UNCTAD: Covid-19 would have permanently transformed e-commerce
Change will disrupt national and international frameworks for retail sales
https://mundomaritimo.cl/ – The coronavirus pandemic (Covid-19) has forever changed online shopping behavior, according to a survey of some 3,700 consumers in nine emerging and developed economies, UNCTAD said in a statement.
The survey, entitled ‘Covid-19 and e-commerce’, examined how the pandemic has changed the way consumers use this method and digital solutions. The study included Brazil, China, Germany, Italy, the Russian Federation, South Korea, South Africa, Switzerland and Turkey.
In the aftermath of the pandemic, more than half of respondents now shop online more frequently and use the Internet more to get news, health-related information and digital entertainment.
According to the study, consumers in emerging economies have been the most inclined towards online shopping.
The Covid-19 pandemic has accelerated the shift to a more digital world. The changes we make now will have lasting effects as the world economy begins to recover’, said UNCTAD Secretary-General Mukhisa Kituyi.
He further indicated that the acceleration of global online shopping underscores the urgency of ensuring that all countries can take advantage of the opportunities offered by digitization as the world moves from response to the pandemic to recovery.
Online purchases increase, spending decreases
The survey conducted by UNCTAD and the Swiss E-commerce Association Netcomm, in collaboration with the Brazilian Network Information Centre (NIC.br) e Inveon shows that online purchases have increased by 6 to 10 percentage points in most product categories.
The highest profits are in the categories of ICT/electronics, gardening/housekeeping, pharmaceuticals, education, furniture/household products and cosmetics/personal care.
However, the average monthly online spending per buyer has decreased significantly. Consumers in both emerging and developed economies have deferred higher costs, while those in emerging economies are more focused on essential products
The tourism and travel sectors have suffered the greatest decline, with average spending per online buyer decreasing by 75%.
‘During the pandemic, online consumption habits in Brazil have changed significantly, with a greater proportion of Internet users buying essential products, such as food and drinks, cosmetics and medicines’, said Alexandre Barbosa, manager of the Regional Center for Studies on the Development of the Information Society (Cetic.br) of the Information Center of the Brazilian Network (NIC.br).
The increase in online shopping during the Covid-19 pandemic differs between countries, with the largest increase in China and Turkey and the weakest in Switzerland and Germany, where more people were already engaged in e-commerce.
The survey found that women and people with tertiary education increased their online purchases more than others. People aged 25 to 44 reported a stronger increase compared to younger people. In the case of Brazil, the increase was greatest among the most vulnerable population and women.
In addition, according to survey responses, small traders in China were the most prepared to sell their products online and those in South Africa were the least prepared.
‘Companies that place e-commerce at the center of their business strategies that are ready for the post-VOC-19 era’, said Yomi Kastro, founder and CEO of Inveon. ‘There is an enormous opportunity for industries that are even more accustomed to physical purchases, such as fast-moving consumer goods and pharmaceuticals’.
‘In the post-covid-19 world, the unprecedented growth of e-commerce will disrupt national and international retail frameworks’, said Carlo Terreni, president of the NetComm Switzerland e-commerce association.
‘Therefore, policymakers should take concrete steps to facilitate the adoption of e-commerce among small and medium-sized enterprises, create specialized talent reserves and attract international investors in the e-business field commerce’, he said.
Digital giants grow stronger
According to the survey, the most used communication platforms are WhatsApp, Instagram and Facebook Messenger, all owned by Facebook. However, Zoom and Microsoft platforms have benefited the most from the increased use of video calling applications in the workplace.
In China, the main communication platforms are WeChat, DingTalk and Tencent Conference, according to the survey.
The changes came to stay
The survey results suggest that changes in online activities are likely to last longer than the Covid-19 pandemic. Most respondents, especially those from China and Turkey, said they would continue to buy online and focus on essential products in the future.
They would also continue to travel more locally, suggesting a lasting impact on international tourism.
See original article at: https://mundomaritimo.cl/
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