Estimated reading time: 2 minutes
It’s no secret that COVID-19 has held a large impact on several industries so far, but it’s definitely affecting how retail is transforming itself to meet the common need and expectation. For those who haven’t been able to operate physically, within their brick + mortar location, they’ve either had to adapt their offerings and move to online sales, or temporarily halt their business at the moment. For shoppers who are familiar with their mobile devices, they’ve definitely been populating the online shops and stores, for it’s been found that more 72% of consumers are using mobile devices to shop in store, according to PYMNTS’ 2020 Remote Payments Study. It’s interesting to look at where the state of E-Commerce is now, because of COVID-19, and it will be even more interesting to see where it goes, once a lot of this has calmed down.
While this might be stressful for some smaller retailers, many are actually taking the time to improve the overall customer experience online, and through various social media platforms. Quarantine, for many, has been a time to reflect on purchasing decisions, reconnect with family, and rebuild healthy habits. That being said, consumers’ buying behavior has adapted to suit their needs, stocking up on “pandemic pantry products” in a panicked manner.
Mobile Payments On the Rise
When it comes to making purchases, it’s likely mobile and contactless payments are here to stay. Mobile can mean three things: a mobile device wirelessly interacting with a physical store-based terminal (NFC with Apple Pay); a mobile device app paying for an online transaction (Walmart.com or Target.com) that is then shipped; or using a mobile device to pay for an online transaction that is then picked up from a store’s curbside location. There’s also the concept of person-to-person transactions, where someone might pay their friend from their mobile device using Venmo or Zelle.
As people has further embraced social distancing mandates, shoppers are heading to physical brick + mortar locations less and less, even for the essentials. Grocery E-Commerce has picked up, increasingly, throughout the past couple of months and they turned to this outlet due to a shortage of products in-store. The Omni-Channel shopping is continuing to accelerate in its participation from Boomers and Generation Z, even before the Coronavirus struck, we were heading that way with several different offerings:
- Pre-Payment for Home Delivery and Curbside Pickup, where customers can continue to receive their transaction how, when, and where they want.
- A focus on improving mobile experiences – Virtual technology to offer try-on clothing sessions, makeovers, tailorings, and/or altering capabilities based on measurements
- Delivering food and beverages via drones, thinking creatively for retailers and shop owners
- And so much more
“Post Crisis,” e-commerce retailers will need to invest in supplying reliable logistics partners, automating their logistics and supply chains for real-time updates, and finding innovative ways to meet customers’ logistics expectations. All the data points to the notion that retail will never be the same, so that’s why it’s so important that e-commerce continue to evolve and take off the ground with new advancements.