The coronavirus pandemic has triggered the accelerated development of many industries, but the online world has suddenly become a daily reality even for those who have so far refused to shop in e-shops. In the current situation, the winners are clearly traders able to offer and sell goods in the so-called omnichannel, ie through all available routes. Selling (anything) and not being able to fully adapt to the customer’s needs in terms of selection, payment and delivery of goods will mean a significant decline in sales in the long run.
From the texts available on Alei Fairchild’s blog, we have selected 6 facts that will be crucial for your further business in the field of e-commerce.
The line between wholesale and retail is disappearing
Purchases that require a physical presence in the store will drop to the very bottom of importance. Whoever insists on this method of sale will be overwhelmed by more flexible traders, both from the ranks of the existing competition and, for example, by their wholesale suppliers. As a rule, they already have options in the field of online sales and distribution of goods that the end customer is happy to use. What we have been used to calling wholesale for decades is changing the nature of our business and will still have a significant impact on retail.
The influence of artificial intelligence will intensify
Most customers who shop online make their purchases via a smartphone or laptop. Today, mobile applications clearly provide greater comfort and, as a result, a better customer experience than standard e-shop websites. It is their development that will be the mainstream that is needed to continue to be close to our customers. The development of PWA applications (Progressive Web Apps) and Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) will lead to even easier use of mobile platforms and a merchant using artificial intelligence support, who can recommend a purchase to the customer and implement it via a smart home voice assistant. sought-after partner.
Artificial intelligence tools will drastically enter stores and multiply the efficiency of interaction with customers. More accurate information will be available, enabling much better targeting of the offer, including individually modeled and addressed. Advanced AI tools allow better recognition of the device the customer is using to make a purchase, but even their faces. Environments, or markets where less attention is paid to privacy, will go far in this regard.
Local communities will be important again
In addition to the emphasis on technical optimization of purchasing, the importance of contact with the local community will also increase. Despite the absence of borders and the relativity of distances, traders will have to find their way primarily to local customers, as they will again be willing to support local traders and other entrepreneurs. If it is possible to mutually benefit from mutual closeness (physical and perhaps also ideological), it is necessary to make the most of it. Even in this situation, however, it is necessary to use advanced communication technologies (“be members of the group, keep fresh news, receive better offers”) and related procedures, such as proximity marketing. However, let us not underestimate the principles of protection of privacy and security of provided data.
Man is replaceable, he must be
Distribution does not catch up and will have to change the paths we have experienced. An example is the USPS, which has come under great pressure due to covid and is already suffering from a forced slowdown in the services of a cooperating company such as FedEx and others due to its problems. COVID-19, but in response to the situation, employee unions will continue to influence distribution activities. The solution will be a continuous increase in warehouse automation and, in general, the search for new routes and distribution models capable of replacing worker downtime.
Chinese business will continue to expand
Chinese online stores, such as AliExpress, Alibaba, but also others, will expand even more significantly to other markets. So far, they have operated mainly on the domestic market, but they are expanding their portfolio and acquiring other, non-Asian suppliers. The huge Chinese market is de facto inaccessible to competitors and the local online platforms thus achieve high turnovers. However, advanced technologies also make them important on a global scale.
The rapidly recovering Chinese economy provides its companies with the means to finance expansion into international markets, and government support for the development of the country’s technology sector is another factor. Chinese companies also continue to increase their capital on the US stock exchange. The Economist reports that Chinese quotations have risen to almost $ 17 billion since January 2020.
In practice, imposing a trade embargo on these companies is incomparably more difficult than excluding suppliers of components and operating systems for mobile phones from the game. While they certainly cannot operate with the same freedom in global markets as in China, and applying the Chinese experience to other markets will pose significant challenges for them, Chinese online icons will be able to compete very effectively with established global companies.
Advent of other players
Not only the Chinese giants, whether they are AliExpress, Alibabu, ByteDance, DiDi Chuxing or Tencent, but will continue to grow and expand. In addition to current market leaders such as Wish, Amazon and eBay, and growing Chinese companies, more and more specialized e-commerce platforms will enter the scene, successfully trying to fill the gaps created by uneven distribution patterns resulting from the continuing abnormality of the economic situation. And major manufacturers of widely traded products will cater to them.
Source: E15.cz by www.e15.cz.
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