ONLINE RETAIL TRENDS DURING AND AFTER COVID 19
With the ongoing coronavirus outbreak, many governments imposed ‘Stay-at-Home’ measures in order to maintain social distancing. These measures have resulted in the closure of the majority of retail stores.
The pandemic has also brought the retail industry to a confusing yet strange crossroads- a decision between the ‘needs’ and ‘wants.’ Due to COVID 19, the only option is related to basic necessities. From delays in supply to slowing industrial growth, the year might not be too bright for retailers.
According to many surveys and reports, the home confinement has increased the traffic on online retail. In regards to economic forecasts, the retailers have come up with the conclusion that online retail trends are uncertain. As a result, the majority of retailers don’t have much idea how it would work and even what might work.
Specifically referring to the report by eCommerce trends during COVID 19, at the very beginning phase of the ‘Stay-at-Home’ measures, there was an increase of 61% of online retail trends within the week.
The online retail trends have been facing major changes during the global COVID 19 outbreak. As per forecasts, these major changes would develop more post-pandemic. In order to give a clear understanding of the current as well as after online retail trends, we have penned down a brief comparison for it.
1. An inflow of online shopping
As we mentioned earlier, during the midst of the coronavirus outbreak, the inflow of online shopping has been increased by 61% within a week. If we see the traditional business is almost completely on the verge of shutting down. The majority are shifting their business online in order to cope up with the other online retail trends.
One major factor for the majority of the increase in online retail was panic buying. As due to sudden ‘Stay-at-home’ measures, panic buying of necessary household goods had become a trend. Eventually, this led to a shortage. From switching from supermarkets to malls to online retail for basic commodities, the sales of eCommerce companies have increased.
Post-pandemic you might not see panic buying but there would be a rise in inflow of online retail trends in order to make a purchase.
2. Building Digital Customer Experience
The major increase in the crowd in online retail has come up to a point where plenty of sellers are offering similar or we say identical goods and services. But what makes each of them different and helps them stand out is the high-quality customer experience.
You might find high-quality customer experience by some of the online retail which helps the prospective customers to differentiate. This online retail trend is developing every day. Some online retail is possible to cover major digital customer experiences like streamlined payment options, quality support, etc.
Post-pandemic, this online retail trend would be making the customer’s experiences better. As making goods and services available with few clicks and satisfaction at best, the online trend would attract more customers.
3. A shift towards essential goods
The time when the retail industry was confused regarding the decision between the ‘needs’ and ‘wants’, majority of retailers made their way towards selling essential goods. Currently, this online retail trend is developing. Some industries might have faced a loss, while some have faced a huge loss that they would not be able to come back to the market.
But after the pandemic, if everyone would be selling essential goods, this online retail trend would take a dive in the market.
4. Marketing and Communications
With this online retail trend, the major businesses are taking the road to the eCommerce market which has led to rise in online marketing and communications. Due to this, the majority of retailers had to make changes as per the environment.
During the pandemic outbreak, the customers had several questions like:
- Has the retailer started accepting online orders?
- What is the duration of delivering the order?
- What safety measures have been taken?
- In the case of perishable goods, the stock is fresh or old?
The list goes on and on. Due to numerous questions like these, the online retail trends took a step in order to make the communications better. Post-pandemic, the current list of basic questions would decrease as most of the communication until that time would be resolved.
5. Beginning of Omnichannel Retailing
The major online retail trend is Omnichannel retailing. At some point in business life, people will want to move on from buying essential goods only. They would look for a bit more.
During the pandemic, the other online retail trends would rise, but in the near future, there would be customers who will venture out to shop offline. In this scenario, omnichannel retailing opens up a door full of opportunities. Also,just not old customers but also new potential customers.
With this, you may start making an online presence, but also operate shops. Instead of going for your own website, start selling on marketplaces like Amazon,Walmart etc. This would take off extra worry from our shoulder about delivery of the goods.
While you start making a way to eCommerce marketplaces, you might not have enough reach and customers. In that case, existing offline customers would be a way to move further. Later, the existing offline customers would gladly make a way to your online retail store.
6. Social Media is the key to Analyzing trends
Social media plays an important aspect in analyzing trends as forecasting things during a pandemic is indeed foggy. No one can predict accurately what might happen next or which strategy would work during this time.
Hence, keeping a close check on social media platforms would help online retail to understand and analyze upcoming trends. Post-pandemic, social media would help to make sure the strategies are revised as per the ongoing trend.
You might have a question in regard to what’s next? Predicting after the pandemic situation is never accurate. As some might like continuing with online retail trends, while some would like to shift back to the offline market trends.
Some might be wondering that “will it be safe” or “everything would get just fine after lockdown”. There is the least possibility that everything would be normal as they were pre-pandemic. With that in mind, there would be some online retail trends that would bein function and some would end as the pandemic ends.