Since the beginning of the pandemic, organizations have experienced a series of changes – sometimes traumatic – that have transformed them forever. The adoption of eCommerce has been, in many cases, a lifeline in the middle of a totally new situation.
Many business models have been directly impacted by the pandemic. In the VUCA environments in which our organizations move, before the shock caused by the coronavirus, it was already becoming more and more frequent to experience changes in business models. The social and health crisis has only accelerated and increased these transformations.
The model changes of business They mainly respond to the need for diversification. Sometimes imposed, by changes such as teleworking, in others by strategy; the business model must be an adjustable model. It is increasingly important that it is able to adapt to change quickly, that it can be effective in an eminently digital environment and that it is consistent with the cultural trajectory of the company.
Thus, in recent months we have seen, in addition to an explosion of eCommerce, a business transformation B2B to B2C or mixed models. Confinement and restrictions have endangered many companies dedicated to professional clients who, with an agile and consistent movement, have been able to continue their journey by adapting to a form of sale to the final consumer.
But we have not only witnessed changes in business models. have also been given major supply chain disruptions. Deliveries are made in another way, with less physical contact, fewer intermediaries or even through another form of distribution such as online purchase and store pickup.
Many businesses have experienced a significant increase in demand on some products, but they have done it in a totally new way. The closure of stores, for example, has been a severe blow for many brands, which, however, has served to boost online business to be today, more important than ever was sales in physical stores.
Of course, if business models and supply chains change, so do client behavior changed. Many, already used to shopping online, have experienced slight changes in their behavior, mostly in a way that is forced by the situation. But as of the beginning of 2020, millions of people have joined online consumption around the world, practically for the first time or as a main and habitual option.
A good part of buyers was still reluctant to make purchases online. Due to fears related to privacy, data protection or pure ignorance, until very recently there were those who made their purchases in a traditional way, leaving very specific items for online consumption (such as travel, for example).
Part of the clients have not had another consumption option than buying online. Others, for convenience or massive trend, others for fear of the virus and as a way to avoid unnecessary contact, have also joined this form of consumption. And there have also been cases of increased consumption in regular e-commerce buyers.
The change in consumer behavior has also occurred in the professional clients. But as in the case of end users, this trend has been much more marked in certain products (mainly related to sports, teleworking, home entertainment, furniture or food).
All these changes that we have reviewed have occurred in a somewhat abrupt way. Therefore, it is possible that with the return to normality they will decrease in some way, but they are trends that are here to stay. Those people who have discovered the online supermarket and have gotten used to making purchases that way for several months, may return to the physical store, but will also continue to buy online; perhaps more punctually or making only large purchases; but they will not forget this possibility.
Faced with this reality, how are companies adapting? Mainly with investments in an online store, either to create it or improve it. Also, coupled with this, many companies have chosen to strengthen their marketing strategies, and in particular, the digital marketing.
The adoption of eCommerce in the face of this new reality
The pandemic has been a wake-up call for many companies that did not offer the possibility of buying online. And many of these have taken up the task, which is a very good decision: on the one hand, because it is a tool ready to operate at all times, even in unusual situations like the one we have suffered; but on the other hand, and mainly, because the companies that invest in adapt to disruptive situations they have a higher chance of survival and success.
E-Commerce is, without a doubt, one of the main economic and business protagonists of recent times; even more so in the last year in which sales have increased in marketplaces (26%), those made in online stores (66%) and B2B online sales (24%).
But electronic commerce is not just for getting out of trouble or to sell more. One of its great benefits is the possibility of creating a more agile organization. A company that is capable of implementing new models in the face of major changes to meet customer needs through its own processes with the same direction.
These types of agile companies can respond fairly quickly to their customers’ expectations, even in changing environments. An increasingly necessary condition for improve competitiveness.
How to create an agile organization
A company prepared for the future, today, is a company that:
- Has a change-focused mindset at all levels of the company.
- Have dynamic teams able to work together throughout the organization.
- It has technology capable of supporting the team and the mentality, with information in real time without errors (like an ERP, an eCommerce and a CRM).
The mentality and the team are fundamental, but the technology is especially relevant in the current context. Without the other two, it is not possible to use it properly, but It has the capacity for an organization, in addition to being agile, to be also scalable.. That is, it is necessary to maintain quality as demand increases (both in number and complexity).
How is a technology that allows scalability
First of all, it is a technology that works as well in times of seasonality as in Rush hours; and for this, those moments of maximum demand must be foreseen beforehand. Second, it is a technology adjustable based on specific moments (such as the ability to vary prices in an online store, based on demand, campaigns, options, etc.). And thirdly, it is a technology that must allow growth (or decrease) based on the needs of evolution (changes in the business model, products, markets…), making it prepared for any decision that is made in management.
In the case of a eCommerceAs we have seen, the almost essential solution in the current situation, scalability has three parents:
- Possibility of incorporating customizations without compromising the whole.
- Lodging with sufficient capacity and adequate security.
- updates constant and pertinent in the face of new challenges in matters such as cybersecurity, legislation or functionality.
The future has caught up with us and following its path requires that we maintain our agile and scalable organizations. If you have not yet thought about the possibility of having an online store in your business, whatever it may be, it is time to reflect on it (remember that there is no single way to sell online). Even more so in B2B areas, where until now, it seemed that they were less permeable to these issues. E-commerce is the best way forward in what is sure to be a digital landscape in the future.