It’s been some months when China confirmed the cases of corona in their country. From then on, the world is going through the impact of the corona crisis and is now one of the top health concerns across the globe. Brands from all over the world are concerned about their loss in sales as this issue will impact the whole eCommerce world. As of Technomic research, 52% of consumers are avoiding crowds and 32% are leaving their house less often because of coronavirus.
The economic disruptions caused by this virus can be seen in the form of increased market volatility and decreased stock valuations. There are many brick and mortar shops, C2C, B2C businesses out there who have hit hard because of this pandemic situation. Therefore, bracing the impact by not able to make sales.
The current pandemic situation forced many consumers to change their shopping habits and shift to online shopping. However, a small percentage of the public is still dependent on physical shops to fulfill their household needs.
In this blog, we are going to know the impact of covid-19 on eCommerce and how things will turn out in the long term?
Impact of Social Distancing on Consumer Behaviour by corona
As Amit Ray once said “every challenge comes with rainbows and lights to conquer it”
Well, to overcome the challenge of Corona Virus is social distancing: the only way to save yourself from this life-threatening disease, and this practice has also led many consumers to switch to online mode for getting household services.
Also, there are many retail shops that are following this practice in an offline mode to sell products and highly successful in making sales and profits too.
But, every coin has two sides.
There are still many business sectors that have nothing to do with the practice of social distancing. Yes, sectors like travel, entertainment, FMCG are been highly impacted and are not able to keep them on top-notch in terms of sales. Apparently, this retention will last after the lockdown or restriction ends as people will take all the safety measures afterward. As a result, the business situation will not be the same as it was earlier.
Impact of corona on eCommerce
Although there are pros and cons both, if we see in a broader way, the current situation has definitely helped in increasing eCommerce activities. As consumers are at their homes for their safety, they are totally dependent on the online purchasing of products. The situation has definitely given hope to may small online store owners to give their businesses a boon and make good sales and profits.
Here we are ready to see the drastic increase in the eCommerce business of the following sectors due to corona.
Food and Grocery, the most important resource for people to live peacefully. The earlier consumer used to prefer to buy groceries or vegetables either from local markets or retail shops. Due to the coronavirus outcome, consumers tend to stay their homes and prefer online delivery of groceries without any hassle.
Also, there are many products that are not available at local stores due to low stock that make them seek for online shopping. This is a clear positive outcome for the eCommerce industry as now people will prefer buying products online in the coming years too.
Ecommerce companies like BigBasket, Grofers, etc had a boon in their business. The following graph (data from Rakuten Intelligence) will show you the drastic increase in online shopping of groceries in the month of March.
As you can see the other eCommerce categories are slightly peaked but when it comes to grocery eCommerce, you can see a high peak that totally shows the positive impact of this situation on Grocery eCommerce.
As per grocery, medical facilities are also a necessity for people. Regular medicines are important for people. The social distancing and lockdown has led many consumers to stay at their homes.
Due to this, they are unable to buy medicines from their local markets or medicine shops. To restocks their medicines on their shelves, medical eCommerce comes into action. The graph is given below that clearly shows the drastic increase in online shopping for medicines.
Ecommerce companies like Medlife, Netmeds, etc. Are successfully making sales and earning good profits in the situation of corona crisis too. Like this, people can get their medines on their doorstep without any hassle.
Well, seeing the current situation, the sale of health and safety products skyrocketed their profits.
Digital Streaming eCommerce
As we know, in the period of lockdown, everyone is safe at their homes. It comes to no surprise that people are homebound and no longer going on vacations or pursuing any external entertainment options.
In that situation, people are dependent on digital streaming services to entertain themselves. Streaming services like Netflix, Amazon Prime, Disney+ are making good money by gaining subscribers in the first half of 2020.
The shutdown of the entertainment industry has led to shift consumers to these OTT platforms that gave a good rise to this industry in terms of numerous subscribers and good profits.
Industries that are going through a hard time
Hospitality and Travel business:
With most business trying hard enough to make sales and profits via online delivering their product, businesses like travel industry and hospitality have hit hard in this period of lockdown. The survival of these industries is becoming hard by each passing day. Experts are predicting a serious downfall in travel-ad revenue.
The tremendous rate of flight and train cancellations has led the travel industry came under huge pressure of maintaining their revenues. In order to maintain revenues afterward, companies can provide travel insurance and cheap flight tickets in the future.
And as the travel and hospitality industries are suffering from Covid crisis, there are still many chances to recover from this financial crisis and get back on track.
Just like travel, the fashion industry is also going through the same situation due to Covid-19. As many people are avoiding ‘Made in China’ products, we can see a rapid decline in apparel sales.
To overcome this, many brands shifted them towards online. However, due to unavailability of products, they mostly remain out of stock plus many failed to advertise their data in a proper way.
Corona Virus pandemic: Opportunities and challenges for eCommerce
As we know, the current scenario has led to many changes in the consumer’s behavioural patterns . It also indicates the change in trend due to current situation in the coming future.
As of now, nobody can predict the exact situation of global economy after the covid-19 crisis. But we can still identify some opportunities and challenges that are on their way in future.
Opportunities for eCommerce
- Consumers will shift themselves towards online shopping more to avoid public gatherings. Services like home delivery by Amazon, Flipkart, online food delivery by Zomato, Swiggy will flourish than usual. As a result, these major online retailers will become the major beneficiaries of the economy.
- People who are in need of medicines on a daily basis will be more inclined to online purchasing. Getting medicines at your doorstep is one of the finest and most useful things for patients.
- We can see the best use of digitalization in this lockdown. The digital streaming services can flourish more in the coming future. As people now tend to sit at home and avoid cinema halls, they will be inclined more towards OTT platforms for entertainment purposes.
Challenges for eCommerce
As we know, opportunities come with challenges too. Here let’s take a look at upcoming challenges post lockdown.
- Supply Chain issues: Although online shopping is a nice option to avoid public gatherings. However, the shortage of products is potentially declining consumer demand that in result affects eCommerce growth too.
- As online delivery is the best option, the challenge is to make the process of pick up, drive up and same-day delivery convenient for consumers.
The Coronavirus situation is new for each and every individual all over the world. As a result, it has also created new challenges for all the online businesses out there. The growing concerns about financial risks are the latest observations for everyone. But still, many companies have stood strong and got benefit from the behavioral shift of consumers towards online purchasing. However, our goal is to still fight with this pandemic situation and make our businesses strong for the upcoming future.