For the last 8 weeks, the whole world is down on its knees due to a Coronavirus named COVID 19. Almost 170 countries of the world are in complete lockdown. The impending COVID 19 market crisis brings a lot of challenges for the businesses. But nothing is absolute in this world and the same is the case with COVID 19 too. If you actually look at the stats, there is an increase in sales reported by many eCommerce businesses. You can clearly see some business growing amid COVID 19 leaving all the negativities aside.
What can we learn from these business growing amid COVID 19 crisis? Let’s find out…
In fact, the entire world may see it as a critical saturation point of a change in the human race. People are advised to maintain social distance and therefore social gatherings, malls, festivities, and live events will be thrown out of the window until we get a vaccine.
Don’t even doubt, it is going to create some dramatic changes in the world that we see today. The economy is already in a turbulent state and businesses are facing the wrath of a really hostile lockdown.
Even though lockdown has been lifted in some countries, it is still not going to help a lot due to the losses absorbed by the industries during the lockdown. Conditions might ease up a bit but it is far from normal and it will stay like that unless a vaccine is developed.
Business growing amid COVID 19 pandemic
To see your business growing amid COVID 19, you must prepare yourself for the worst-case scenario. Unfortunately, the worst-case scenario looks like the most probable one too. There is no vaccine ever developed for Coronavirus in the past.
For a better idea, we are yet to find a vaccine for the 2003 SARS virus and 2012 MERS virus even after 17 years of targeted research from many teams of biochemists in Europe, North America, and China. So you will be playing with the future of your business by assuming something which is less likely.
Without falling into an insinuation, you must prepare your business for the future. eCommerce is one of the most dominant business assets that has been showing giant leaps amid the lockdowns. So better than leaving the fate on vaccine researchers, you can rather adapt your business foreseeing the problems. Online business is a genuine solution which is growing amid COVID 19 market crisis. It is not the end of the world by any means.
Increase in eCommerce growth amid crisis
You can not assume that the influence of the Covid-19 virus on the market is completely negative. If you think so, you are oblivious to the success of online marketplaces growing amid COVID 19. There are always two sides to a coin and judging without taking the other side into consideration is not the most rational way to make decisions.
It is always mindful enough to observe it. People are accustomed to living their life in a certain way. Most of the business essentially formulated as a part of their lifestyle from groceries, hardware, household utilities, entertainment, healthcare products, medicines to electronic equipment.
Lockdown may have shut down the physical stores, local vendors, and shopping outlets. But people can’t survive without some essential needs of life. They are searching for options to purchase the necessary items. As of now, they do not have any option but to explore eCommerce.
- 20% growth rate in revenues this year from 12% in the first quarter of 2019.
- 16% growth rate of online traffic on eCommerce websites.
- 4% increase in average expenditure by a shopper per visit.
There is clearly an increase in the online sales reported in Shopping Index Revenues by Salesforce in the last month. So taking an optimistic overview of the market, any business can clearly see the opportunity to start the eCommerce website and expand the business outreach through online channels.
Online grocery stores
Source – Symphony Retail AI
When in-store shopping is unavailable, but people still need to fulfill the basic necessities such as groceries or medicines. So people were looking for options to make ends meet. This resulted in a massive jump in online grocery stores, both in terms of online sales and revenues.
Online sales of grocery in the United States exceeds $5 billion in the month of April. The total online sales of grocery stores in March were less than $4 billion which means an increase of 1$ billion in a month. A survey conducted by Symphony Retail AI along with Brick Meets Click shows some truly spectacular results in the performance of online grocery marketplaces.
Grocery stores observed a rise of 33.3% in the online sales of grocery in April. The number of grocery sales was 46.9 million in March which reached 62.5 million in April. If we view the average order size, there is just a slight growth in number from $82 in March, to $85 in April.
Medicine and Healthcare
While pandemic may be viewed as a crisis by some, but not for the medical and healthcare industry. Many people can probably find it obvious too. After all, medicines and healthcare are two vital assets in the fight against the COVID 19 pandemic.
Online sales of medicines, supplements, and healthcare products have been record-breaking from the month of February itself. There is an overall 52% hike in online sales. Something that is even more interesting is the increase of almost 9% in the number of online shoppers.
This data also shows us about the growing number of online shoppers even though physical pharmacy outlets were excluded from the lockdowns in almost every country. Apart from online sales, the aggregated number of online visits from the US alone was 5.5 billion on online medical and healthcare marketplaces between Feb and March.
Here is an account of an increase in sales of most selling medical and healthcare products…
- Masks – 590%
- Hand Sanitizers – 420%
- Disinfectants – 184%
- Gloves – 151%
- Vitamins – 78%
- Hand Wash – 33%
- Packaged water – 78%
Source – Quantummetric
Entertainment and Social Media Websites
Lockdown orders forced people to stay within their homes and it is obvious people look for entertainment to enjoy their time at home. Stats approve the same as there is a remarkable hike in viewers of top video streaming services all over the world.
