A survey by RTi Analysis announced that 33% of customers ordered groceries online for the first time, even as in quarantine. 54% of this 33% said they are likely to start this quarantine post as well. Such figures reflect a profound shift in customer behavior, with increased segment-wide support for eCommerce and m-commerce in general.
For online retailers, that could mean a great opportunity. It may also mean test times, however, because increased demand rapidly results in inventory failures and the cancelation of delivery slots.
But Amazon invested more than $350 million in increased compensation for its employees at the time. Additional businesses followed suit. Some verticals, including food and personal attention, have seen an increased demand while others have been taken out of shelves, like travel and recreation products.
Which is the future of the e-commerce industry? Millions of people in quarantine around the World order online and deliver everything from foodstuffs to medical supplies and even money. The eCommerce industry has been tested to its limits while experiencing unprecedented business growth. The sharp increase in demand offers a possibility but also exposes potential vulnerabilities.
- Would this be the new standard for eCommerce if people update their lifestyles and goals after this crisis?
- If so, is eCommerce able to cope with this demand?
- How are eCommerce companies to restructure their strategy into a new standard for a world in transformation?
In this exclusive online shopping analysis, we will answer these questions on the impact of COVID-19.
First for the Good News
Hypothesis anything good news in the current state of the crisis feels Underwhelming. However, for online retailers, it could have been more extensive than all their other digitization campaigns put together. People confined to their homes are increasingly using mobile applications and websites to essential services online ordering. Even in areas that are not strictly under government instructions closures, more and more people try to prevent interaction with the outside world and instead, their daily delivered to their door needs.
According to the fifth annual survey of users, RBC Capital Markets completed recently, more than half of the 1,500 users surveyed said Covid-19 has strengthened their desire to buy groceries online.
Thus, online shopping has increased. Yes and no. While some categories experienced a strong increase in demand, other fallen flat. Here is a table of visual Capitalist which will give you a fair idea of what we speak.
As you can see, products that people need to stay safe during the crisis COVID 19 such as disinfectants and protective equipment surged, and essential goods such as food, medicines, and personal care saw increased demand. Cleaning supplies have also increased sharply.
Of course, on the other hand, travel and convenience items such as luggage, cameras, bathing, and sports equipment suits are not enough takers to see that all travel plans are deferred for now. The industry is hoping for a revival savior once this crisis is over and life goes back to normal.
Despite the massive growth of e-commerce was to see through the past decade, groceries and everyday needs have been purchased in supermarkets and convenience stores to more websites and mobile applications. COVID-19 managed to make consumers see the benefit of buying groceries online. So it’s safe to say that online grocery shopping is in overdrive right now and even if half of these consumers continue to shop the post-crisis, the number will be good for online sellers.
If online retailers can increase to the occasion and meet the increased demand at a difficult time like this, they could look into a potential gold mine of loyal customers. Now is a difficult time for general customers. They are confused, overwhelmed, and trapped at home. Eating is impossible. Socialize and meet friends is out of the question. For many people, this phrase also means pay cuts and general disappointment. At a time like this, if online sellers can help keep the family fed and own clients without delays terrible, these customers could adopt online shopping like normal again.
Is eCommerce able to handle the demand on this scale?
Of course, each of us “tried” to buy essential products online. But do we all succeed? I for one cannot find a delivery slot for two weeks. With top players like Amazon e-commerce, Instacart, Ocado UK, and India Big basket showing signs of deformation under pressure, there are questions about the ability of e-commerce to meet the unprecedented demands.
Amazon does not accept new orders groceries until he could fill currently.
Customers stay overnight for delivery slots on Instacart and Fresh Direct.
Ocado asks customers to order early because of the exceptionally high demand.
Developers create new assistance delivery programs to find slots.
Even as Amazon and others suspend all other orders “nonessential” and focus only on the essentials, such as groceries, which accounted for 6.3% of total e-commerce sales in 2019 customers struggle to get their orders filled. Control limits are in place to prevent hoarding. The additional labor was hired to speed delivery. Despite all efforts, the demand is simply too high to be met.
Of course, e-commerce companies are facing a challenge quite unexpected and facing atrocities as border closures and affected supply. So you can give them the benefit of the doubt. Indeed, they try their best and the problems should be temporary. For now, however, certainly looks like a serious upscaling of infrastructure is required to requests to meet on this scale.
So that companies can do e-commerce?
A crisis, if anything, is a great opportunity to learn. E-commerce companies can do a lot of re-development of strategies to prepare for a world where online shopping is the new normal.
Some problems and basic shortcomings are exposed as the crisis unfolds.
As might have, most online grocery shoppers are not techie’s experts, many of them being same time users. They end up spending a lot of time to select products and add to cart when they get to complete the order and check half their cart disappeared or have simply not a dispensing slot. If there is not a dispensing slot, the application should inform them of this based on their zip code, before moving 30 minutes to put the cart together.
Systems should be in place for residents of the same area in the order together, minimizing travel and facilitate more customers. The largest active e-commerce companies have to satisfy their customers is a mobile application truly usable. Companies need to focus more than ever on improving their user experience. Helping customers find the essentials right instead of just promoting products to higher-margin, creating support systems store quickly customize the experience, creating a more reassuring application and offering many ‘in-app chat support and customer service will be the most important steps in minimizing the anxiety of customers and relieve overworked employees, strained.
Syamsundar Ozili is working as a senior digital marketing analyst at DxMinds Technologies, the leading mobile app development company in Bangalore. He is a content strategist and written on various technology topics to build massive publicity.