COVID-19: How E-Commerce Was Forever Transformed

News

  • In early January 2020, U.S. retailers’ online year-over-year (YoY) revenue growth reached a new 49% peak but was quickly surpassed to 68% by mid-April 2020.
  • And as of April 21, 2020; U.S. & Canadian e-commerce orders experienced a 129% year-over-year growth, while all online retail orders reached a remarkable 146% growth.
  • Also, QuantumMetric revealed that online conversion rates increased 8.8% in February, mimicking the shopping crazy of Cyber Mondays.

All these happened during the early stages of the Covid-19 lockdowns when nearly 95% of the U.S. population that is just over 306 million Americans were asked to stay home. COVID-19 has forever changed online retailing, and created opportunities and challenges to selling goods and services online no one thought of even in January 2020.

COVID-19 Commerce Insight, from Emarsys and GoodData collaboration, compared the year-over-year revenue growth for the same 7 days period in April, 2020 and April, 2019.

According to the latest PYMNTS’ 2020 Remote Payments Study, 72% of online shoppers are doing their store browsing and consuming their mobile phones proving that mobile devices are now the most prefer medium for online shopping.

An important uptick caused by such developments is that more efforts are going into improving customer experiences online. This is vital as e-Commerce infrastructures, online retailers’ supply chains, order management, and fulfillment systems are all being tested by the current covid-19 caused triple-digit order and revenue growth.

People are loving E-Commerce’s Time Savings and Efficiency

Although Covid-19’s total lockdown and stay home policies didn’t last forever, millions of customers continue to exercise their newfound love of online buying with many more joining them every day.

Even though many families can now go to offline stores with minimal covid-19 restrictions, much more than in pre-covid era are choosing to buy their groceries, apparel, entertainment, and other items categories on the internet.

But internet shopping has not been limited to these categories and this shift in shopping behavior is happening even beyond the USA. AnimalPetPalace.com based in Ghana before covid-19 was operating in public markets and high traffic street markets where they sell pets, meats, and animals for breeding. However, after pivoting online because of covid-19 lockdown, their customers; a majority of whom were previously reluctant to purchase pets and meat online came flocking to their website. It’s now an online meat rabbit market for breeding rabbits all types of rabbit and to buy rabbit feed, rabbit cage, rabbit foods or rabbit meat in Ghana on AnimalPetPalace.com.

One other factor fueling this habit change is fear. As a fairly new Morning Consult study revealed; 24% of consumers said they didn’t think they would feel safe or comfortable in a mall during the first six months after the initial COVID-19 lockdowns were lifted.

And 16% said they believe it will take them at least 3 months to comfortably return to the mall to shop. This response of based on surveying over 2,200 U.S. adults between April 7 and April 9.

So, as you can see, there is a pretty strong motivation for buyers to shop on the internet. This presents companies with the perfect condition to fast-track, test, and launch new experience-driven websites, mobile apps, and touchpoints across their platform.

Experience AND Security are both essential; Remove Friction Wherever possible

A problem that has been at the forefront has been consumer data protection and companies’ privacy policy. These are most troubling as recent attempts to personalize web content and shopping experiences such as offers, pricing, and promotions to fit each customers’ or region’s unique preferences, buying behavior, and history. Consumer account control and security must also advance and become much more transparent.

There is a need for a more adaptive approach to online customer security. Customizing a different security experience for the most loyal, VIP-level customers that differ from new signup hence eradicating the friction of taking them both through exact same authentication steps.

A suggested way to do this is by enlarging the dataset used for defining and personalizing adaptive friction approaches by customers, all in real-time. Knowing the user type, device specifics, IP risk, geolocation, custom data, and more can be taken together to define a micro segmentation-based strategy.

On the same issue, others use AI and Machine Learning algorithms to carve out a special experience and authentication for each e-commerce consumer; thereby reducing friction by identifying and segmenting users on the basis of common characteristics.

Even computer schools in Ghana such as DevWorld Tech Academy that offer online professional short courses in ghana at DWTA best IT school in ghana with niit courses, ipmc courses and fees; advocates for seamless, frictionless yet secure system for e-commerce. This is seen in their study programs and lecture as students of digital marketing, cybersecurity, and advanced web development can be heard on any given day debating such matters.

This approach gives the system the ability and security upgrade of being able to pinpoint returning customers even those logging in from a new location or a different device. This security method is known as Kount Control – Account Takeover Protection.

With this, the e-commerce business’s system is able to properly identify existing trustworthy customers and is equipped to give their beloved customers a fitting login response such as step-up authentication or frictionless experience rather than just blocking their access instantly.

Having the Kount Control security equip the e-commerce companies’ fraud agents to view and access the failed login attempts, logins health and to aggregate blocks and challenges event triggered by every user. But it doesn’t stop there, they are also able to gain insight into normalities and abnormalities, allowing their analysts to quickly and effectively expose mishappenings.

So, ensuring that security and frictionless experience for online consumers continues to grow along with the year-over-year revenue growth is one of the most assured means of fostering and cementing this trend.

Kount Control – Account Takeover Protection method of security identifies potentially risky IP addresses and sends them to Security Operations while at the same time highlighting eCommerce users that are likely under attack so that a customer service personnel can reach out to help.

The amazing miracle about this is that all these proactive security operations are done in real-time, not many days after users have already been affected. The ability to analyses patterns of failed login attempts in real-time helps terminate credential attacks that target online buyers. Hence, allowing the customer to have a daily delightful user’s login and purchase experiences.

In Conclusion

Ever since the outbreak of Covid-19, especially during and after the lockdown period, the strain on e-commerce and online retailers is clear. However, instead of complaining, they are loving it because it means more money and growth for the eCommerce industry which seems to be staling in growth pre-covid-19.

Millions of customers worldwide have adapted to purchasing on the internet due to its convenience, time-saving feature, and their fear of the coronavirus outside.

Online retailers know that how effective they are in serving their newfound customers will determine if this skyrocketing e-commerce trend will continue after the covid scare disappears or if eCommerce will return to being just a little than it was pre-covid-19 era.

Many are stepping up to the challenge foster these new online buyers into loyal advocates by eliminating as many frictions as possible in their online buying experience.

And by securing their online identities and protecting accounts from takeover control. Although, the soaring growth will eventually decrease as people return to work and their usual activities, yet if they are having a great time shopping online, the majority won’t be stopping on the internet anytime soon.

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