The spread of the COVID-19 pandemic worldwide has disrupted how people consume goods and services and how e-commerce is viewed. The country has been tipped towards e-commerce by the uniform lockdown rules across India and the increasing reluctance among consumers to go outside and shop for essential goods.
Consumers have moved to online outlets to purchase items ranging from necessities to packaged goods from stores, supermarkets, and shopping malls.
Analyzing the first e-commerce impact
COVID-19 was uniquely different from what we had ever seen. It is fair to say that e-commerce was the saving grace as the world was plunged into a complete shutdown, helping millions of people stay home and procure at their doorstep what they needed.
The market opportunities for online commerce in India are estimated to cross $200 billion by 2026 from $30 billion in 2017, according to IBEF. The report also notes that it is estimated that the Indian e-commerce industry will surpass its US counterpart to become the world’s second-largest e-commerce sector by 2034.
Business data platform Statista reported that, depending on the market, the consumer retail segment is expected to see an increase in losses of between 3-23 percent. The study also estimated that the nation’s average retail e-commerce revenue per customer was $50 as of 2018, projected to rise to $75 by 2024.
Lack of efficiency during the national lockdown resulted in the loss of jobs, wage cuts, and finances at the downside of things. The shutdown of stores and family-based firms has forced many individuals to swing towards online shopping to meet their financial requirements.
Optimization for the ‘fresh standard’ of your e-commerce sector
More than only getting a brand name and selling goods online, e-commerce requires It is essential to identify the right target demographic, product niche and communicate with your customers because it enables you to minimize unnecessary expenses and deliver goods that are most relevant consumer base.
The initial steps taken to build and launch your store will pay for your company’s growth. Since there is no face-to-face contact with the purchaser in terms of price, items, and deals, you have to compete with other online stores to stay competitive. As people’s buying behavior is shifting due to digitization, before you think about performance, there are different factors to answer.
Stuff to remember before your e-commerce company is set up:
Since the pandemic has made online shopping popular, you may have a distinct advantage over others by offering niche items that are not available at other online shops. Having a niche product portfolio reduces the costs incurred and provides you with an advantage over your generic rivals. Also, by filtering out your market, you will find parts that your rivals have not tapped into.
There must be a defined inventory blueprint to cope with the sudden increase in demand for goods and services in the country. Getting the correct inventory blueprint makes all your orders simpler for you to store, arrange, summarise, and monitor. There are built-in e-commerce platforms that allow you to manage inventory effectively as well.
Significant consideration should be given to the possibility of RTO (Return To Origin) orders and the costs incurred by them. RTO costs can be high in cash-on-delivery orders because the Indian economy is still a cash-oriented market. Any mishandling of such orders becomes a burden on your business.
You should make sure that your company has completely adapted to all online payment methods in a world where online shopping is increasingly becoming the norm. Since payments are made by tapping a button, it breaks any geographical order constraints, creates trust in the business, and helps make any recurring payments more convenient as large quantities of hard cash are not involved.
According to some insiders in the industry, more than 60 percent of e-commerce orders in India are processed via cash-on-delivery payments. Therefore, it is highly recommended to add a pre-pay cash-on-delivery option to decrease any impulse orders and convert visitors to clients to mitigate unnecessary costs, increase traffic, and monitor your company’s expenses.
Since the e-commerce platform is packed with competitive companies, to understand the industry realities better, it is essential to do a detailed analysis of your rivals. If you are not as compatible as your rivals, this also serves as a corrective tool and lets you devise better business strategies.
How, during COVID-19, the Third watch powered e-commerce stores
Thirdwatch’s trip throughout COVID-19 was nothing short of a rollercoaster ride. Cash-on-delivery prices were marginal at the start of COVID-19 and for a few months afterward. However, after June 2020, e-commerce started to accelerate after the lockout regulations were relaxed, and CoD began to pick up quickly, too.
It’s not an easy task to set up a new e-commerce company, but the prospect of getting one is more attainable than ever.
With so many companies moving online during the year to meet their wishes and needs, the emphasis on digitalization and innovation has taken center stage. It is expected to do so for years to come.