Business

Published on April 25th, 2020 | by Bibhuranjan

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The Impact of Coronavirus on eCommerce

COVID-19 (coronavirus) continues to spread around the world and impact every part of our lives. Moreover, there are a lot of unknowns right now: how far the coronavirus will spread, how the market will respond, and what the overall impact of the pandemic will be worldwide.

Here are some statistics

  • According to eMarketer, the economic loss from canceled events will exceed $500 million.
  • According to SimilarWeb, in February retail sales dropped by nearly 40% in Italy, by 20% in Germany, and by 10 % in the USA.
  • According to the NFIB Research Center, SMBs claim the coronavirus pandemic is negatively influencing their brands in the form of slower sales 42%, supply chain issues 39% and sick employees 4%.
  • According to SimilarWeb, key ecommerce platforms fell by 5% in the UK, by 10% in Germany ND BY 12% in Italy in February.
  • According to the National Bureau of Statistics, retail sales dropped by 20% during January and February, industrial output fell by 13%, and fixed asset investment went down by 25%.

We can see changes all over the world: thousands of events were canceled, trade centers, restaurants, and bars are closed, conferences are held online, people stay at home to work remotely, etc. All industries are rapidly changing. Below, we highlight on how the coronavirus pandemic impacts supply chains, delivery, etc.

Delivery and supply chain concerns

Worries around the COVID-19 affect delivery and supply chains. The majority of ecommerce businesses rely to some extent on Chinese suppliers. But COVID-19 destabilized manufacturing facilities in China. As a result, it has negatively influenced such popular ecommerce sectors as fashion, sanitary products, electronics, and furniture. However, a lot of European countries are also in distress due to quarantine. Many warehouses, factories have been also shut down, resulting in the break of supplies.

What about the delivery, due to the increasing amount of online sales, these services might see a wave of new customers. Consumers will continue avoiding public places, looking for digital services to fulfill everyday needs.

A boost for ecommerce?

According to data analysis from Quantum Metric, ecommerce retailers saw a 52% increase in online spending and a 9% growth in conversion rates during the fifth to eighth weeks of 2020 compared to the same weeks of 2019. As has been mentioned before the customers avoid brick and mortar stores, as a result, some online retailers may experience growth during the quarantine.

However, it’s not as easy as it seems, the reality will be somewhat more complicated. Supply and delivery chain issues, panic buying, product shortages, and a decrease in customer demand due to financial problems could also numb ecommerce growth.

What ecommerce niches will remain immune to coronavirus?

It seems that nothing can prevent coronavirus and its impact on business and consumers. But some ecommerce categories will remain resistant to coronavirus and even experience a growth in sales. The virus could give a sales boost to such categories as health, food, and grocery.

Health products

Due to the spread of Covid-19 globally, people tend to spend much more money on health-related products. Many medical institutions introduced free online consultation services with doctors and online tools to help sick people maintain their medicine supply, without leaving the house.

Grocery

The food-retail industry plays a critical role in these uncertain times. As more cities and countries implement social distancing and restrict all non-essential movements, consumers have been turning to online grocery delivery services to stock up on food and household items. As a result, the online grocery market has seen significant growth. A lot of companies started providing drop-off delivery for their customers. Moreover, the majority of restaurants and cafes now offer food delivery.

Markets under threat of coronavirus

Unfortunately, there are specific markets that can experience tough days during the quarantine: the fashion market, the electronics industry and other goods that are not really necessary during the coronavirus. So these industries should rethink the way that they operate and reconsider their marketing strategies in order to encourage people to buy their products. For example, offer discounts to engage potential customers. It may help you to stay afloat.

Bonus: 5 COVID-19 tips for e-commerce stores to minimize money loss

Monitor the situation and create an action plan. Monitor the situation with your local personnel and suppliers.If your supplier remains shut for more than 1 months you should develop an action plan of what you can do in such a situation. Can you find alternative suppliers, and when?

Provide customer support page. You are concerned about the COVID-19 outbreak, but so are your customers. Provide a customer support page where you can share content or relevant links to medical info even if you do not sell health-related products. Moreover, prepare your customer support team for the questions your customers may ask about shipment delays and the detailed info about the safety of opening the packaging.

Increase your social media presence. The majority of your customers are staying home and checking social media to receive the latest news on coronavirus. We recommend posting regularly on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to remind your customers about your brand. You can post the latest updates on COVID-19 or offer positive content to help your customers cope with the panic and fear of tomorrow. Being active on social media can help you stay relevant to your customers.

Ensure product stock availability. Customers on the lockdown are ordering items online. So ecommerce companies should monitor their product stock availability. Ensure product availability to fulfill all your customer orders by communicating effectively with your selling partners.

Help fight with coronavirus. At a time like this, you should think about how your company can help fight with COVID-19. Don’t be indifferent. You could also donate money from specific products that you sell. Let your customers know about all the actions that you’re taking to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Elogic wants to help the ecommerce community to fight with the COVID-19 pandemic. As a certified Magento development company, we offer a flexible pricing model for our ecommerce development services. So contact us for more details.

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About the Author

Bibhuranjan

Editorial Officer, technofaq.org I'm an avid tech enthusiast at heart. I like to mug up on new and exciting developments on science and tech and have a deep love for PC gaming. Other hobbies include writing blog posts, music and DIY projects.



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