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COVID-19 Pandemic leads to eCommerce opportunities

As we come to terms with the damaging impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on our lifestyle, we look at how changing consumer behavior during these times has increased desirability in e-commerce. It is evident that the uncertainty and isolation caused by the pandemic has led to a trend in bulk purchasing, panic buying and increase in online shopping.

To ensure healthy cashflow and brand survival during these times it is important businesses look at these behaviors and adapt their traditional strategies to meet the growing demand.

According to a recent article by KPMG there are two ecommerce waves which have resulted from COVID-19 which businesses need to prepare for, including:

Wave 1: Consumer purchase behavior will switch from brick-and-motor retail outlets to online purchasing due to lock down regulations in place. During this stage businesses will need to move quickly to transition their strategy to online platforms. Within the first category grocery, liquor healthcare, home maintenance and reactional activities will see a strong demand as consumers begin to prepare for the lockdown.

Wave 2: Growth in online due to changes in buyer behavior, the second stage apparel and footwear will increase in demand. KPMG state that during this stage consumer confidence begins to recover and consumers are willing to spend. Online retailers will begin to profit from this trend hence businesses need to be prepared to take advantage of this especially the retail sector.

According to Insider Retail, the pandemic has affected more than 60 percent of Australian businesses, with retail and hospitality industries being the hardest hit. However, during these times there are opportunities for businesses to take advantage to ensure they don’t loose their position in the market.

So what is the Sliver-lining

Leading firm KPMG state that 5.9 percent of Australian sales were contributed by e-commerce, in 2019 this increased to 7.2 percent and with the implemented lock down rules this trend is likely to rise due to strong consumer engagement in online.

Australian department store, Myer is a retailer benefitting from their e-commerce platform and online promotional strategy. The retailer saw an 800 percent increase in online sales during the Easter period, which has led to employing 2000 employees to cope with the high level of demand. Another initiative Myer has implemented to drive online sales includes lowering the threshold for free delivery to $49 and have also relaxed the company’s return policy during this time.

Other initiatives retailers have implemented to increase online sales include promotional discounts online, click-and-collect, marketplace presence, buy-now-pay later, interest free, free delivery. These are all tactics which retailers are incorporating into their strategies to take advantage of the situation and increase online sales.

If you don’t currently have an online presence or strategy for your business now might be the time to cease the opportunity and start having the conversation to get the ball rolling.