While the regional markets, such as malls, supermarkets, and convenience stores, were disrupted by the shutdown—the online marketplace continued to operate. This simply refers to the efficiency of an online selling or eCommerce business model. They can function in difficult circumstances to meet people’s requirements. During the pandemic caused by a novel coronavirus (COVID-19), an increasing number of small company owners see the necessity for online retailing.
Data published by Statista reveals that between January 2019 and June 2020, retail platforms marked an unparalleled worldwide traffic surge, surpassing even festive season traffic peaks.
In June 2020, retail sites had over 22 billion visits, up from 16.07 billion in January 2020. This is due to the global coronavirus outbreak, which has forced millions of people to remain at their homes in order to prevent the virus from spreading.
Another data showed that consumers favored buying groceries and products online throughout the pandemic.
According to Statista, orders for online delivery have increased in the United States as a result of the coronavirus outbreak. In 2021, 70% of grocery customers bought nonperishable packaged foods such as cereals or sneaks, compared to only 58 percent in 2017.
The emergence of the so-called “e-commerce” during the pandemic has made this start to look like the future. Nowadays, in the era of the internet and big data, eCommerce represents a good solution to increase sales and reduce operating costs.
With the development of technology and the rise in user behavior, online shopping has attracted more and more people. Statistics show that in 2015, the turnover of eCommerce in China reached 20.8 trillion yuan.
Further, we’ll explain the benefits and drawbacks of online retailing during the epidemic, as well as how eCommerce will impact the future of online shopping.
The Advantages of Online Selling
There are plenty of advantages to selling your products online. The world is your market; you don’t have to worry about geographic restrictions or inventory limitations, and can sell to anyone who has access to the internet.
Here are some of the major advantages of selling online:
- There are no geographical restrictions on your sales
- You can reach a global audience
- There’s no need to be concerned about stock shortages or limited inventory
- All of your customer data is stored electronically instead of in a filing cabinet
- Your consumers have access to your website 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and 365 days a year.
- There are no big queues at the cash register
- Giving your customers the option of shopping through an app that saves their personal information and speeds up the checkout process
- Sales that are not pushed. You can choose to abandon your cart at any point instead of completing the transaction
- Boosting quick sales by offering enticing discounts
The Disadvantages of Online Selling
With the rise of e-commerce, there has been a lot of discussion about what it means for small businesses. While there are many advantages to having an online presence, these businesses also face a number of challenges.
Here are some of the major disadvantages to selling online that you should be aware of before creating an eCommerce website for your business.
Disadvantages of an eCommerce business
- Increased Competition. With more and more people buying online, there is increased competition for products and services. While you have the opportunity to reach a wider audience, this also means that it will be even harder to attract customers from other vendors. You may need to create more marketing strategies and spend more money on promotions to get the word out about your business.
- Time Management. You may be so busy fulfilling orders and managing your business that you have little time to do anything else. This could affect how much time you spend with your family or friends, as well as your ability to grow as a person or as an artist (if that’s what you do). You might end up feeling like you don’t have much of a life outside of work.
- Shipping Costs. While shipping may seem like an easy task now, it can become expensive if your business starts outselling expectations. It will also take up quite a bit of your time if you plan on doing it yourself rather than hiring someone else to do it for you.
- The Environmental Impact of eCommerce. You may be thinking that this does not affect you but it does. Just think about how much plastic is used for packaging for each product sold online. This plastic increases the amount of pollution in our environment, which is already too high as it is.
- A Rise in Taxes. You might be thinking that this is good for you, but if you do business out of state or across borders then these taxes will increase your production costs. The taxes come into play when you ship your products because they will be sent through a different channel than if they were shipped locally.
The standard retail model is changing because of the massive growth in online shopping. Consumers are looking to make their purchases online by purchasing items via their websites or apps instead of buying goods in retail stores. Global retail e-commerce sales hit $4.28 trillion in 2020, with e-commerce revenues anticipated to reach 5.4 trillion in 2022. The future is bright for eCommerce businesses because there will always be demands with or without the pandemic.