The outbreak of the COVID -19 pandemic has affected the whole world. A couple of years ago, things that were not imaginable have become the new normal today. Businesses around the globe are also facing the consequences of the pandemic. eCommerce is one of the sectors that has been affected the most.
Even before the COVID-19 outbreak, the brick-and-mortar stores were already experiencing a decline. However, the pandemic increased consumers’ preference for online shopping even more. Due to the shutdowns and lockdowns across the globe, consumers could not move out of their homes. This made them rely on the eCommerce platforms and fulfillment services to meet all their shopping needs.
Are you wondering how the eCommerce world will be post COVID-19 pandemic? In that case, here are some of the most prominent developments in the eCommerce world.
Increase in Competition
Before the COVID-19 pandemic struck the world, businesses were gradually moving to the online platform to offer their services and products. However, in the pandemic days, the competition has intensified over the years. With the enforcement of sudden lockdowns, physical stores could no longer operate and make sales. To survive and increase their revenues, eCommerce was the only solution. This, in turn, led to the increase in the players in the industry, thereby resulting in tough competition.
Rise of Dark Stores
Have you ever heard of dark stores? Well, you may be hearing it for the first time. Dark stores are a relatively new and innovative concept that came up due to the logistical requirements of eCommerce. The dark stores are physical establishments that contain a vast amount of different products. However, these stores are not accessible by the general public. You must have heard of the ghost kitchens.
The ghost kitchens do not serve food to the guests but make food for online delivery. The dark stores also operate similarly. These stores are meant explicitly for being for eCommerce order fulfillment use. While the dark stores were rare in the pre-pandemic years, they are likely to become a common sight in the post-Covid world.
Expansion of Delivery Orbits
In the pre-pandemic world, eCommerce or online business was more of an urban thing. More and more online companies aim at delivering their products to metropolitan areas and focus on bulk orders. However, things have changed a lot after the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic. Due to the global lockdowns and shutdowns, consumers from suburb regions and small towns started ordering essential things online. To meet the increasing needs of the rural population, businesses have begun expanding their operations and delivering products in the towns and suburbs.
Contactless Delivery and Payment
Since the outbreak of the life-threatening coronavirus, people have developed a fear of getting the virus and germ transferred through contact. For this reason, individuals started avoiding contact with other people as much as possible. This, in turn, increased the demand for contactless delivery and payment among the consumers.
To avoid physical handovers, products are now being placed at the consumers’ doorsteps. Moreover, the delivery people are equipped with appropriate systems to facilitate easy contactless payments. Most eCommerce businesses allow their consumers to make payments for the products while purchasing the items.
However, if they want to make the payment after receiving the product, there is also an option for that. The delivery people are provided with devices to accept payments without any physical contact. Simply, by scanning the QR codes, consumers can make the payment. Owing to the convenience these systems offer, they are likely to continue in the post-pandemic years.
Social Media Shopping
Social media has become a part of people’s lives today. They spend quite a significant amount of time on social media platforms daily. While social media was a channel of communication initially, it has become a channel of eCommerce. Social media has brought about a revolution in people who shop and engage with different brands. Today, more and more eCommerce businesses are marketing their products on popular social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and more.
It enables them to reach out to more consumers worldwide and increases their sales significantly. Social media has emerged as a marketplace for direct purchases. Social media shopping is likely to experience more growth in the post-pandemic era. Moreover, the presence of content creators to help businesses market their products on social media platforms will boost its demand even more.
The post-pandemic era will bring a lot of changes in the eCommerce industry. Right from an increase in the number of dark stores to the rise of social media shopping, you are likely to witness all of them. The changes may seem to be uncomfortable at first. However, they will benefit the businesses and consumers in the long run.