COVID-19 Pushing Businesses Toward E-CommerceBy Sofía Hanna | Fri, 10/16/2020 - 16:56
Over the past six months, there has been an exponential increase in the use of Amazon, Rappi, Mercado Libre and Bodega Aurrera platforms due to growth in online market demand. Julian Coulter, Director of Google Mexico, expects this trend to continue, according to an article from Forbes. The companies mentioned have had an average 52 percent growth in Latin America and 31 percent globally, said Coulter, as a result of confinement measures that came along with COVID-19.
According to Google, customers are buying in a new way. This is because they are either investigating the product they want thoroughly before going to the store or buying it online. More than ever, customers are keeping an eye out for online sales because leaving the house has become a sort of last resort. This new behavior has also allowed retailers to grow 58 percent in their brands' online search. Success cases include Bodega Aurrera (with a 105 percent increase in Google searches) and Miniso (with a 49 percent increase). These brands developed their online presence over the past six months, along with their online delivery service, making these last two weeks an incomparable success compared to the same period last year, according to Forbes.
Without an end to COVID-19 in sight, companies are still trying to develop their e-commerce tools even further. Google has become one of the tools clients rely on the most. Stores will have a 32 percent decrease in face-to-face purchases and 27 percent more customers will spend time investigating products before actually going to the store to buy them, says Coulter.
However, not all brands will benefit equally from the e-commerce boom. Beauty products, self-care, tobacco and other luxury products will see limited growth, while others like alcohol, home-care, games and home-related brands will benefit the most, according to Euromonitor.
While e-commerce enjoys its day in the sun, businesses will also have to consider the changes needed at brick-and-mortar stores and the treatment they give to customers. The service provided by stores will need to be even more personal and cordial because this will be the main customer attractor in the new normal. Changes can be minimal, such as receiving the client and greeting them by name if they pick up an online purchase. According to Coulter, shopping in person will still be usual practice. Nevertheless, clients will be doing a thorough investigation of the product before going to the actual store, so the way to stand out when they actually visit is giving them special treatment.