How Is COVID-19 Shifting the E-Commerce Industry?
The current pandemic is a hard time for every industry and company but not for the e-commerce business. Due to the lockdown and quarantine, people are ready to purchase via online stores rather than going outside, and these services mainly help the elderly and immune-comprised people who can’t afford to go out at this point of time. Not only them, but most of the people are also opting for online grocery services, and this signifies the sudden shift in customer behaviour.
Recent studies showed that about 33 per cent experienced ordering of the groceries online for the first time in the middle of the pandemic and some of them expressed to continue to do the same even after the quarantine. So there will be an increased demand in the e-commerce services even after the lockdown.
But right now, the e-commerce companies face problems like running out of stock and sold out groceries. Even a company like Amazon is not taking up new orders unless they delivery all the existing orders so that it won’t overwhelm the system and the workers. Amazon has increased its investment and salaries of workers for their maximum attempt to deliver products in the middle of a pandemic.
Now, we can say that the e-commerce companies are more in demand than ever, and it is likely to continue this way at a certain rate even after the quarantine. But the real question, are e-commerce companies prepared for this kind of demand and investment? The continuous demand leads to resource exhaustion, and also employee exhaustion and these companies should be fully-equipped for what’s going to come.
The Increased Demand for E-Commerce
First, let us talk about the good things happening to the e-commerce sector in the middle of a global crisis. The demand has been tremendously increased globally, and if the companies are prepared to supply for this demand, then it is a goldmine. But, we need to understand that the demand for groceries and medical supplies has increased. Still, other supplies are not taken into consideration because they are so overwhelmed with the essential supplies.
This shows that only some categories of online shopping have increased like sanitizers, utilities, medicines and grocery supplies but other recreational things such as electronics, travel goodies or clothes have no-demand. Therefore, people who were buying groceries and necessary items from the supermarkets now order from the online overcoming their scepticism. Now it creates trust between the e-commerce company and the customers to order essential supplies from online even after the lockdown. If those E-commerce companies learn to create a trust-worthy relationship with the customer in this pandemic, then they will gain loyal consumers for a lifetime.
Can Online Stores Handle these Demands?
In this pandemic, we have experienced supermarkets not having all the necessary groceries we need and tried to purchase online, but how many of us succeeded? Many can’t get their hands on the essential things online because of the limited delivery slots.
Even big companies like Amazon only delivery essential items in the middle of the pandemic and stopped supply of regular products. All big e-commerce companies are doing their best to supply for everyone in this crazy demand since the epidemic was all of a sudden, and they didn’t have many resources to prepare themselves for this stipulate. But, with the data gathered, we can say that these e-commerce companies are not fully-equipped and need a massive change in the infrastructure and the system to fulfil these demands in the future.
What Can Be Done?
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the problems in the E-commerce app structures and functions came into the light. Here’s how companies can improve their web pages or mobile applications.
One specific problem is the shortage of delivery slots. But, it can be fixed by introducing systems that allow the whole community of people to order groceries together instead of ordering separately. This will reduce the load on the company and also delivery workers. It would be handy if there’s an option like community deliveries on the website so people can order groceries individually, but those deliveries come together.
Another problem is wasting the time of the customers. A consumer might spend at least half an hour searching for the products and adding them to the cart, and when they click order now, they are faced with delivery slot problem and could not order the products. Instead, by using customer’s information such as pin code and address these companies can right away send alerts or notifications whether they are eligible for the delivery or not. It saves a lot of time for both the company and the consumers.
Anything positive out of this pandemic is the demand for E-commerce companies. If these companies provide proper services to people by improving their applications, building trust, providing accessible customer services and support, then they can definitely cater to that demand and create good ROI without exhausting the entire system.
Monish Sinthala is the CEO of Pyramidion Solutions which is a well-renowned mobile app development company and experts in coming up with exceptional mobile application solutions based on the market demands and client’s needs.