Shopping in uncertain times, when the Internet can be compared to the only open shopping center, does not look like it did a few years ago. The ecommerce development is booming. Today traditional shops have more of an exhibition function than a sales function. The aim of customers at traditional shops is more and more often to try out a given product, see it live, or receive the support needed for the final purchase decision. Transactions are made mainly online. In response to this behavior, IKEA has changed its marketing strategy. Instead of huge shopping malls, it is opting for e-commerce and omnichannel. The situation is further compounded by the fact that there is an epidemiological threat in the form of coronavirus. Thus online trading becomes the only form of sales in many markets.
Ikea creates trends
A good example of a store analizing market changes and cusytomer needs is IKEA. The brand is constantly developing modern ways of multi-channel sales, creating solutions allowing to deliver the company’s products quickly and at a great price across Poland. IKEA develops sales via mobile apps and the Internet, opens pick-up-points in cities with no traditional IKEA shop as well as implements new forms such as the IKEA Business Center or IKEA Guest Shopping Centre.
Recently this famous Swedish network, having analysed the market, costs and customer preferences, announced big changes in sales strategy. The decision was made to abandon big stores in favour of small, compact retail outlets, e-shop investments and new showrooms similar to the existing Blue City shopping center. The brand is testing the new solutions, constantly analyzing the opinions of its customers and implementing those ideas that best fit the reality.
So far, Internet sales accounted for about 10% of the company’s total sales. This year, the real growth of the online channel is already about 12%, and further increases are expected.
E-commerce developement continues
Today, the e-commerce market is one of the most important parts of trade. Statistica.com estimates that Polish e-commerce is expected to grow by more than 16% this year counting for 43.5 billion PLN. More and more people are buying online, regardless of age or gender. According to the BIG InfoMonitor survey, as many as 47% of people aged 18-44 increased their spending on online shopping. This situation was significantly influenced by the restriction of Sunday trade, which changed the shopping habits of Poles. Customers appreciate the fact that they can shop at the time of their choice, without wasting time on commuting.
Covid influences ecommerce development
The current epidemiological situation even more strengthens the position of online shopping as the main channel for convenient and safe supply of necessary products. Closed shopping malls have naturally moved trade to online. The scale of market changes in the context of coronavirus is not easy to estimate at the moment. However, the real effects are already being felt by giants such as Komputronik and CCC. Both companies expect an increase in sales in e-commerce channels at the expense of traditional sales. CCC noted in its stock exchange announcement that so far in March this year, 45% of its revenues came from e-commerce, compared to 25% last year. This means an increase in Internet sales by 49% for CCC. A similar scenario may also apply to other large companies, which should prepare for new sales rules and proactively develop their Internet sales.