In fact, not only the entertainment media but social media activities have also got a steep rise in average active time spent by users in April.
While staying in their homes, many people are taking the work of home improvements and modifications in their hands. This shows from the surprising hike in sales of relevant tools and products. What is more exciting about it is the fact that many of those traditional shoppers are trying eCommerce for the first time.
This is a great leap of faith among consumers which really helps online business growing amid COVID 19. Of the total online sales during the month of April, about 16% of shoppers are looking for such products which were just 6% in March.
Fashion and beauty stores
Souce – Digital Commerce 360
Online sales of apparels took a huge hit getting down to an all-time low during the initial few weeks of pandemic i.e. from last week of February to mid-march.
It was apparently one of those sectors which were unable to capitalize on eCommerce due to restrictions on online sales of non-essential products. Fashion and beauty products are not essential commodities.
But once the complete lockdown was changed into a partial lockdown, there is an incredible increase in sales of clothing and accessories. There are many clothing stores which are offering huge discounts on their products and this has also helped in its revival.
Online apparel sales have been down each week compared with the year-ago week from March 9 until the week of April 13, according to data from Rakuten Intelligence. But data shows online sales are climbing back up, with sales during the last three weeks of April showing growth after five straight weeks of declines.
Online sales of Wine and Alcohol beverages
Source – Adobe Analytics
Consumers are at a stage where they want to keep their minds occupied. Staying within close compounds is unsurprisingly boring and frustrating for people. A glass of wine or any other beverages becomes a more obvious choice for even occasional drinkers, let alone the routine drinkers.
As all bars and wine shops were shut, the chances of finding alcohol drinks were limited to online wine and alcohol marketplaces. To no one’s surprise, we can find a remarkable hike in online sales of wine and alcoholic beverages. There is a significant increase in online stores for wine and alcohal beverages which are clearly inspired by this huge success.
Challenges during COVID 19 Market Crisis
Source – McKensy Research
The market is dramatically distressed by the pandemic. While people are learning to cope with the virus, it is almost certain that consumers and businesses both need to foster some elementary changes to find a suitable solution. As there is a complete shutdown of brick and mortar stores, people are left with no options to look for other than eCommerce. Hence, the visitor turnaround is instantly thrusting eCommerce with ridiculously high demands.
To be specific, some industries are growing exponentially while others are fighting from fear of getting drowned. Out of such a hazy situation, it can be hopelessly difficult to deal with such challenges unless you analyze them under a bright light. Here are a few critical challenges business should keep in emphasis.
- Resolving the supply chain
- Adopt digital commerce and get immediate results
- Manage the manufacturing and productions
- Coordinate sales and marketing operations
- Cope with the lack of human resources
- Dealing with transport and shipment disruptions
- Innovate effective ways to deal with random issues
The right approach for business
COVID 19 Pandemic is a tide that is causing some disruptions. You should not overlook the fact that many business are overcoming the challenges with the right strategic approach and their ability to adapt. Successful businesses are always known for their ability to see the problems as opportunities. They foresee the problems and create solutions that people need.
Source – eMarketer
Businesses must not undermine consumer behaviour during the COVID 19 pandemic. We can already see a change in the approach of consumers towards shopping. While some business sectors are succumbing under the hostilities, there are those ones too which are ushering substantially in the same.
Hence, you should not see the world in blacks and whites. There are many different shades in the analysis of the impact of COVID 19. Yes, one thing is for sure, businesses need to change their way of work and they need to do it now because they don’t have much time.
To cope with the issues faced by businesses, there is a lot of things being offered by several giants brands of the online world such as Google ShoppingFacebook recently starting Facebook shopsand many other such initiatives by companies across the world.
Expectations from future
There is a considerably high chance that social distancing norms are staying with us for quite a while now. One has to be bizarrely illogical to put his business at risk in the hope of a miracle that somehow researchers come up with a vaccine. It is rather foolish to do since businesses do have options that are even proving successful for reviving many businesses.
Anyhow, we can stay confident that we will emerge out of the COVID 19 pandemic. When will it happen still remains to be seen? But even after all of this gets over, there are maximum chances that consumer behaviour will surely have a strong impression of these horrendous times. The best thing a business can do is to accept these changes and adapt to consumer behaviour in the current situation.
However, at some point, you need to take stock of your business plan and where it really needs to go next. Most businesses will only get one chance to set their footprint on eCommerce successfully. Wasting more time is just slimming the chances of survival for a business.
This is your chance to become successful to put a plan in place. Most of the successful businesses born out of such hardship. The only difference is they adapt and learn the ways to leverage a crisis as an opportunity.
People are and will need products and services, and what business needs to understand is consumers are buying the products differently and you have to adapt your operations to serve consumers at the place and way of shopping they choose. For now, it seems to be eCommerce that certainly raises our hopes.
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