The corona crisis is entering a new phase throughout Europe, including the Netherlands. Code red, so to speak. Food and beverage outlets have closed or are closing, and more and more measures are taking place that paralyze social life. The hospitality, travel and entertainment sectors are currently being hit the hardest, but other industries will follow. Because the economy is also getting infected. Will the Ecommerce sector soon emerge as the winner? To be Ecommerce and corona willy-nilly allies?
Let us state first of all that the corona crisis no knows winners, but only losers. However, viewed from economic interests, one sector delivers more than the other. It is obvious to assume that Ecommerce will benefit from the crisis. After all, consumers are advised to stay at home as much as possible and close in many countries not essential shops by government order. The pharmacy and supermarket or grocery store remain accessible, but for all other purchases, citizens are dependent on online retail channels. Food is also increasingly being ordered online. In that sense, Ecommerce and corona seem like best buddies.
Advantages and disadvantages in relation between Ecommerce and corona
However, not all webshops reap the benefits of the corona crisis, however harsh that phrase may sound in this context. Because China was the first to be attacked by the virus and took stringent measures in a short time, important production and distribution processes came to a halt in this largest factory in the world. This created stock and delivery problems, especially in the electronics industry. Belgian media even warned for one shortage of sex toysas China is the largest producer and distributor of erotic toys. The unfounded fear that items ordered from Alibaba might be contaminated also did no good to the online business.
Consumer goes for “no-touch retail ”
In the meantime, China seems to have passed the peak of contamination and social and economic life is slowly but surely starting to get going again. This also includes production and associated distribution. Stocks are being replenished and normal online trade is slowly starting up, also at webshops that are highly dependent on Chinese exports. With physical retail stagnating to an increasing extent, online orders are definitely increasing. The consumer chooses for fear of contamination no-touch retail.
For example, bol.com recently reported a significant sales increase in that category of items that are important for working at home. The platform mentions laptops, separate screens and headsets as examples. All kinds of sports equipment that can be used at home, such as dumbbells and mats, have also proved to be extremely popular since the seriousness of the situation has dawned on everyone. Bol.com also announced that its retail and webshop partners (over 27,000 in the Netherlands and Belgium) have virtually no inventory problems. With regard to Ecommerce en corona: live goes on.
Ecommerce and corona: not just hosanna
Not all webshops 'take advantage' of the already busy or upcoming extra crowds. According to the trade organization, Thuiswinkel.org, there is mainly a run on primary necessities of life, such as food, care and medicines. Director Wijnand Jongen describes the situation as far from just hosanna. First, uncertainty results in procrastination around luxury purchases. Second, distribution processes are disrupted because many employees are advised to stay at home. Packing products and delivering them as packages is not an option homework organize, so the supply chain will get stuck at some point.
It is still too early to determine how Ecommerce and Corona will relate to each other and how they will continue to relate and what - after the crisis - will have lasting effects. However, it is good as an Ecommerce entrepreneur to take a number of things to heart. Hence these 7 tips.
- Think of your reputation. Don't use the corona crisis too flashy for commercial gain. This can backfire.
- Intensify your online advertising and marketing campaigns. Many people work from home and therefore have more opportunity to shop online during working hours.
- Close your physical stores for the time being, even if the government does not prescribe this. Coolblue , Tmobile, KPN and others already did this to be able to fully focus on the rapidly increasing online orders.
- Maximize the quality and efficiency of your customer services.
- Be transparent about what you have or don't have in stock. Provide good alternatives. Be honest about delivery times.
- Keep communicating and increase customer loyalty. Provide additional security and keep loyal customers informed of developments, for example via email.
- Use quiet moments to think about the IT and data and marketing tools you use.
Also at EcommerceResult we take the risks of the coronavirus seriously and we bring our contact procedures in line with the guidelines. Online advice or an insightful video call? make an appointment.