The entire world is affected by the Covid19 pandemic since February 2020. Large as well as small scale industries have been shut down owing to the lockdown imposed by countries that have led to a huge drop in the global economy. The United Nations estimated that this pandemic can cost the global economy close to 2 trillion dollars.
This global outbreak has adversely affected business models and supply chain networks across the globe. Even the e-commerce sector has seen some unexpected buying patterns from the customers. The fear of this global pandemic has led to panic buying and people are hoarding essential goods with the intention of stocking up in order to sustain during this crisis.
Organizations have allowed their employees to work from home, which has led to a boost in in-home consumption. There is a high demand for personal hygiene products like hand sanitizers, floor cleaners, wet wipes, toilet papers, etc. Since the government has imposed a lockdown on malls and multiplexes to prevent social gatherings, people are buying groceries and other essentials online.
Due to this sudden spike in demand, online stores are finding it difficult to fulfill orders. The need for certain products has also led to an exponential increase in their prices. The closure of factories in many countries has hampered the supply chain, thereby creating an added pressure on the retailers. However, many retailers have slowly started to improvise their strategies in order to meet the growing demand for essential goods amidst this pandemic.
Covid19 has created a paradigm shift in consumer behavior. People have understood that this virus is going to be there even in the second half of 2020 and they have to learn to live with this reality. They have accepted a simple lifestyle and are sticking to the basics in order to sustain in the long run. People who used to stand in long queues at grocery stores before this crisis have understood the importance and benefits of online shopping and are likely to stick to it even in the future.
Prior to this pandemic, traditional retailers were focusing more on driving traffic to their physical stores rather than to the online ones. However, due to the increased dependency on online shopping, retailers would now need to concentrate more on developing their online presence in order to meet the growing demand. Personalized engagement will play an important role, especially with respect to essential commodities like personal care items and groceries as consumers seek increased communication and trust about the quality of these products.
When it comes to online shopping, people still fear of contracting the virus through the packages delivered to them. However, there is a very low possibility of such a contraction. According to the Centre For Disease Control (CDC), there is a rare possibility of the virus spreading from products or packages that have been in shipment for at least several days and did not come into contact with any sources of contamination after packaging.
The World Health Organization states on their website that the likelihood of an infected person contaminating commercial goods is low and the risk of catching the virus that causes COVID-19 from a package that has been moved, traveled, and exposed to different conditions and temperature is also low. If retailers are willing to take added caution like sanitizing the packages before delivery, ensuring that their deliverymen wear gloves and masks all the time and monitoring the smallest changes in their health, then it will be easy for people to trust this delivery system.
Though this pandemic has wreaked havoc across the globe, it has created an opportunity for e-commerce platforms to improvise their business strategies and mould themselves according to the current scenarios. In the end, the success of your business depends on how you adapt to the changing world around you and do the best with what you have.