Doing business online during COVID-19

Since the outbreak of the new coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic, online presence and ecommerce has played a critical role in allowing companies to not only sometimes continue their business, but also grow it.

There are a number of opportunities emerging from the crisis through increasing the uptake of e-commerce and digital solutions.

The worldwide spread of the COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted how people buy products and services and how they perceive e-commerce. The standardized lockdown rules across India and the growing hesitation among consumers to go outside and shop for essential goods have tilted the nation towards e-commerce.

Consumers have switched from shops, supermarkets, and shopping malls to online portals for the purchase of products, ranging from basic commodities to branded goods. 

E-commerce involves more than just having a brand name and selling products online. Finding the right target audience, product niche, and connecting with your customers is vital because it allows you to cut down unnecessary costs and provide products that are most suitable for your customer base.

The initial steps taken to develop and launch your store paves pay for the growth of your business. Since there is no face-to-face communication with the buyer, you have to compete with other online stores in terms of price, products, and offers to remain relevant. As the consumer behavior of people is changing due to the shift to digitization, there are various factors to address before you think about success.

Things to consider before setting up your e-commerce business:

  • Since the pandemic has made online shopping prominent, you can have a distinct advantage over others by offering niche products that aren’t available at other online stores. Having a niche product line limits the expenses incurred and gives you an edge over your generic competitors. Furthermore, by filtering out your market, you can find sections that haven’t been tapped into by your competitors 
  • There has to be an established inventory blueprint to cope up with the sudden increase in the demand for products and services in the country. Having the right inventory blueprint makes it easier for you to store, organise, summarise, and track all your orders. There are e-commerce platforms with built-in features that allow you to manage inventory efficiently as well
  • The risk of RTO (Return To Origin) orders and the cost incurred by it should be taken into serious consideration. Since the Indian economy is still a cash-oriented market, RTO costs can be high in cash-on-delivery orders and any mishandling regarding such orders becomes a burden on your business
  • In a world where online shopping is slowly becoming the norm, you should make sure that your business has fully adapted to all online payment methods. Since the payments are done through the tap of a button, it breaks any geographical constraints regarding the order, induces trust in your business, and also helps in making any recurring payments more convenient as there is no involvement of large sums of hard cash
  • According to certain insiders in the industry, more than 60% of e-commerce orders in India are processed through cash-on-delivery payments. So, the addition of a pre-pay cash-on-delivery option to reduce any impulse orders and to convert visitors to customers is highly recommended to mitigate your unnecessary costs, increase traffic, and monitor the expenses of your business.
  • Since the e-commerce platform is filled with competitive businesses, it’s very important to do a thorough analysis of your competitors to get a better understanding of the market realities. This also acts as a rectifying tool if you aren’t as compatible as your competitors, and also helps you in formulating better strategies for your business

With so many businesses going online to satisfy their wants and needs during the year, the focus on digitalization and innovation has taken centre stage and is expected to do so for years to come. To get your brand online or start selling your products and services through the digital media get in touch with us today!

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