The Covid-19 struck the world suddenly and with vicious force. Within a few months, lockdowns and social distancing became the norm of the day. The world is now on a slow path of recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic.
How To See Retail Evolution In E-Commerce World Post Covid?
But experts believe that the lessons from the pandemic will change the retail sector forever. In the months of the pandemic when people could not step out of their homes, the popularity of e-commerce surged in all parts of the globe. Now the e-commerce sphere is taking a very different shape than its pre-pandemic features.
Developments in e-commerce post-pandemic:
- Increased competition – in the years before the pandemic the e-commerce sector was already becoming intensely competitive with businesses starting to cater to all kinds of industries and markets. This competition has intensified even further during the pandemic days. When sudden lockdowns forced all physical establishments into crisis they began to look at e-commerce as an alternative to survive the turbulence and increase their profit margins. As a result, the number of players in the e-commerce sector is growing steadily.
- Wider delivery orbits– in the years before the pandemic e-commerce was more of an urban phenomenon and most retailers were focused on serving the metropolitan areas where they got the bulk of their orders. But once the pandemic hit, people in smaller towns and even the suburbs began to require online delivery of all their products. So many e-commerce retailers have expanded their operations into areas previously beyond their ambit.
- Dark stores– dark stores are an innovative new concept born out of the logistical necessities of e-commerce. The stores are huge physical establishments with lots of products, but the stores are not open to the public. The stores are exclusively used for e-commerce order fulfillment. Similar ghost kitchens that do not serve guests but prepare food for online delivery have also come up. These establishments are now more of a common sight than they were in the pre-pandemic years.
- Contactless payment and delivery – Covid-19 brought with it intense fears about spread of germs and viruses. So it became very important for delivery personnel to be equipped with systems to ensure contactless payments. Now most e-commerce retailers require customer to pre-pay for the products at time of purchase or the delivery personnel carry devices to scan and pay with the help of QR codes. Deliveries are now also being made contactless. Instead of physical handovers, deliveries are being placed on the doorstep. Experts believe that the convenience provided to the customer due to these facilities mean that these systems will continue even when fears of viral contamination die down.
- Shopping on social media – social media has become one of the biggest factors for success in the e-commerce industry at present. E-commerce retailers are spending heavily to advertise their products on social media. Many social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram have come up with their own dedicated marketplaces to make direct purchases. This kind of social media selling is expected to become all the more important in the coming years. There are many content creators on social media as well who are using their business accounts to advertise and sell their products.
Social media has not only changed the way the world shops online, but it is also changing the kinds of products that people are looking for online. More and more people are buying groceries and other daily necessities online. But not everything is smooth in the post-covid world. Supply chain disruptions due to pandemic-related lockdowns have hit e-commerce as well and experts believe that it may still take another year for all supply chains to start operating at full capacity.
Covid-19 has been one of the biggest humanitarian disasters of the 21st century and if you are an e-commerce retailer then it is very important to take lessons from the pandemic in order to survive in the post-pandemic world.