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Why ecommerce makes sense post Covid 19 pandemic?

Amidst slowing global economy, 2020 began with the promise of reviving global consumption growth, however, soon the world was hit by the COVID 19 pandemic. Goes without saying that the global lockdowns, travel restrictions and social distancing became the need of the hour. Though the initial reaction was of hope and optimism, soon the world realised that that it will take a very long fight to tide over the Pandemic. Continuous lock downs and the social restrictions across the world has put the global economy and consumption under a deep slumber. The pandemic has already forced a change in buying behaviour of millions if not billions of consumers across the globe for a range of categories. The Pandemic and its global fightback have challenged the retailers, organisations and consumers in ways that were unimaginable just a few months ago. As the needs of the consumers shifted world over, the organisations, brands and the retailers alike are struggling to keep up with the consumer expectations. It is amongst this gloom that E-Commerce has stood as a beacon of hope and a saviour for everybody. The pandemic is rapidly changing our behaviour towards online channels. Regardless the shift in consumer demand towards essentials, all categories are moving online for good. E-Commerce has never made more sense than now for so many.

The Ecommerce Journey in India

About 30 Years ago internet was first made available to the public in 1991; since then thousands of businesses have taken up residence at the world wide web. History of e-Commerce is unthinkable without Amazon and eBay which, in mid 90’s, were among the first Internet companies to allow electronic transactions. Thanks to their founders we now have a handsome e-Commerce sector to enjoy the boundless trade over internet.It was only by 2002 that IRCTC in India introduced the online reservation system over internet, people started using internet for doing things that were out of their physical reach. Indian e-Commerce got its first steppingstone when two engineers from IIT Delhi came up with the plan of selling books online by creating Flipkart. Just a decade later, thanks to the growing

internet penetration powered by the cheapest data across the world and proliferation of smart phones, India had a thriving e-commerce sector. Suddenly, every small or large business were setting their foot on e-Commerce for increasing their business. Over the years, E-Commerce in India has shown an impressive CAGR of over 25% across all sectors. Unarguably, India has emerged as the powerhouse of e-Commerce, which will only see growth in the times to come.

Just in case you may still have some doubts about e-Commerce, allow us a moment to explain why you should be online

Why should you go online ?

  • Shoppers Start Online The use of digital channels keeps increasing. 62% of shoppers begin product searches on digital channels. Even if they may end up buying from a physical store, shoppers are more likely to start their search online, especially on marketplaces like Amazon & Flipkart.
    Shoppers research online for a variety of reasons to compare prices, compare brands, search customer reviews, check availability, and more. The only way to ensure potential shoppers find your products is to have an online presence. Even if it’s just to check store hours or locations, it’s important that customers find the information they’re looking for. You always want to be present where your first customers are shopping, and evidence points to online search.
  • Get off the Ground Quickly Unlike traditional retail, your eCommerce store can be up and running in just a few clicks (if you’re looking for a basic store.) eCommerce platforms like Shopify, BigCommerce, and Squarespace use pre-made templates to create your store.
    You don’t need deep technical or eCommerce knowledge to have a professional website up and running in just an afternoon. You can get off the ground quickly with eCommerce solutions, especially if you’ve already created word of mouth or a social following to tap into. You can quickly get a site up and running and then drive traffic to your new site.
    Moreover, Marketplaces like Amazon or eBay just require you to set up an account before you start selling.
  • Get off the Ground Quickly: Unlike traditional retail, your eCommerce store can be up and running in just a few clicks (if you’re looking for a basic store.) eCommerce platforms like Shopify, BigCommerce, and Squarespace use pre-made templates to create your store.
    You don’t need deep technical or eCommerce knowledge to have a professional website up and running in just an afternoon. You can get off the ground quickly with eCommerce solutions, especially if you’ve already created word of mouth or a social following to tap into. You can quickly get a site up and running and then drive traffic to your new site.
    Moreover, Marketplaces like Amazon or eBay just require you to set up an account before you start selling.
  • Low Cost When you are just starting to sell, e-Commerce helps you to avoid many of the large and upfront investments that a traditional retailer may incur – like a physical storefront, inventory, or payroll. Just by listing your products in online marketplaces such as, Amazon /Flipkart, you can easily generate sales while having a handsome margin in no time.
  • Data Insights The great advantage of selling online is the ease with which you can collect, compare and act on data insights that you get from online marketplaces. Online selling lets you collect first-hand data by tracking customer interactions. You will have a near real-time data with actionable insights to improve your customer’s personal experience.
  • Build New Customer Base By being online, you can always come up with innovative ideas to reach new shoppers. An online site can also help you reach international shoppers and social sites can help reach new demographics. The best part is that you can also use a mix of online touchpoints to engage multiple audiences at once. Unlike brick and mortar stores, now you can reach someone online that you could not before./span>
  • Content Marketing Strategy All the online marketplaces and sites allow you to provide more and descriptive information about your products to your customers.
    The digital content includes brief product descriptions, product comparisons, in-store inventory availability, and pricing. This information helps a customer to make buying decisions. You can also provide more information about how to use your products. Blog posts and commercial videos can also provide helpful content
  • Sell Where Customers Are Most Likely To Buy Shoppers do not just research online about the uses and advantages of products, they also buy form marketplaces like amazon. e-Commerce allows the customers to buy, no matter where they are. Shoppers can buy from Instagram Ads, webstore applications, and more. Sell where your customers are more likely to buy. If most of your customers shop online, then you should be selling online!

