We have, for a number of years, seen a growing trend towards online shopping. With online stores stocking an increased number of products, offering exclusive deals, and allowing people to choose when their items will be delivered, online shopping has become a crucial part of many people’s lives because it fits with their hectic schedules.
However, in this new era of coronavirus-necessitated lockdown, when millions upon millions have been confined to their homes, online shopping has become more than simply an efficient shopping method: it is now crucial to guaranteeing survival.
With nearly all shops having been forced to close their doors, those that are to survive have discovered that they will, very quickly, have to adopt new means of operation. Even those that have previously had a robust online presence have had to update their offering not only to ensure that their consumers are able to get hold of products that they would otherwise be unable to purchase, but to sell enough to make sure that the business can survive moving forwards.
Digital transformation is, quite simply, not just a forward-thinking approach to retail; it is going to be the difference between a business’ survival and its need to call in the administrators.
Delivering on promises
We are living through very unusual times. Nearly everyone’s daily routine has been massively altered; distractions are few and far between, boredom is quick to set in, and sleeping patterns have been massively altered for many as a result.
For online retailers, this period of confinement has heaped additional pressure upon their shoulders; people are making internet purchases, and they are then expecting them to be delivered quickly. In the past people would have, generally speaking, been willing to let a few days go by before expecting an item to arrive – if they wanted it quickly, after all, they could have just stepped outside and gone to the nearest store. That option does not, of course, exist right now, and so online retailers are not only having to contend with increased levels of activity, but also altered consumer expectations.
As a consequence, this means that digital transformation will occur across the board, with nearly all retailers looking to embrace efficiencies, make their approaches more effective, get products out to customers quickly, and also increase communications to keep consumers in the loop across the entire sales process.
Companies are now being forced to completely overhaul their digital presence. They are having to make better use of data, introduce increasingly advanced algorithms, and will be looking at renovating their websites so as to make shopping as simple and intuitive as possible.
Research suggests that in the last four weeks there has been a staggering 74 percent increase in eCommerce sales, and though this will of course dip again once stores start to reopen, it is almost certain that the purchasing habits forged during this period of confinement will remain to some degree. Those businesses that have managed to navigate the tricky waters of coronavirus will, without doubt, put themselves in a far better position to flourish going forward.