In the United States, retail stores have been closing for several years, in a phenomenon known as the “retailers’ holocaust.” Meanwhile, e-commerce continues to rise. However, it is still far from representing the majority of total sales. Many people still refuse to migrate to this trend.
However, due to health contingency, this situation is radically changing. Social distancing measures now push people to change their consumption habits more quickly.
Without a doubt, people’s behavior is changing. Online sales soar and remote work are normalized. Netflix had the highest growth in its history in this first half. The presence of the coronavirus only drives a transformation that was already happening.
For some companies, e-commerce was of little relevance, but now it is the only sales channel they have. Stores that sell essential products have benefited the most. However, clothing stores have also seen a significant increase in sales. Whether this will transform consumption habits is still not so clear.
Due to the COVID crisis, there is a drop in consumption. On the other hand, there is a more intense digital migration that is testing consumption in e-commerce, which is the only channel now available.
If the shopping experience is good through these channels, this trend will continue.
Currently, there are 3 types of companies: (i) those that already have electronic commerce and are seeing their results increase, (ii) those that do not have electronic commerce but have the money to set it up, and (iii) and those that do not have commerce electronic or money.
Let’s start with the last ones, maybe they will resist a little more, but in the end, they will have to close.
On the first two, they have to invest a lot because the expected level of service will be greater than that of an Amazon. One of the big risks right now is arrogance. If you think that your e-commerce strategy has worked wonders in recent years, you will not be able to see the potential it has to continue increasing. Selling online is not just having an online store. Now everything works because there is despair. People wait up to five days to receive their groceries because they have no other choice.
Doing a good e-commerce operation is much more than just e-commerce and requires major changes in terms of strategy, marketing, operation, etc. When stores reopen, they will require integration between physical and digital stores, a strategy known as omnichannel. And aware that e-commerce and digital channels aren’t just for products, they’re also migrating services like gyms and education.
The trend points to these transformations, but both consumers and merchants will need to adapt to these changes.