COVID19 e Retail

How our consumer habits will change

One of the first consequences of the COVID19 lockdown is a major change in our consumption habits.
All the news and radios have in fact reported, on several occasions, the news of a significant increase in online purchases.
In fact, between January and March, the organic growth usually estimated at around 700 thousand new entries, rose to 1 million and 300 thousand.

In Italy, electronic commerce has always encountered resistance.
The penetration of the total trade was 8%. A rather low rate compared to other countries (such as China) for which the value was above 30%.
The obstacles to the spread of online shopping in our country were mainly two: the distrust of a large part of consumers and the resistance of the retail trade, which is fond of the traditional sales model.

In this forced stop, consumers had time to overcome their unfamiliarity with the vehicle.
Home grocery delivery services have been literally stormed, so much so that several companies have been forced to activate waiting lists.
On the other hand, the retail trade has been forced to resort to e-commerce in the hope of keeping alive a network of contacts that is their main source of income.

The change in retail has been drastic and fast due to the lockdown and now it is good to think about the future.

Vendere selling?

The online sales strategy must be planned, in fact it requires a good organization to then be managed in peace even by the merchant himself.

Merchants, right now, can study and commit to building an effective customer experience.
Define what exactly are the steps, the journey, the sequence of experiences that the consumer should expect when entering the online store.
This is why it is essential to consider embracing the logic of multichannel marketing: choosing to communicate your commercial offer on multiple channels can be the right move to expand your sales possibilities.

At this moment, reminding customers and potential customers of the values, advantages and strengths of a physical store – also through online tools – can be useful in preparing for post-emergency.
Being known by a new target can push new consumers into physical stores.
Knowing how to present yourself effectively on all selected digital channels is the best way to optimize your competitive advantage since, the clearer and more in line with your context the message, the greater the chances of increasing your clientele.

In addition, with the online services you can prepare special promotions or initiatives dedicated to the reopening.
Making your customers feel the proximity, even if not physical, is in fact very important to retain and keep their customers stable.

Finally, it must be considered that online sales do not exclude relationships and the presence of physical stores, indeed, it is important to be able to combine and balance the two factors through omnichannel.
For example, in-store pickup is an operation that is very effective for the retail trade: you order online, pay digitally and pick up without queuing.

Uncertain future?

Most stores don’t manage customers online, can’t be located on the internet, and still haven’t figured out how to offer promotions. There is still a long way to go.
Online sales today are a hybrid between traditional physical shopping and the purchase or booking of products online, perhaps with home delivery at the end of working hours or collection by skipping the queue.

The prospect of growth is enormous and will almost certainly lead to a change in the manner and frequency of procurement of orders for stores, not to mention the widespread home delivery of the same.

For this reason it is essential not to abandon the online purchase, home delivery and all the methods introduced during the lockdown phase.
Instead, it will be very useful to maintain and expand them because for the consumer they are additional services in all respects.
The future therefore lies in the omnichannel logic of the e-commerce team in the working group that redefines the role of stores and the customer experience.

It will also be essential to continue to look beyond the horizon and identify opportunities for the upcoming new future.
Even through an omnichannel logic, the e-commerce team in the working group can redefine the role of stores and the customer experience.