Published on Dec 22, 2020. Author : Layla
How the COVID-19 pandemic affected eCommerce in Middle East?
At NAAS Digital, we see how the COVID-19 pandemic affects eCommerce. We have helped several brands in the region to tackle the current pandemic and achieve their business goals.
We’ve even helped the real estate sector truly adapt the digital platforms and transform for real (Not just a digital campaign on platforms where you can spend millions with fancy impressions and even clicks with no results, to be precise).
Finally, we show our solutions to help you sell online during the COVID-19 pandemic.
IMPACT OF COVID-19 ON E-COMMERCE
Coronavirus pandemic was unprecedented.
The Coronavirus pandemic was unprecedented. No one saw it coming, and it has altered the Habits of Shoppers.
In our region where visiting a shopping mall is a big part of our lifestyle, consumers who preferred to visit a physical store at the mall to touch and feel the product has changed due to the current situation of COVID-19.
Purchase behaviour has changed in current times, it’s not optional anymore for many consumers regardless of the category.
Most are working from home still and do not have the same daily schedules as last year, so naturally, online purchase convenience has become part of our life.
New categories, such as groceries, meals, and generic household items and many of us have been ‘pushed’ to order our groceries online since the COVID-19 outbreak since we want to avoid going to the malls.
These new consumer habits as a result of COVID-19 has shown that eCommerce is on an all-time rise with more customers shopping from the comfort of their homes.
E-commerce in this region already sees double-digit growth rates, and we will be sharing the updated figures at the end of 2020.
Still, not all online sellers and product categories benefitted from the rise in e-commerce.
Strong Digital Customer experience and COVID-19
We survived the lockdown in this region, but customers have altered their habits and behaviors and an overall collective change in our society with new expectations; businesses should address the customer experience
Apart from traditional customer experience principles, that are still valid, of course. But we must consider the new mindset of our consumers where we need to address their fears and sensitivities based on the COVID-19
Some of the site features related to customer experience:
– Clear communication
– Live on-site messaging service
– Clear FAQs
– Easy order management
– Clear delivery times for each category and location
– Customer care numbers (yes, your customers would still like to talk to a human with answers)
– Easy to use UX/UI
– Speak to them in their language
Technology stack selection can be tricky. It all depends on your overall scope and business goals.
Which technology platform and infrastructure to select?
Technology that allows online businesses to handle more eCommerce traffic can be expensive and challenging to implement.
Having enough servers and capacity in place to manage growing demand takes careful planning and the right partners.
Businesses should not overestimate demand and be stuck with wasted infrastructure, but not having enough capacity to allow a business to grow is equally problematic.
Cloud infrastructure makes it easier than ever for companies to build their digital customer experience and respond quickly to eCommerce trends.
AWS – aws.com
Digital Ocean – digitalocean.com
Azure – azure.microsoft.com
There are many options available, and it is easy to get confused, but the choice entirely depends on your current infrastructure, inventory system, size of the business, and the nature of your business
Timeline is another major factor when choosing your e-commerce technology stack and whether you will manage it in-house or with your technology partners
We have shortlisted few platforms for you to check out
– Magento – www.magento.com
– WooCommerce – www.wordpress.com
– Shopify – www.shopify.com
– PrestaShop – www.prestashop.com
– Custom made with PHP frameworks or preferred technology stack
Recommended payment gateways for your e-commerce project
– Network International
– Payfort – Amazon
– CC Avenue
Delivery timings and service quality are among the essential factors in your success for an e-commerce project. One bad experience in delivery can break all your business’s efforts on the asset, so be very careful while selecting a delivery partner for your store.
Few suppliers in the list which we can recommend
– First Flight
Pandemic or not, your business needs to be online!
This pandemic will inevitably abate, but the shift to online shopping and the purchase behavior will remain the same at least for the next few years in this region.
Companies that are succeeding despite the Coronavirus pandemic can do so because they adapted to the situation, and they are following the current mindset of their customers with a robust digital strategy, it’s a must.
Planning for a digital strategy or an e-commerce project?
NAAS Digital can help with the digital transformation and e-commerce for your business that will help you get a perspective on how to tackle the current situation if you are planning to go online and to help you sell online in the months and years to come.