Bringing back e-commerce to life: Easy or Difficult?

The country is taking baby steps to recover the economy. As the lockdown extends, there is some relief as the e-commerce sectors will have a small reopening where essentials can be delivered. The resuming of small industrial and logistical activities will help in benefiting the operators. The uncertainty about the supply chains is still intact. The rules of the lockdown are strict, it will be difficult for small industries to resume production as they cannot call back the laborers immediately who have left the city. The welcoming decision of the government that has allowed few sectors to restart operations will be a small relief to this catastrophic humanitarian crisis. As certain sectors may get some relief after May 3rd, there will be a grave concern about the labours. This crisis is like the snowball that is getting bigger as it rolls down, crushing everything in its path. 

If the operations begin in May, then many industries will pause the production and wait for their labourers to return rather than employing the local labour who may or may not know about the operating cycle. Employing new labourers will include intensive training and the industries would want a full-blown production without any new task or training. 

There was a wave of disappointment in the Indian households as the government reversed their decision to deliver non-essential items. E-commerce companies like Flipkart and Amazon were eagerly waiting to resume their logistics but it appears that they may have to wait a little longer. 

Your E-commerce Business: 

The e-commerce recovery will happen by turning the inactive customers into active carts. According to Apsis, this can be done with RFM  (recency, frequency, monetary value). Personalization will be a key factor in turning the inactive customers into active shoppers. Your new strategies will reciprocate into recovery rate and the revenues. 

Before the lockdown. The average stats dictated that on an average less than 2% of website visitors became paying customers and more than 76% of customers abandoned their carts. If you want your e-commerce business to bounce back, you have to increase the former percentage and decrease the latter. The e-commerce recovery will include more nudges to the end customer. The tactics will have to be out of the box and you have to increase your reach. You cannot rely on your loyal existing customers. This lockdown period has turned many e-commerce atheists into believers of online shopping. 

There will be a new found market of those shoppers who will be skeptical about going out. So don’t lose out on the abandon cart tactic, and continuously remind the customer to purchase items they clicked and added to their cart. These were a few tactics for your business, let’s take an overview of the entire industry and take an estimate as to how the e-commerce sector will pull up, dust itself and shine through.   

The industry recovery: 

The short-term impact of the pathogen pandemic is severe. The most resilient retailers are the omnichannel retailers, they have survived due to their immunity. Their entire labour has proven to be fruitful and their past investments in omnichannel retail will help them stand firmly once the sector reopens. According to Capillary technologies, the Indian retail witnessed a drop in sales by 55% before 31st March. This percentage has increased since then. The post lockdown era will be more challenging for the offline sellers as their footfalls will take ages to normalize. 

The Indian government is doing everything they can to contain the situation but the retailers will be on the outlook for a mantra. Their peers from recovered countries may have a blueprint of restarting the business after a shutdown for months. 

The sectors which are directly dependent on the people’s behaviors will take the longest to recover. The pharmaceutical, health and digital companies will keep on being on the rise following the pandemic. The e-commerce connected sectors like IT, logistics, supply chain and entertainment will be amongst the ones to do well immediately. Other sectors like transportation, warehousing and storage will come back immediately to life after the lockdown. As soon as the mobility of post-production of goods will begin, these sectors will come back to life. Business like hospitality and shopping malls will take more time to gain momentum. 

The delivery services from e-commerce and normal retail will pick up providing more business opportunities to the retail industry. The apparel industry on the other hand is still tumbling down the lockdown hill and there are no signs for it to stop. It may soon be size zero for the apparel industry as the production is not likely to start anytime soon. The leisure activities like travel, vacation and adventure will take the longest to get back on track.

Conclusion: 

It is an undeniable fact that after the lockdown this conditioning will internalize social distancing and it will be difficult for human behaviour to take any risks by moving out to crowded places immediately. The overall effect is evident to the massacre of the nation’s economy. Categorically few sectors will have the advantage to bounce back immediately. Others will need persistence and perseverance to sustain during the lockdown and after, when it may take a substantial amount of time to make a comeback. Things are looking promising for the e-commerce industry. When the last pandemic spread (SARS), the e-commerce industry boomed as people started shopping online. This  trend grew into a multi-billion dollar business. This pandemic will also give birth to some groundbreaking trends and behaviour shifts. 

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