Coronavirus Pandemic: Opportunities And Challenges In The eCommerce Sector

Where the increasing intensity of isolation every day, as humans try to keep their distance from each other and avoid public places and a highly steep graph of people knowing the definition of quarantine towards the positive axis, brings benefits to the ECommerce sector, it also imposes challenges to its stability for the coming months.

The Rise in Opportunities

The results of a 304 people survey conducted by Digital Commerce 360 shows that only 35% of people believe in a rise in opportunities for the sector while the majority believes that the sector’s sales will decline thanks to the pandemic that has made the economies of the countries start to flatline.

A very common scenario, in case the pandemic prolongs, would suggest that the supply of toilet paper rolls will only run so long and people will eventually be forced to praise and avail the online delivery services of leading retailers like Amazon, Walmart, and Target, etc. Even today when the virus continues to threaten people, the public avoid going to places meant for themselves and benefit from the online delivery services for their day-to-day needs. This, of course, points to more sales and increased benefits for these companies.

Challenges in the eCommerce Sector

The immediate effects of going under quarantine are people spending more time online on their phones and computers, hence increased usage of social media. While some are busy in virtual meetings, others are busy spending time on social platforms.

This would give those in the eCommerce business more chances to generate more leads and potential clients on one side while giving them a hard time for periodic maintenance of their services on the other because the smooth running of businesses, even online like Amazon, requires people to work under a single roof and manage the company, which seems rather a daring task amidst of a devastating outbreak.

The problem shares a solution that businesses start focusing more on B2B eCommerce platforms with the more popular and powerful companies, for example, Walmart benefiting from the resources of less popular companies by buying their products and sending them towards the general public. Using the B2B eCommerce platform would also present a chance of companies collaborating on common grounds. The analysis, although shallow to some extent, could present a possibility as the World Health Organisation and federal government’s concern for the virus’s spread to extend over quite some months as the Washington federal government’s 100-page plan warned policymakers that the pandemic could last 18 months or longer with multiple waves.

Who is Getting the Most Benefits?

While the cards favor the online stores currently, some fields are benefiting more than the other. Since no one is to get out of their homes, no one would need to put on heavy makeup to face the world, hence naturally the fashion industry would see some declines and the profits will go to the industries supplying food and groceries as people start to prepare for the worst by stocking up supplies.

Global Ipsos survey from a population of 10,000 conducted this March 12th to 14th showed that people are buying food online more than they normally would and although quite beneficial for the business initially, issues related to stock & supply chain are going to appear sooner or later. With the recent reports reported by UK supermarkets analyzing that the online delivery slots now sold out for next 3 weeks at least, it’s only a matter of time before retailer need to make big investments to meet the public demand, but the question is where to invest in a state of poor foot traffic and billion-dollar loss of economy every day amidst the pandemic.

The circumstances call for extreme measures of innovation. Just like JD.com, a Chinese eCommerce giant that, reported by Yahoo! Finance, took early steps to ensure that it met the public demands during the outbreak, thanks to its experience operating during the SARS epidemic of 2002-2004 originating in Foshan, China, by partnering and collaborating with restaurants for additional couriers, hiring employees of the temporarily closed supermarkets and creating new jobs based on logistics. The Actions not only ensured to meet the public demands but also helped maintain and lessen the damages the employment would otherwise face from the coronavirus.

How Corona is Affecting the Health Sector?

Among the most beneficiary would, of course, be the companies in the field of Health, with masks sales increasing by 590%, hand sanitizers by 420% and gloves by 151%, it’s only a matter of time before Humans find a cure for the virus and Health and pharmaceutical companies witness sky-high profits.

The current time could prove to be on the bright side for the eCommerce sector as people avoid going to the stores themselves and ask for online delivery instead. If the companies play their cards right, they can partner with the Health Care provider companies to extend their services worldwide, just like Amazon is doing it currently by selling products of Debrief Me online.

Every dark cloud has a silver lining they say, where the current circumstances impose challenges to the eCommerce community it also brings them a chance to test their innovation and limits… If they overcome the challenges, they get to experience the pride, if not, they get to experience the experience itself. Whatever it may be, the rise and fall is the beauty of life itself.

ShawnShawn Mack is a content writer who offers ghostwriting, copy-writing, and blogging services. His educational background in business and technical field has given him a broad base from which to approach many topics. He is also fond of writing interesting blogs on technology & digital marketing related topics. He occasionally writes blog articles for Coastapp.