What plan should be followed by ecommerce businesses once the lockdown ends?
In one of his speeches, PM Shri Narendra Modi mentioned that, even after the pandemic ends, there will be a pre-pandemic and post-pandemic time we would have to deal with.
Following the time we have been surrounded by the COVID-19 outbreak, the global economy has not been left alone either. The impact of the pandemic has affected most of the businesses and they are either halted or reduced in almost every sector making the economy stagnant. As the work from home policy continues to grow, it has become challenging to keep the operations running like previous times.
The question that arises is “Will the situations be the same for the eCommerce businesses? Will the operations and sales remain the same once the lockdown is lifted and restrictions are eased?“
The lockdown in India was imposed from 24 march 2020, and since then the eCommerce sales have seen a precipitous rise. Though the categories were not the same as before and contain only essentials, in times of darkness, little emission of light is also helpful, isn’t it? And, with the steep rise in sales, we can surely say that eCommerce is here to stay and will be the most endeavored business in the post lockdown era.
According to research on the requirements on Indian consumers and choices, online shopping is expected to increase from 46% in the current scenario to 64% over the next 6 to 8 months. Therefore, we can say that to continue excelling in your eCommerce business post-pandemic, you need to change the epicenter of your business.in the difficult times. There is the need to take strict measures in order to sustain and thrive and hence, it will become mandatory for you to adjust your sales and adapt your business with the need of the hour.
With the lockdown being extended and the orange and green zones being spared from a few restrictions for the shipping of non-essential items, it can easily be said that eCommerce is going to be a major contributor to retail sales in the future. Therefore, it is essential that your post lockdown plan reflects the same.
Hence, we have listed out a few methods which can prove useful for you in the coming time.
Make fulfillment as the main objective
Your fulfillment criteria can prove a game-changer for you. But, as most of the large retailers have shifted towards eCommerce, your competition will only get tougher. Therefore, it is essential to have a factor that makes you unique.
If you have the right logistics and fulfillment strategy, it will become easier for you to reach out to people. And, as said, the D2C market will grow exponentially in the tier-2 and tier-3 cities in India, and as more and more people shift towards eCommerce, you can influence their purchase behavior in many ways.
Therefore, if you can deliver the goods on time, there is a chance that they might turn to your business for their shopping needs. With a shift in eCommerce, focussing on logistics and fulfillment can help you run your business smoothly on the ground level once the eCommerce lockdown is lifted.
The comeback of Hyperlocal deliveries
With the growing demands of essential items, brick and mortar stores have taken a hit. People are interested in ordering online and look for deliveries in some time of placing the order.
Vipul Parekh, the co-founder of Big Basket, said "we had seen a 20 to 30% increase in orders in March-April as compared to February.”
This implies that with the constant increase in demand for food, groceries, and other essentials, it is suggested for you to focus on techniques to deliver orders faster to your customers.
Even after the lockdown is eased, people will rely on hyperlocal delivery systems as it is convenient and faster. Hence, if businesses will rely on a hyperlocal system of delivery, they might gain a lot of customer base.
The new essential
Since the lockdown has been put, there has been a downfall in the need for non-essential items by the consumers as, on a regular day in India, 93% of all eCommerce sales are of non-essential items.
Since the virus has not been completely cured, a lot of people might even sit at home ost lockdown, and then there might form a new category of essential items including:
Home improvement products
The fashion and luxury eCommerce industry can expect to see a shift in demand as the consumers look forward to utility-based products. Hence, it is necessary to optimize your inventory to fit the essential products for buyers in your business.
There will be a change in the delivery norms post lockdown. Deliveries will not only be part of the process but also would require to be monitored and scrutinized at all times.
This implies that post lockdown, focussing on the sanitization of your inventory and warehouse will be essential. Also, conducting vital safety training programs for your employees can turn out to be fruitful as it will ensure a hygienic delivery following the safety strategies.
Contactless delivery is the new trend and will continue post-lockdown as it is an amazing technique to avoid contact, and therefore, it must be followed to deliver your products.
A boom in digital payments
In the end, there will be an increase in online payments post lockdown. As the government and other retailers are shifting towards the digital payment gateways like UPI payments, mobile wallets, net banking, etc. we can expect to see a growth in the use of these products post lockdown as well.
This trend of digital payment will see an upward growth once the lockdown is lifted. Even in the offline retail markets, customers will prefer the contactless mode of payment.
Hence, it is suitable for your business to get on with a payment gateway as collecting online payments will be the next normal for your business. With this, you can expect a decrease in the cash on delivery orders due to the safety standards becoming vigil.
Even though the times are skeptical now, there is a prospect that the industry will soon rise to greater heights. For now, businesses need to align their plans in a way in which they can accommodate business needs. The evolution of key focus areas is essential for the growth of the business. The sales might seem bleak at the moment, but it is the time to gain knowledge in business and leap in the post-pandemic era.
The eCommerce businesses would require to adopt modern strategies post lockdown for uplifting their businesses.