2020 Done. Where are we heading now?

So, have you decided to join the e-Commerce revolution? If not, you are missing out on the projected $4.8 trillion in retail e-Commerce sales projected worldwide for 2021. Prepare yourself and your business for the exciting future in online selling. Here we have picked up 5 trends for you that may help you in succeeding online.

  • More Ways To Pay-Frictionless Checkouts Customers are also expecting more and better payment options for online shopping. For example, when shopping from an overseas business they may expect to be able to buy using their preferred local payment provider.
    Additionally, customers are used to the ease of shopping on big online retailers like Amazon and Flipkart that support all the available payment options. They save the customers’ billing and shipping information to make for a fast and easy checkout experience without a lot of data entry. E-commerce websites are increasingly using payment options like Apple Pay, Samsung Pay, Paypal, UPI and other financing options that enable a a secure and frictionless checkout.
  • Selling Of Second Hand Or Refurbished As we move further with advancement of eCommerce, in upcoming years second hand or re-furbished goods will have more demand on niche markets, large e-Commerce platforms and social media marketplaces. This trend will lead to increased sustainability and attaining products with less money. Electronics, including smartphones, is estimated to have 25% share in the organised part of the refurbished market.
    But before going forward with this trend, you need to think about whether the customers will buy used items that you are selling, how you will restore the used or returned items and the ratio of cost of refurbishing used items vs the price you will get after selling those items. But in the end, it all depends on what you sell and who all will be your potential customers.
  • Real Time Conversations, AI & Chatbots To provide an enhanced e-Commerce customer experience you need to introduce conversational marketing, chatbots and AI in your online store. As per the latest research by Hubspot, 48% of consumers would rather connect with a company via live chat than any other mean of contact according to Hubspot, and 35% of consumers want to see more companies using chatbots. AI Assistants can handle multiple queries and perform tasks like humans do. They can also help in managing inventories and fulfilling customer service needs. These digital assistants will help in freeing up you lots of time, so you can keep your focus on other tasks at hand.
  • On-Site Personalization Marketplace and Brands are leveraging AI to gather information about their visitors and then help customise the site to their wants and needs. Humans value experiences and products that have been tailored to them. For e.g. analysing visitor searches will tell you if the visitor is single or having a partner or whether He/ She has a son or a daughter. The marketplace can now offer him customised offerings.
    Implementing personalized experiences on-site or in marketing efforts has been shown to have a strong effect on revenue, with one Gartner study finding it had a 25% revenue lift. Recent data also shows personalization efforts can reduce bounce rates by 45%.
  • Home Assistants and Voice Recognition Systems With the advancements in technology, searching and buying a product online with voice commands rather than using keyboards and touchpads is becoming more common. Voice assistant will help in placing the order for your customers and will suggest products according to their taste using the customer’s previous search history. It will also consider the popular products to give you a better and curated suggestion list. The process doesn’t end here, it can also track order, when it is arriving, and it will also check with the retailer to confirm the delivery rate.
    Amazon’s Echo, Google’s Home, and Apple’s HomePod will drive the industry forward, leaving e-Commerce brands with the task of moving into those new channels with voice-savvy customer experiences. Launching an Alexa Skill in your business is currently the easiest (and best) way into the smart home assistant market.
  • E-Commerce Goes Vernacular The continuous lockdown, need for social distancing and the Pandemic related restrictions have forced millions of new consumers go online. So, who are your new buyers? Your new buyer is from most likely from a tier 2 city, is most likely non-English speaking, may be an elderly. The ecommerce needs to be ready for him. He needs content in local language. We expect language localisation to be the key trend for the times to come. Not only this the elderly will expect you to invest in next level platforms which include voice searches, AR/VR, language capabilities.

Conclusion

Being online and setting up your online webstore will give you a competitive edge against those who still are using traditional retail to grow their business. In this age of advancements, customers are looking easiest ways to get what they need. Moreover, in the times of COVID gloom it appears to be our only hope and our only chance. Join now if you have not.

NuvoRetail have been helping us with our online business and improving our presence on various marketplaces such as Amazon, Flipkart, etc. We find the team to be professional and they have kept up with their commitments. They have been a help in increasing our product visibility and discoverability across platforms while managing ACOS within the committed levels. The dashboards produced by them are extremely insightful and help us make the right decisions at the right time.

Cereal brand