The novel coronavirus has definitely altered the world. The business paradigm has shifted drastically and it is set to have a long-lasting impact on consumers, buying habits, delivery channels and much more. Businesses that were immensely profitable at some point have collapsed. With airlines, hotels and the tourism industry taking one of the biggest hits in decades. However, if there is one sector that is still booming, and slated to rise in the coming times, it is the e-commerce or online retail industry.
With countries across the world under lockdown and restrictions being imposed on the movement of people, consumers have largely shifted to buying essential items off the internet. Even in parts of the world with no strict lockdown measures, people are still turning to online sellers due to the stress on following social distancing. People are trying to limit their exposure to the outside world and are looking for more and more ways to get things and services delivered at home.
Essential goods such as groceries and medicines have seen an unprecedented demand across online sellers. Carrefour, a global retailer, reported an increase of 600% in delivery of vegetables while medicine sales online has seen a rise of 198% according to reports. Other things that people are ordering online include fitness products, masks, sanitizers and household items.
Even traditional brick-mortar stores are now offering their customers the option to get products delivered at home. Local grocery stores, pharmacies and other essential products shops are taking orders on call, text and even through recently set-up online sales channels. This is an indication of the way businesses will operate in a post-pandemic world.
However, there are certain challenges as to being an online seller in times of this pandemic. The biggest challenge is the delivery and distribution channel. With major restrictions imposed on the movement of goods and several countries closing their airspace, it has become difficult to deliver products. Even the supply chains are breaking down as it is taking weeks for retailers to procure products.
Overcoming this challenge is necessary to ensure a smooth supply and distribution of products. Governments across the globe are trying to ease restrictions in the commercial sectors, especially, for delivery of essentials and medicines. Companies, including creative startups and small business owners, are coming up with new ideas on how to enable contactless delivery. These innovations might soon get the businesses on track.
For entrepreneurs in the online business, it is imperative that you take all possible steps to ensure a frictionless online shopping experience for your consumers. It is a good moment to invest money and time in technology that would make your websites and apps faster and more user-friendly. Money spent now is ultimately going to help in saving costs for your business in the long run. A smooth and fast online shopping transaction could result in you gaining several lifetime customers. While a slow, poorly managed transaction could result in a loss of customers. It is a time to make or break your brand.