Corona Virus Worries May Lead to Unprecedented eCommerce Growth
Analysts have predicted that Covid-19 may lead to eCommerce growth for online retailers.
With the Corona Virus spreading, consumer behavior is already changing. As people self-quarantine, they are looking at ways to make their usual purchases without having to enter a public area, and shopping online is increasingly a preferred option.
Consumer behavior is influenced by four things – technological, environmental, economic, or sociological changes, and all of these are likely to be affected by the global outbreak of Covid-19. With eCommerce, increased levels of online shopping over holiday periods have had longer-term impacts, with many of those customers continuing to shop online after the holiday period. Andrew Lipsman, principal analyst, eMarketer, states, “During the holiday, a time with more concentrated buying activity, consumers spend more online creating a step-change, meaning the consumer may not return to past behavior.” He thinks it is likely such behavior will continue over the coming months.
Coreight Research published new data showing 27.5% of U.S respondents are already avoiding public spaces and 58% plan to if the outbreak gets worse. 40% of those are avoiding or limiting how often they go to malls/shopping centers, and 30% are avoiding stores in general. Coresight Research also said that after public transport and international travel, shopping centers will be heavily avoided, with 74.6% expecting to limit their visits.
ASOS Reduce Emissions Per Purchase by 30%
ASOS announced it has managed to cut carbon emissions on every order by 30% over the past five years. This was announced in a new report, which covered the changes they have made to make the company’s operations more energy efficient.
In 2015, ASOS announced its plan to reduce its carbon footprint by 2020. The goal was to reduce carbon intensity in terms of grams of Co2 per order, with an emphasis placed on becoming more energy-efficient and switching to renewable energy sources.
The new report provides a detailed breakdown of where the company’s operational emissions come from. The leading source was delivery to customers, which accounted for 48% of their emissions produced. After that was inter-site transport (30%) and returns (12%). The remainder was made up of a combination of business operations, fulfillment centers, and packaging, which all made up less than 5% each.
The company has made various changes to achieve this reduction in emissions. Building a new fulfillment center in Atlanta has shortened the distance of many US deliveries, meaning fewer flights are required to transport goods to American customers. They have also established deals with couriers to ensure the use of electric vehicles such as a five-year contract with DPD which requires 50% of deliveries in specific areas of London to be served by an electric van. They have also begun trials to see if transporting goods to the Chinese market can be done via rail.
Rent the Runway Announce New Service
Clothing rental service ‘Rent the Runway’ has launched a new monthly subscription plan to offer customers a ‘middle-of-the-road’ approach to avail of their services.
The new plan has been based on feedback from existing customers, who wanted a ‘2-swap plan’, which takes aspects from both of the company’s current subscription models. For US$135 per month, customers will receive 8 items, and be allowed to swap 2 of them. Customers can choose items from the entire Rent the Runway collections, which includes pieces from over 700 designers.
With a company like Rent the Runway, that deals directly with consumers, customer feedback is a vital part of their business model. Hearing the experiences of their customers allows them to continually tailor the experience, improving their product more and more as time goes on.
The company has become famous due to its’s ‘closet in the cloud’ innovation, which has taken the fashion industry by storm. However, the arrival of the coronavirus has caused unexpected challenges with the model recently, with the company having to warn customers via email that their cleaning process would prevent any spread of the virus through their clothing. Customers were informed of the specific steps Rent the Runway take to make sure the ‘Sharing-Economy’ style business model doesn’t allow for the spread of any pathogens.