The novel coronavirus COVID-19 that emerged in Wuhan, China has impacted our lives. These impacts can be seen in every field from every day shopping to working. With lockdowns and other precautions, more and more people are staying at home. And more and more people are doing online shopping even for basic goods. Well, did this epidemic change our perception about online shopping? How can brands utilise new online shopping habits to increase their brand visibility?
Online Shopping Behaviours Before Coronavirus
Global e-commerce have generates $3.5 trillion sales which represents the 14% of the entire global retail sales. When these numbers are considered, the market volume is huge. Especially with the increasing mobile device use, people are shopping online more than ever.
A research by Statista showed that %20 of online shoppers shop once a week, 24% shop once in every 2 weeks, 31% shops once in a month, 15% shops 3-4 times per quarter and 10% shops once in every 3 months. The online shopping was already popular before the coronavirus.
Fast delivery, delivery to door, finding the best prices were some of the perks of e-commerce. Also, consumers can order any brand they want from anywhere around the world. This ease of shopping increased the demand in this sector.
How Coronavirus Influences Our Shopping Behaviours?
When the coronavirus came, no one was ready. This includes the retailers, e-commerce websites as well as brick-and-mortar stores. In general, all shops have inventory for regular sales rates. But the coronavirus pandemic changed the entire product demand.
One of the biggest issues with coronavirus was panic buying. Everyone around the world rushed to physical stores or online stores to buy the basic products. The panic buying naturally created a problem in the supply chain.
In terms of online stores, there were problems with inventory and delivery. The e-commerce websites were not ready for the increase in demand. Therefore, there has been shortages and late deliveries.
Change in Priorities
Coronavirus surely changed our priorities. Now, we are more careful about the ingredients of the food products, the hygiene level and other important things. The pandemic also changed how we choose products.
A recent survey show that availability, price and quality of the products are more important than quality, price and brand of the product. Since the panic buying cause a serious problem in terms of availability, consumers tend to disregard the brand in this period.
Retailers and Online Shopping
As the time passed, retails adapted to the new conditions. Now, online shopping is a better alternative than physical stores for couple of reasons.
- Online shopping enables contactless payment without touching the physical money.
- Online shopping eliminates the problem of availability – which could be a serious issue in physical stores as we have seen in panic buying.
- Online shopping provides seamless delivery processes without any contact.
- Consumers can rapidly access the products they need without going out – which is important for social distancing and minimising the contact with the coronavirus.
While there were some problems in online shopping at the beginning of COVID-19 pandemic, these problems seem to be no longer available. The retailers and e-commerce stores adapted to the changing situation and continue their sales. In return, consumers can have a seamless online shopping experience by feeling safe at home.