As retail businesses around the world struggle with the impact of the strong measures of social distancing, quarantines and the forced closure of brick-and-mortar locations, those businesses that have adapted, and are able to provide online options for sales, are managing to stem the damages to their businesses. This rise of retail e-commerce is not unexpected, though the ability to adapt quickly is shaping the retail landscape that will be the reality in a post-pandemic world. Insightful business operators are working hard to provide their retail catalogs to online customers, and are developing their e-commerce frameworks in earnest to ensure they are available to online shoppers. Those businesses who are unwilling, or unable to offer online services, are finding themselves caught in the quagmire of government measures, changing customer habits, and ultimately – lost business.
“Nobody was prepared for a worldwide pandemic crisis that would disrupt the whole system, but what we have seen is changing customer habits.” according to Hani Weiss, the CEO of Majid Al Futtaim Retail.
Some retailers are offering ‘curb side pickup’, to ensure that all options are available to customers, and of course, providing options for struggling businesses to continue to serve their customers. This “click and pick” option is not a new concept, but the current pandemic has forced retailers to move quickly to adapt to new realities, and find solutions to ensure they limit the impact to their bottom line.
Many companies have seen a dramatic decrease in physical store sales due to limitations on travel, forced closure, or customers’ fear of being around others in public. Those who have been able to adapt quickly, and scale-up their e-commerce offerings have seen a similarly dramatic increase in online sales, however, indicating an obvious and expected change in consumer behavior in light of the current situation. This is helping to offset losses to many businesses, and is likely to shape the businesses future operations as well.
As consumers increasingly rely on digital commerce, there is a great likelihood they will begin to appreciate the convenience and simplicity of such methods, and there is a reasonable expectation that this will continue in a post-pandemic marketplace.
Businesses will be wise to move forward quickly to increase their online offerings, not only to survive the current situation, but in preparation for a continued trend to online shopping that will follow when the world returns to a more ‘normal’ manner of doing business.
There are great opportunities for businesses to take advantage of the time available today, and ensure they enhance or develop a comprehensive e-commerce strategy that will complement and lead their strategic direction for the years to come.
If you have any questions about how Effentiicorp can help you, we would be happy to chat with out about your goals, and the solutions available to assist you move your business forward and find the greatest success for the future – get in touch!