The COVID-19 pandemic forced us to transition much of our lives to the virtual world. Our shopping habits have perhaps been irreversibly changed and the pandemic has accelerated the transition from physical to online retail by several years.
Ecommerce is likely to continue to take market share over physical retail. The pandemic forced many first time online shoppers such as elderly consumers to make their first online purchases. Having experienced the benefits and convenience of online shopping, this new cohort of online shoppers are likely to continue to conduct increasingly larger proportions of their shopping online even as physical retail opens up fully.
Businesses which haven't traditionally had a strong online offering are now under more pressure than ever to ensure a strong online presence in order to remain relevant. The shift to ecommerce is inevitable and in order for retailers to ensure they are getting maximum exposure to prospective buyers, a strong online offering, alongside a bricks and mortar presence where relevant, will be essential. Businesses which ignore, or even underinvest in ecommerce, should proceed at their own peril.
Ecommerce of course comes with its own challenges, including, among others, considerations for:
supply chains, distribution and logistics
ensuring a seamless consumer experience
There are plenty of technology solutions out there which can help with implementation and management of all of the above, although it is clear that as online retail continues to grow, there will be opportunities for entrepreneurs to innovate across the online retail landscape.