The Coronavirus initially created a stir back in the last quarter of 2019. Within a few months, it became a pandemic with global consequences. Industries and businesses across the verticals faced the brunt of the attack. Social distancing and hygiene concerns did not even spare the niche retailers.
The public started to fear visiting public places like schools, entertainment areas, shops, and others. The shopping sites profit enlarged very soon. Customers moved away from supermarkets and grocery stores in droves and shifted their gaze towards the online stores and websites. Major online shopping sites like Desertcart became the centers of attraction for consumers.
Fall in Offline Demand
The fall in offline demand is not very surprising due to the lockdown. Curfews, social distancing, and fear-mongering did not help either. These physical stores had to remain shut for long periods. Their sales figures dipped as the patrons shied away due to fear of viral infection.
At the same time, online stores’ profit grew to a considerable value. The offline stores tried to recover after the curfews were lifted. They imposed self-regulation norms like limited working hours and customer distancing. But, many retailers lost their business and had to stick to loyal customers only.
The Online Shopping Boom
Online shopping in lockdown grew by leaps and bounds. There was a global shift in customer preferences. Even traditional buyers, baby boomers, and skeptical buyers started visiting web stores to order new products. The primary beneficiaries were retailers of masks, health products, food stocks, and hygienic goods. Even the fashion, technology, and entertainment sectors profited from this trend.
The online sales grew globally by 76% this July as compared to last year. In the US market, retail sales for the first six months peaked at $347 billion. This online shopping boom is a 30% rise in sales compared to the same quarter last year. The web penetration reached a healthy 18.6% post-COVID-19 strict lockdown.
In the second quarter, global sales of consumer goods rose by 71%. Customers preferred to stay at home and order their favorite products. The worldwide e-commerce sales in 2020 reached the whopping US $4206. The projections for the future also look good as experts expect the sales to increase from US$900 to US$ 1300 in the next few years.
Digital Sales: Significant Profit Factors
Various factors affect online sales’ profit margins, like the customers’ behavior, purchase preferences, and quality expectations. But the e-commerce sites are not lagging behind either. Major sites like Desertcart adapt quickly to these dynamic trends.
They did not just stop with altering their digital business models. They also invest in new technologies and innovative solutions. Internet penetration and widespread use of mobile devices also raised the profit expectations further. Creative strategies get consistently unleashed to upgrade the following significant factors in the online retail business.
The quality of a product or service can make or break the business. It is not sufficient to manufacture and display high-quality products. For online shopping growth, it is important to display information with great pride. The products’ images, descriptions, and other content have to be relevant, readable, and reliable. Such coordination will allow the e-commerce site to succeed in attracting loyal buyers for repeat sales.
In one survey, more than 74% of respondents stressed product content. They wanted the site to provide clear-cut descriptions and item details. They disliked ambiguity and wanted the catalogs to display accurate sizes, shapes, colors, and prices. An increase of 34% revenue is possible if the site can sell high-quality products with transparency and detailed descriptions.
Realistic sales targets are not achievable without proper inventory management. Customers get upset if you accept orders and do not ship on time. It is not profitable to store a massive amount of inventory. So, a stock strategy is vital for online sales success.
Shopping sites profit because of brand value and customer satisfaction. So, inventory control becomes a vitally important factor for higher profits. Large stores claim that digital sales grow by more than 34% due to stock management. Yes, discount offers and free shipping helps win over customers. But with adequate inventory, you can fulfill up to 30% online orders directly.
Large e-commerce stores like Desertcart are betting heavily on partnerships. They are working with local groceries and supermarkets to satisfy the customers. New partner projects help them ensure the last mile delivery activities. The online stores profit also grows due to long-term patronage.
Bringing together online and offline stores is a win-win situation. The shopkeepers will find new customers while the web store gains brand value. The e-commerce sites plan to upgrade and upscale their business reach and visibility by creating authorized buy zones.
Those who capitalize on the online shopping boom have high-performing supply chains. They do not shy away from partnering with diverse stakeholders. They source their products from local, regional, national, and international traders. Consequently, they keep the costs down to a minimum.
More than 57% of companies claim a competitive edge due to a healthy supply chain, and close to 90% of businesses also achieve above-average revenues due to efficient delivery mechanisms. Data analysis, IoT, and cloud computing lead to hi-tech, professional supply chain systems.
Online shopping in lockdown is not because of a lack of options to get to the physical stores. Customers develop brand affinity and come back for discounts and festive offers to become loyal customers. Also, it becomes easier to convert, acquire, and retain customers with technological prowess.
Yes, the giant online shopping stores like Desertcart employ cutting-edge technologies. Their software, apps, and interactive services are top-notch. They offer personalized sales experience to improve functionality and save time. According to studies, with AI-predictions, it is possible to retain close to 90% of customers.
Finally, lockdown offers an excellent opportunity to create powerful brands. Research shows that online shopping growth is subjective to the brand value. More than 88% of global customers confessed that they would stick with their favorite brand.
The new generation is tech-savvy, and they prefer brand shopping. More than 62% of them like to experiment with different brands. In this scenario, ensuring high-quality, convenience, and fast delivery becomes very important. You can retain close to 80% of customers by giving importance to your brand image.