E-commerce business is rapidly increasing all over the world and also in India much before COVID19. Lockdown imbalanced the progression of online purchasing. Because of rules and regulations on eligible items to essentials and limitations placed on physical movement directly affecting deliveries. Life during the lockdown may change attitudes towards choosing for e-commerce once things are back to normal.
Shopping online had broadly clear distinctions between those for whom it was a matter of benefit. Whether it might be groceries and staples or recreational items. Consumers react and carry out their activities, directly affecting the e-commerce industry. In this time, only essentials and especially medical supplies are being supplied. And also, people are not comfortable spending money beyond their necessities, provide both challenges as well as opportunities.
Just four months were enough for coronavirus to result in the most significant impact on the world in the last 100 years. The world faced many wars, economic crises, natural disasters, but nothing worst like this.
COVID-19 was able to reunite people of the world to fulfill one goal that is to beat the virus. Billions of people stayed at home in lockdown so that officials and healthcare workers could fight with the crisis better.
It affected the business world like nothing else before. Business owners are closing their stores, and the economy felt a dropdown. No one can even imagine how things are going to be like.
There are nearly 2 billion online shoppers at the moment. It’s felt that this number will rise to 2.14 billion by 2021. However, the fact is that most of the world population lived at home in the first quarter of 2020. They are busy on the internet; this number is most likely much bigger at the moment.
The fact is many industries are facing to provide manufacturing services, raw materials, and keep wheels turning like before.
The UN Conference on Trade and Development announces that the coronavirus can result in the world economy close to 2 trillion dollars.
Online marketplaces confirmed an increase in demand for personal hygiene products. Panic buying has created matters worse, and it has led to necessary items running out of stock. To make sure that essential supplies are available, e-commerce players are moving their access to online marketplaces. Ecommerce players are searching it hard to meet demands due to inequity unleashed by the curb on exports of protective masks.
Organizations allowed remote working for employees, which increased in-home consumption. State governments announced lockdowns on malls, multiplexes, etc. to prevent mass gatherings. As a result, people are purchasing groceries and even food items online. Vegetables like tomatoes and food grains are also sold out. The supply-demand imbalance has become a significant bottleneck, and online stores are facing to fulfill orders.
B2B marketplaces are severely affected as most of their supplies are dependent on exports as well as imports. Industrial, safety, and MRO supplies are severely affected. Most of the production lines for these items are dependent on China. Factories aren’t running to their capacity resulting in reduced production.
Businesses are trying to reduce the risks of the coronavirus by making sure that business continuity operations are resilient. And we have no idea when this pandemic crisis will end.
Before the outbreak, increment in the e-commerce market in India would reach 200 billion US dollars by the year 2026. The e-commerce sector is severely impacted by the supply as well as the demand side. Some companies are adapting and responding to the changes because of the nature of limitations that have been misused.
There has been a reduction in sales of fast-moving consumer goods since the lockdown. In March 2020, found that from among 304 e-commerce retailers, about 36% strongly experienced that their businesses will struggle with a downfall while 42% of them felt that there would be a shift in consumer confidence. Another major problem is the lack of staff, which makes it difficult for companies to meet the orders. Online supermarkets like Grofers and BigBasket report that they only have 60% and 50% of the total staff, respectively. And hence can only reach order deliveries at a reduced frequency, which has forced on the availability of slots for consumers. Similarly, Amazon has delayed shipments of certain goods and only restricted deliveries to essentials in shortage of the staff.
Many B2B services establish new platforms in healthcare, supplying goods from medical care supplies to ventilators. Companies serving healthcare facilities believe that people are satisfying in the health and fitness of their families, leading to these businesses having a higher engagement with customers. Online food ordering and delivery platforms like Swiggy and Zomato have identified contactless deliveries to diminish heightened anxiety related to hygiene that exists right now. Online streaming service, Netflix, has added a whopping 15.8 million paid subscribers in the first three months of 2020, which agrees with the imposed lockdown and social distancing in various parts of the world.
Consumers are moving towards online shopping “
Consumers are staying home to follow the lockdown and social distancing law to avoid going out in public places. It makes a surge in the traffic for retail brands. Research data shows that 50% of Chinese and 30% of Italian consumers reported that they are using sites than ever to order various products.
They felt that 70% of marketers who believe there will be an increment in the usage of eCommerce and online shopping. Food and grocery are moving to be the most beneficial sector among all. The mass to grocery shops increased by over 10% last month. It will rise in the coming days, with an 11% increase in transactions made at the start of the 3rd month. Over 75-80% of Suppliers face Distortion: They felt that 70% of marketers, who believe, there will be an increment in the usage of eCommerce and online shopping. Food and grocery are moving to be the most beneficial sector among all. The mass to grocery shops increased by over 10% last month. It will rise in the coming days, with an 11% increase in transactions made at the start of the 3rd month.
The digital video streaming platform will feel the growth in the subscription rate. This is also one of the impacts of social distancing and people mostly staying at home. The global subscription rate for Netflix video service will rise to 30.9% against previously predicted 29.9%.
Over 75-80% of Suppliers Face Disruption:
The companies will face drop down in the supply chain, product delivery, and inventory management. Supply chain managers found more than 75 to 80% of companies felt a disruption in high magnitude due to transportation restrictions. 16% of these companies have revised their revenue goals down by 5.6%. Also, the travel and hospitality will experience a 15% Year-on-Year decline in growth.
Massive demand for safety material and products:
Companies deal with huge demand for safety products such as N95 masks, hand sanitizer, rubber gloves, etc. The supply condition of these products is the same as other products, and companies are lacking behind in fulfilling them. But they are working continuously to decreasing the current and future demands with a proper supply of options available.
Limit the Corona Virus impact for eCommerce Stores:
Most of the organizations have a team for risk management, which commit to deal with the Disruption. There are some of the steps you can follow to limit the coronavirus impact for your eCommerce store with strategic SEO plans.
The steps involve the condition of the whole situation from the ground with your suppliers. Support the relations with your suppliers and consumers in these difficult times. Keep yourself updated with regulations to keep your business running smoothly.
Other short-term measures you can follow are:-
- First of all, you should increase the inventory of your store because the supply chain will take time to be restored.
- You can follow the necessary steps to maintain and manage the sales run rate to drop down the sales. This is important so that you don’t run out of stock and have a sales order at a rate.
- After that, you should prepare FAQs and support team for handling customers’ doubts, generally related to the delays in delivery.
- Expand your supply base because believing that only one supplier may put your store’s product run out-of-stock.
This crisis affected many business sectors. It will continue to impact until the end. Some areas got blessings from this pandemic, such as food and grocery, video streaming services, medical, etc. There are also some sectors like travel and hospitality industry, which is affected by this crisis.
Steps to Protect Your Online Business during the Pandemic
- Be Tactful and Transparent.
- Don’t Over-Communicate.
- Diversify Your Supply Chain.
- Focus on Virtual Products
- Keep Advertising.
- Get Social and Connect with Consumers.
- Build Customer Trust
What can you do to increase your online business?
- Move your customers online
- Look after your existing customers and their communities
- Ensure your e-commerce platform meets the needs of B2B customers
- Streamline your returns process
- Roll out web stores to new regions and markets
- Deal with demand and supply chain disruptions
- Put in safety measures to protect your employees and customers