Digital World after COVID-19: Shopping online
With COVID-19, the world has changed dramatically and will continue changing in the coming years. We must be ready. Global market changes set new terms and we are forced to meet them.
Today we have strict and clear rules. Lockdown, caused by Covid-19, has been making global adjustments not only to the present but also to the nearest future.
What do we have today?
For several months now, the whole world has been adapting to a new life in the face of constant constraints and forced measures. Some of them are already common things to us, but they now have stricter rules.
Online shopping is a way out of the quarantine situation with online stores and delivery provided. People while being on self-isolation are the perfect match to shop online. GQ reports, citing data from analytics firm Quantum Metric show that online stores revenue (clothes) is already 43% higher among US-based online retailers since the first week of January, and the average order value has risen of 26% during the same time frame. Gibbs also says he’s already seen the pendulum swing strongly in favour of online shopping.
Even in the digital era, most small online stores face problems, from accepting payments to continuous supplier work. The question of the proper organization of eCommerce is on the table.
Even business giants are facing such problems because of a sudden change of vector. For example, hypermarket Tesco has said at the end of March that online shoppers will have their deliveries capped at 80 items from now on.
What is awaiting us right after lockdown?
First of all, it’s a return back to normal. But there will be no time for re-adaptation during this period, the requirements will be stricter. Quarantine is a forced measure that in most cases is merciful to changes, for example, the work of an employee. But when the quarantine is over, the market will require a quick return to active work and strong competitiveness.
Based on the experience gained during the lockdown, new rules will be implemented even for routine life: focusing on the online vector will become a trend after COVID-19. Contactless provision of services and products is comfortable for buyers and cost-effective for the business. Online extends the reach of your potential customers and target audience.
These are just the first steps towards a new phase of global digitalization and eCommerce leadership in everyday life. They will be followed by investing in the automation of retail processes and the combined solution of online shopping and the actual one. One chain, one brand and one service system, but with different capabilities for the customer. This gives a merchant extra choice after being forced into the social distance. Although, during the lockdown, many people will keep the habit of shopping online.
A new level of digitization in the future
Digitalization of retail business has already begun, and every year the line between offline and online is getting even more blurry. Offline sales are not off the market yet, but the internet gives new opportunities to the stores.
Buyers have been changing too. They want more, better, faster and of course easier.
- in times of our usual routine going to the supermarket is an incredible luxury thing to afford because of the waste of time;
- the store should be as accessible as possible and at the same time have all the products from the buyer’s list;
- high-quality service and advising.
In today reality, these requirements are easier to meet through eCommerce:
- saving time on the trip to the store and no queues;
- all product categories in one place, as an option – by combining multiple stores into commercial platforms and marketplaces;
- payment systems with many benefits;
- online chat with consultants, product ratings, reviews;
- support and clients notifications about news, special offers, etc. through newsletters.
In the future, we expect a consistent transition exclusively to the online, the introduction of technologies that allow you to gradually drop physical interaction. Some companies have already introduced similar technologies, for example, Amazon, Postmates and 7-Eleven.
The stores of the future will soon be getting closer to those fantastic ideas that we see in sci-fi movies. Today they are no longer fiction. It’s like when we were surprised to see that a door was opened with a fingerprint in the Back to the Future movie. Today you will no more be surprised by such actions. Maybe cars not fly yet, but in a few years everything is possible.
Innovative ideas for the future:
- automation, such as recurring orders and delivery of specific goods on a regular basis;
- smart home appliances, for example, a smart refrigerator which generates a list of products to buy or integrates with fitness apps and adjusts the list of products to suit your diet;
- Tunnel Checkout to reduce the human factor in the purchase process, without having to even look for a barcode on product packaging;
- BOT Consulting and replacing the 24/7 shifts of online consultants;
- driverless cars for goods delivery.
Today some of them are not just an idea, but a product under development.
COVID-19 begins the gradual evolution of consumer processes. At first, we wanted to write a “revolution”, but after the pandemic is over, we will gladly return to normal life. But the experience during the last months will begin making active changes in our mindset and actions.