The COVID-19 crisis has led to a huge spike in the number of online purchases. This has changed e-commerce forever. The growth of e-commerce has accelerated due to the COVID-19 crisis and the number of online sales has gone sky-high.
Consumer spending in non-food increased by 56% in the Netherlands and supermarkets even had to contend with “empty shelves” in their web shops. Even people who never shopped online before have discovered the convenience of online shopping. However, online shopping will never completely replace physical shopping, but chances are that this sudden growth will be largely sustained. This means even more demanding customers looking for quality and convenience from home from the comfort of their home.
D2C has changed significantly
In addition to the enormous growth in the number of online purchases, the rise of direct-to-consumer (D2C) e-commerce has also changed significantly. Brands also deliver directly to the consumer, without the intervention of a retailer or marketplace. Under the motto support your locals, people were encouraged during the COVID-19 outbreak to support entrepreneurs in their own city or village. Consumers have taken this call to heart. Not only to support locals, but also because they find the quality they are looking for. Local shops sell online via social media, their own website or via influencers. Customer contact is much more direct than it is via a webshop. This way, customers also show more commitment to the brand. In conclusion, the importance of personal contact and a good relationship with a brand are increasingly important in e-commerce.
Work smarter, not harder
Anyone who wants to follow the D2C trend, benefit from the growth within e-commerce and serve the large group of demanding consumers, must adapt smartly to the changing circumstances. The following things could help businesses on their way, according to Emerce.
- Embrace the possibilities of data
If a company wants to be successful in e-commerce today, they can no longer ignore data. It is the best way to provide customers with the convenience and service they are looking for. For example, data enables companies to always indicate a current stock of products. Using this way, they prevent a consumer from fishing behind the net and shopping at the competitor. Data is also very valuable during the delivery process. It gives the consumer insight into the status of their order at any time. Companies need to make sure that have the right tools to use data in a valuable way. Therefore, they can create the ultimate customer experience and turn a one-time customer into a returning customer.
- Make it easy to scale up and down
The enormous growth in the number of online sales requires flexibility in processes. The use of smart software offers a solution, because companies cannot get there by working harder alone. Consider, for example, a Warehouse Management System (WMS) that enables companies to easily scale up and down in their capacity. This way they can always meet the changing consumer demand.
- Organize processes on D2C
Many companies are eager to take advantage of the opportunities offered by D2C, but processes are often not designed for this. Where companies normally sold whole pallets to an intermediate party, they now also have to be able to sell individual units directly to the consumer. This changes the supply chain and requires a different set-up of their logistics processes. Companies need to set up systems for this, so that companies can offer that great customer experience and be successful in D2C.
E-commerce has reached a whole new level. Although, physical shopping is now taking off, the COVID-19 crisis has completely changed consumers’ shopping behavior. It is up to brands and online retailers to keep up with these developments, so that they benefit from the continued growth within e-commerce.