Global Pandemic Is Changing Both Businesses and Consumers

Businesses are expected to take this opportunity to shift their retail operations to the virtual environment and increase automation in their production and logistical processes. This global pandemic is both a reminder and a motivation for all retailers to be agile and innovative. Title photo: via Pexels stock photo database.

Czech Rep., Apr 22 (JS) – New e-shops are mushrooming in the Czech Republic. The Czech company Shoptet, which provides e-commerce solutions, announced 270 new e-shops in the first week after the state of emergency was introduced, compared to a weekly average of 130.

Another example of new trends in the economy comes from the American company Global Payments, whose branches (incl. Czech) recently launched a new application that allows products to be sold online without the need for an e-shop. The application, GP easy2sell, allows businesses to sell their goods on social networks or through a payment link without having to have set up an e-shop and understand online sales. The seller takes pictures of their merchandise, adds a description and price, and posts it on social media. The link for payments can be also sent to customers via email, SMS, or messenger services like WhatsApp.

Current data suggests that even when the COVID-19 pandemic is over, consumer shopping habits will have changed permanently.

Online shopping is gaining traction now more than ever as companies struggle to stay afloat and consumers adapt to the current circumstances of lockdown and social distancing. According to Eurostat, the European statistical office, 60% of the EU population shopped online in 2019, almost double the same figure from 2009 (32%). It is expected that the current restrictions of freedom of movement in European countries due to coronavirus will result in further increases in online sales, and that this trend will continue even when the shops reopen.

According to a survey by CCN, many American grocery delivery platforms, including Instacart, Walmart Grocery and Shipt, are reporting huge sales increases, including some customers who are trying online grocery shopping for the first time. Many of these new e-shoppers are likely to switch permanently as they get used to it. According to a survey by eMeals, a meal planning service, 97% of people who order groceries online will continue to do so in the future.

Article prepared by Antonis Dimosthenous and Beatrice Rono and was first published on Brno Daily