The Changing Landscape of E-Commerce amid Coronavirus Crisis

With a health crisis like Coronavirus hitting the US economy in unprecedented force, the wave of fluctuation in supply and demand, complete sector fallouts, and sector financial surges, has brought into real focus needed e-commerce capabilities and manufacturing supply deficiencies.

According to Quantum Metric, consumer behavior has changed drastically in the last four to six weeks as the virus spread throughout the states. E-commerce companies in the US observed a massive 52% spike in their overall sales in the fifth to the eight weeks following.  Online conversion rates shot up almost 9% compared to 2019’s average 1%.  When you look at the numbers closely, you see that Corona has benefited only specific industries.  Corona panic fueled online sales in mostly healthcare and canned items.  And so far, eGrocery and food delivery companies also experienced hikes of over 55%.  Blue Apron stock, for example has experienced a 70% surge.

Everyday stockpile items that shot up at exponential rates according to Bloomreach’s online study

And how are manufacturers doing? Hardest hit: the fabric, home décor, electronic and pharmaceutical industries that rely on cheap Chinese labor.  The impact from Chinese manufacturing is beginning to be felt as companies look for ways to bring some manufacturing back to the US or source from other countries.

Manufacturers are having to explore different sales channels, not relying on face-to-face or trade shows. It is also about learning how to present visual content in industries never before reliant on highly technical tools.  Moreover, they are also looking for ways to revamp their products and inventory.  The transformation that a Product Information Management (PIM) system gives them a platform to showcase more products to wholesalers and distributors – the more products available, the more likely the sale (missing a stat HERE OR BETTER WAY). Tools that have been adapted in B2C companies such as use of chats, cookies, site re-targeting, geo-fencing and AI bots, have paved the way for manufacturers to be able to develop online tiered pricing.  Unique B2B challenges include product kitting, parts replacements or alternative product suggestions in line with actual inventories. Bigger picture manufacturers are able to manage websites targeting Latin America, Europe and Canada, from a central location with a product having various SKUs per each market with benefits, add on products, etc. included in the language of choice.

So, while Corona has made us all take a deep dive into the unexplored, it has also moved us to another level in manufacturing and in marketing.

CSS Commerce LLC is a leading, global innovating PIM/DAM/MDM e-Commerce solution provider. Experts with in open-source and paid solutions, Perfion is the #1 choice for Microsoft solutions oriented business and Akeneo or PimCore provide curated open source PIM/DAM/MDM.  We build both open source and proprietary extensions for Magento, and other world class commerce solutions like Shopify or SalesForce Commerce Cloud. Our global strategic partnerships complete our offerings around enterprise AI and Business Process Management, Supply to Sales and integrated CRM offerings like SalesForce and more.

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