E-commerce emerges with fundamental shift in its operations amid Covid
According to GlobalData, a London-based data analytics firm, the coronavirus pandemic will accelerate the growth of India's e-commerce market, pushing it to ₹7 trillion by 2023. As consumers increasingly shift to online spending to avoid exposure to disease vectors such as cash and point of sale (POS) terminals, e-commerce payments are set to record a steep increase of 25.9 per cent in 2020. (source: livemint.com)
To increase the efficiency in operations e-commerce companies have revived their strategies and are competing with the established players in the market. Many physical stores have redirected them towards providing online services for essential and non-essential products and are gaining traction amid covid crisis. Some of the other ways by means of which e-commerce companies are exploring the current market opportunities include –
Going Digital-There are several traditional e-commerce businesses which have online presence just for the sake of it. Such businesses are making gradual shifts to digital in order to survive in the market. While the imposed lockdown and the rapid spread of the pandemic have instilled fear in the minds of the consumers, physical stores are hardly seeing consumers visits to their shops. While businesses are going digital, many offline stores which lacked visibility are now coming int the picture and are being easily accessible to the customers. Many established brands have also understood the seriousness of the situation and are re-aligning their business objectives and making online appearances more than ever. With updated product stocks, fast deliveries and ease-of-payments, they are staying ahead of the game.
Revamping Business Models- While many major brands are completely shifting to online mode of business, many physical businesses are starting to bring in newer, innovative, tech-friendly and cost-effective business models. For example, many food outlets and cafes are thinking of shutting down their physical stores and expand convenience-led-formats like mobile-only pickup locations and so on to meet changing consumer habits. Offline stores too are aiming at strengthening their online presence at the moment.
Connecting with Consumers, virtually- Since travelling is not a wise option now, many services businesses like doctor appointments, lawyer consultation are switching to virtual appointments and consultations. This way they are retaining their credibility and harness their virtual presence to connect authentically with their targeted audiences, no matter where they are in the world.
Data Privacy is Critical- In the wake of lockdown and its restrictions, cyberspace has become the new sphere of action. Officials are leaving no stone unturned to shield digital access, preserve data privacy and control the repercussions of the monopoly of digital market places. Proper regulation of digital infrastructure will elevate the success of e-commerce in any country. To support this, the Government has introduced a policy to initiate establishment of a regulator in the e-commerce market.
Despite the life-taking threats that Covid-19 has exposed businesses to, it has also redefined the concept of ‘Survival of the Fittest’. e-commerce is one of those industry domains that have thoughtfully molded its functioning based on the new market conditions. It is exemplary how the e-commerce companies are constantly on their toes to have a fresh beginning with new strategies to stay ahead of the curve.