With several countries under lockdown, social distancing is now becoming the norm for people across the globe. COVID-19 has already affected over 700,000 people (by the time of writing this blog) and has led to an economic slowdown. However, given the necessary permissions, ecommerce applications have a huge role to play in tackling the situation and getting the revenues on track.

The lockdown will have a huge impact on physical stores. With low footfalls, they will face an unprecedented economic downfall. On the other hand, the online purchase of groceries, toiletries, and other essentials have gone up. There has been a rise in the downloads of ecommerce mobile apps over the past few days.

BUT even when e-commerce is exempted under the LOCKDOWN, companies are facing challenges. There is a shortage of delivery executives but a surge in the number of orders. Limited time slots are available for delivery. Cart abandonment on ecommerce applications for non-essential items has gone up drastically, while Google Trends shows an increase in search for buying groceries online. Therefore, the decision to go online can get a bit tricky.

Is it Time for Physical Stores to go ONLINE?

During times like these when the big players like Amazon aren’t able to FULFILL the DEMAND, is it okay for small and medium-sized stores to go online?

Should they consider ecommerce applications at a time when people aren’t willing to go outside? 

Moving online provides people access to their local retailers in a better way. Logistics and timely delivery can certainly be a problem because of the prohibitions in the movement and delivery of goods.

But an ecommerce mobile app that serves as an online marketplace will enable stores to extend their channels of product delivery. With restrictions, navigation can be challenging, but it will also allow retailers to fulfill the multiplying customer demand.

  • Even though stores for essentials are open, there has been nearly a 75% downfall in the physical visits. More and more non-essential stores continue to shut down across the globe, with India implementing a total LOCK DOWN for 21 DAYS.
  • eCommerce applications have shifted their focus from branded goods to groceries and essentials. There are more health-minded purchases, quarantine-based purchases, and household essentials.
  • E-commerce is not restricted to physical stores. We are witnessing a surge in streaming services subscriptions (nearly e-commerce only model) with Netflix, Amazon Prime, and HULU recording a high increase in their subscribers. 

Future of Physical Stores after Covid-19

Retailers who didn’t see the benefits of getting an ecommerce mobile app can get a better perspective with the Covid-19 story. The crisis is bringing a fundamental change in consumer behaviour, even the older population that was once hesitant to try online shopping.

With e-commerce applications, businesses can multiply their sales channels after life gets back to normal. The psychological benefit of serving customers when they weren’t able to visit the stores will play a major role in defining the future of customer loyalty for businesses across the globe.

Another ADVANTAGE would be a consistent presence among the consumer’s mind during times when physical stores have much less competition to face.

Read more: Tips to Crush Your Competition in eCommerce Store Development

But Capitalizing on a Crisis is Wrong, isn’t it?

It certainly is, and it shouldn’t be done. However, physical stores face their own constraints and who knows that the time would come when people won’t be able to visit stores for even the essentials. (already implemented in India). The main motive of eCommerce applications for physical stores should be to serve more and more people who are unable to step out and get the things they need.

Covid19 is not ending anytime soon, and businesses will have to understand and work along with its implications if they want to survive. Going online retains the certainty which comes with consistently serving customers.

covid19 pandemic

Small physical stores do not have enough CAPITAL to retain the entire staff when a crisis hits. They want to survive on as little as possible. An ecommerce mobile app is a way to do that and go beyond the traditional methods by DIGITAL serving their customers.

Purchasing anything is not the first thing that people have in right now, but it is equally important to have them understand that they always have options. Businesses can become that option in such dire times and give psychological safety to their customers which will lead to years of customer loyalty.

Making the Move to an Ecommerce Application

The TRUE FACTS behind COVID-19 have presented themselves to physical retailers. Their stores aren’t getting back to normal any time soon. With the decision to get an ecommerce mobile app, businesses would need a clear understanding of where to begin and how to go about the entire process. BUT the main QUESTION ariseswouldn’t it take a long time to build an e-commerce store?

The ANSWER is NO. There are several e-commerce platforms like Shopify and SpreeCommerce that have made it easier for businesses to get online. They allow simple ecommerce store development with complete functionalities from order management to incorporating coupon code.

Read CASE STUDY on eCommerce Business Marketplace 

The on-going crisis has a trajectory of 3-6 months. These platforms allow you to build ecommerce applications development with a QUICK turnaround time of 2-4 weeks.

At BoTree Technologies, we can build an ecommerce store with Shopify for you in 1 week

You can CONTACT US to discuss your requirements.

In the upcoming articles, we will provide details about how Shopify can help you to quickly start your ecommerce store and better serve your customers.