What started as a local outbreak in Wuhan, China in December 2019 soon turned into a full-scale pandemic of the new coronavirus. From the everyday activities of billions of people to global trade, there isn’t a sphere of life the coronavirus pandemic and subsequent measures haven’t affected.
One example are lockdowns, which brought a rise in online sales. Companies that had set up online shopping platforms were in a better market position in March and April of 2020 than enterprises that had a poor delivery record.
The full list of benefits of a well-established online shopping platform is quite exhaustive but we will try to cover the most obvious upsides of shopping online.
As the pandemic hit at the beginning of 2020, the world was faced with shortages. Whether it was toilet paper or personal protective equipment that lacked, shoppers were going from one store to another in search of bare necessities.
However, this shopping “method” is both ineffective and outdated, as it’s easier to go online and find out whether a particular seller is out of stock of protective face masks, for instance.
On the other hand, an online platform enables sellers to instantly notify buyers when they receive a shipment of a new product through e-mail lists or push notifications.
Another benefit of an online shopping platform is the ability to count your stock to the very last item. Namely, when demand sharply rises for a particular product, like people started bulk-buying hand disinfectant during the pandemic, retailers have a hard time keeping track of how much they have sold.
In a brick and mortar store, stock counting is often done by hand, while an exclusively online business uses software to track inventory. Any solid B2C solution allows customers to see in real-time how many items are left, so there will be no nasty surprises when they click the “add to cart” button.
One thing that brick and mortar stores have going in their favor is the ability to purchase something on the spot. However, if an online platform has a transparent and efficient delivery service, then consumers will select this purchase method.
Namely, traveling to the store increases the risk of contracting the new coronavirus, so online shopping is definitely safer. Apart from the premium, same-day delivery option, customers should be able to track the status of their order. From parcel preparation to the final stages of delivery, shoppers can track their orders in real-time.
One epidemiological benefit of online platforms is the ability for contactless payment. Whether it’s a credit card or a cryptocurrency, shoppers don’t use cash, thus staying safe from all the germs and viruses dwelling on banknotes and coins.
An online shopping platform is usually compatible with other devices, such as smartphones. This cross-platform compatibility allows customers to shop on the go, using nothing more than their phone and an easy-to-use phone app.
In the era of the coronavirus, there are lines in front of medical centers and grocery stores but folks aren’t wasting their time standing. People can order everything from medications to Chinese food thanks to the mobile-friendliness of their devices.
One of the characteristics of an online retail business is its autonomy, i.e. you needn’t own a single brick and mortar store. The only “physical” aspect of an online business is an automated warehouse that shoppers never get to see. This makes it easy for entrepreneurs to honor governmental lockdowns across the planet without downsizing their business.
he global economy was in turmoil throughout 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic. As the race for the vaccine is hopefully near its end, COVID-19 will no longer pose such a great threat. However, the altered market in which online shopping platforms have become dominant is likely to remain in the decades to come long after the pandemic subsides.