With lockdown decisions in force in all European countries, retail is reorganizing and taking drastic, strategic and creative measures to protect and support its customers as best possible. All this in an unprecedented burst of solidarity that this exceptional situation calls for. The whole eCommerce community is concerned.
Refocusing on categories of essential products
Amazon is recruiting 100.000 people to reinforce its US warehouses and is now focusing only on these 6 priority product categories:
- Health, hygiene & household
- Beauty & body care (including household appliances)
- Food & grocery
- Industry & science
Third-party sellers on Amazon can continue selling non-priority products, but must deliver them themselves, so-called ‘drop shipment’.
Food breaks records for the first time and turns the landscape upside down
It is unheard of: Nielsen’s figures show a ramp-up over the past 3 weeks with an exceptional peak in demand following the announcement of the lockdown. In total, a surge of more than 20% across all countries. Staple larder items like pasta, rice, flour, water, toilet paper are the subject of historic rushes.
The following are examples of interesting measures being taken to ensure a continued supply and a customer experience without any fear of shortages in the short or medium term:
- Stopping special promotions encouraging the purchase of multi-products
- Sunday delivery to enhance the comfort of online shopping
- The preparation of shopping baskets of essential products
‘Home sweet home’ communication adapted to the new life of its customers
DeBijenkorf in the Netherlands communicates in its newsletters on “Must-haves voor thuis” and highlights the following themes:
- Cook for yourself like a professional chef
- A tidy house
- Coffee time
- Stay indoors dressed in casual mode
Transparent announcement of out of stocks and late delivery
Uniqlo apologizes on the homepage of its online store for its production and distribution times. Amazon’s press release reads: “Certain products such as everyday items and medical supplies are out of stock.”
Lots of solidarity, all of Retail is mobilizing
Jack Ma, the founder of the Alibaba group, supplies millions of face masks, test kits and medical equipment. Inditex offers its production capacity to produce mouth masks. Rakuten decides to open its services free of charge to closed physical stores. LVMH transforms its production units into sanitary products. Pimkie, Naf Naf and Bocage remove their €60 ceiling for free home delivery. Go Sport lowers the minimum purchase price to benefit of free shipping from €15. Telecom operators offer unlimited or doubled packages.
‘Contact-free’ home delivery is now the norm
Stopping the deliveries in shops or in pick-up points. ‘Drive’ deliveries are also made remotely, with the customer waiting inside his car after opening his trunk. Delivery must be done in complete safety, avoiding human contact between the delivery person and the customer. No more signature required to receive packages at home. Safety comes first.
Consumers focus on their physical and mental safety, health and well-being. Nielsen’s research shows that 49% of consumers are willing to pay more for products with high safety standards that can be verified transparently. This figure rises to 65% in China where the impact of Coronavirus has already been measured. The brands that can accompany and support their customers in this quest will be winners. This is the ‘Caring Economy” of which these are some examples:
- In England, Lush has generated positive attention by encouraging consumers to come to their stores to wash their hands to stop the spread of the virus.
- In China, Starbucks has shown images to the public explaining how to wash their hands well and thus created the ‘Contactless Starbucks Experience’
- In the United Kingdom and Ireland, Marks & Spencer, Lidl, Aldi, Danone and Coca-Cola are joining forces to launch the ‘Neighbourhood Community Fund’ to help the most vulnerable affected by the coronavirus. This fund will mobilize more than 1,000 organizations to support at-risk communities such as the elderly and low-income people.
Online shopping at the centre of an ever more digital life
In a world where consumers have to limit contact with each other and find themselves isolated at home in “#StaySafe, #StayatHome” mode, consumption habits are becoming even more digital. This new mode is likely to continue beyond this lockdown period:
- Online purchases of ‘Survival Mode’ basic necessities will increase in the short term.
- Purchases of luxury goods, fashion, sports and travel have lost up to 50% of the number of visitors in recent weeks, consumers having their heads elsewhere.
- Some physical stores that are closing and did not yet have a virtual store are finally launching onto the web.
“This sector wants to be an example in which the public interest trumps personal interest. It aims to be at the service of everything that can stem the coronavirus ”, concludes Carine Moitier, founder of CBCommerce.eu.[/vc_column_text][vc_column_text]About Cross-Border Commerce Europe:
Carine Moitier is the founder of Cross-Border Commerce Europe, a European network and knowledge platform for all e-commerce and omnichannel players operating in at least three countries in Europe. CBCommerce.eu connects actors to increase their visibility and gain knowledge about the figures, trends and specifics of European countries. Its members include brands of all sizes and its partners, service providers in all areas of innovative trade.
For more information, testimonials or interviews, contact:
Founder Cross-Border Commerce Europe, CBCommerce.eu
Mobile: +32 473 26 05 61
Cross-Border Commerce Europe: ‘Helft minder kopers van mode-items tijdens coronacrisis’