one of two categories – people who act without thinking or the media is creating unnecessary fuss. There is no denying the fact that regardless of what the actual truth is, the COVID-19 is impacting everyone’s life in dramatic ways. Many businesses are about to shut down their business operations. So no matter what you think, there’s no escaping the fact that Coronavirus is creating a multiplier effect on online retail industry vs. physical businesses.
Although, Gen-Z has already chosen digital lifestyle over real-world buying, the current outbreak has literally forced people to rethink how they’ll live their lives or how they purchase stuff in the future. Whether you’re an online retailer or a real-world seller, now is the time to think how your business is contributing to develop long-term online strategies and whether you’re ready to cater to the digital audience only.
It doesn’t matter if your product range is created for in-store buying experiences only, it’s high time to reconsider how your business (online or offline) can progress to ensure it continue to cater buyer’s needs and survive this evolving dynamic.
You can either introduce an entirely new product line, make changes to your already available offers, or even think bigger about fresh business ideas that can help you capitalize in today’s digital world. All in all, you have to think differently and better leverage your content and social media marketing strategies to keep online consumers connected to your brand.
As more and more people choose to shop online, subscription-based shipment procedures and remote-centric solutions are going to dominate the ever-evolving ecommerce sector.
As far as the general retail business is concerned, retailers must plan now for over 40% of their sales to be made using ecommerce portals. The infected countries also plan that if the virus does get toehold in their countries, they’ll promote distancing strategies to slow the expansion of the disease.
Obviously, buyers will also want to avoid going to crowded places such as superstores or malls to do their groceries and one clear alternative is online buying. Customers who have avoided ecommerce solutions so far are expected to reconsider their approach and switch to browse online portals to buy food and other household items.
Take an example of elderly who’re at higher risk of getting the virus. Previously, elderly people have been less likely to purchase stuff online, but this particular group is taking immense interest in online shopping after outbreak.
Businesses of all sizes must scale their online sales capacity and consult with their respective departments to get ready for a significant dive in home deliveries. While it may sound like a negative idea to think about profiteering especially during an emergency situation, the businesses should learn that they have to up their online selling game to meet normal customer demands. In fact, it appears sales on the whole will decline during this critical period as people will have so many other things on their mind.
As many new consumers have recently joined online buying platforms, these individuals are more likely to stick to their preferences in the future. Especially elderly and disabled customers would definitely prefer online buying solutions over real-time experiences.
Steps You Can Take to Boost Your Ecommerce Business during Outbreak

Monitor the Situation

Make sure you get a clear picture of the situation by monitoring it on the ground. Stay updated trough reliable news channels and talk directly to your suppliers and other people on the ground.
Maintain Good Relationship with Your Suppliers
In order to avoid unexpected situations, make sure you have good relationship with your suppliers. Also, you have to confirm what you’re being told is correct.
Quality Assurance
Unfortunately many suppliers will resort to compromise on quality of the final products to take undue advantage of the situation. Make sure your quality assurance tools are in place before you accept any shipment during this hard time.
Stock Up
As it is not clear when the process of supply chain will be completely reestablished, make sure you ramp up your inventory to avoid shortage.
Customer Support
Make sure you prepare your customer support team for all the possible questions your customers may ask.
Diversify Supply Base
Instead of relying on a single supplier, make sure you expand your supply base. While this may add a little bit to your overhead costs, but you can benefit from competitive prices and better quality as your leverage elevates.
Final Thoughts

As Churchill said, “never let a good crisis go to waste.” Make your ecommerce business more successful by using the momentum of the Corona crisis.