Digital commerce in the Covid-19 era: the new “onlife” consumer

digital commerce

New dynamics of consumption and online retail sales. The year 2020, marked by the emergence of Covid-19, has brought these new market trends to the forefront, requiring effective strategies and solutions to meet these needs. Taking as sources two articles on the subject (“Stores and e-commerce: this is how we have become ‘onlife’ consumers” by Sole 24 Ore and “Redifining value and affordability in retail’s next normal” by McKinsey&Company), MOLO17 wants to explore the new digital turning point in the retail sector.

Purchasing dynamics change: E-commerce as a new normality

The retail universe is going through a phase of considerable change. Consumers’ purchasing dynamics are evolving at a mad pace with the rise of e-commerce to the forefront and a speeding up of the shipping and delivery of goods. For these reasons we believe that the two articles proposed, which better describe this phase in continuous evolution, can also offer a perspective on the great changes of these months and on the possible and multiple opportunities that the next normality will present us.

New scenarios in the retail market

The pandemic emergency has already changed the habits and trends of people, or rather consumers, accelerating a process that, in times of normality, would probably have lasted for almost a decade. Instead, these few months were enough to completely change the face of the world of consumption and consumers. New habits and new needs have emerged in the Covid-19 world, both because of the impact of the virus on daily life and because of concerns about the health of national economic systems. All this has led to a process of change with respect to the perception of value in consumers, that is, of that combination of values that orient consumption habits.

Where there are customers looking for more value, in the form of affordable prices, high quality and guaranteed services, there must also be an offer capable of meeting new consumer habits and needs. An important part of commerce has moved to online channels, fuelling the phenomenon of e-commerce up to the 55% growth reported in the Sole 24 Ore article. The same article illustrates how, according to Netcomm’s surveys, 1.3 million new digital consumers have emerged. Such an evolution in the dynamics of purchasing has led to an almost immediate change in the dynamics of shipping and delivery, with solutions such as “click&collect” or “proximity commerce”. More generally, the structure of the offer must necessarily rethink itself in the light of the continuous variability of the post-Covid retail market, with a marked propensity towards online solutions, increasingly used also by those who, before the epidemic, preferred other purchasing methods.

The consumers, as we have been able to observe, determine new trends and new dynamics with their behaviour, towards which traders cannot make “merchant ears”. It is precisely these new trends that deserve more attention and, as illustrated by McKinsey’s article, central to the value proposition and the consequent strategies adopted by retailers.  In this sense, the actions recommended by the authors are articulated along the entire value strategy, underlining, in the first instance, the importance of market segmentation for a better definition of targets. Then, the need for full awareness of its offer in relation to the segments identified and in favouring an increasingly “agile” working environment is highlighted. Clear and direct communication with respect to the value offered is, then, fundamental to attract the attention of clients. Finally, renewed tools and organisation are needed to keep pace with the times and with new developments determined by the market in order to be able to appreciate changes in demand and, consequently, in supply with ever greater definition.

Conclusion: new digital solutions to meet the demands of new onlife consumers

New consumer trends are simply following the behavior of consumers, who increasingly rely on digital tools for their purchases. Francesca Milano talks about “onlife” consumers, using a term coined by the philosopher Luciano Floridi, identifying in them the characteristics of a user immersed in a hyper-connected world, now lacking a precise separation between what is “online” and what is “offline”.

In this reflection, the trends launched by these consumers, as well as their concerns related to the Covid-19 emergency, are placed at the centre of retailers’ attention with a view to future development and greater definition of the proposed offer. In the opinion of the authors of these two articles, the fundamental step that will determine success or failure in the retail market at global level in the “Next Normality” lies in this continuous adjustment of the offer in relation to the changing demands of consumers, in a context that is experiencing a real upheaval of its paradigms in a considerably reduced time due to the state of emergency experienced in various countries around the world.

In this context, therefore, having the right partner able to advise the best possible way towards the development of solutions and technologies adapted to new consumer needs is fundamental. Thanks to its rigorous methodology and acquired expertise, MOLO17 is able not only to help you align your offer with new market trends, but also to accompany you in Digital Transformation with the most correct and effective solution for your needs.

If you liked the article and have similar themes or a project you would like to discuss with us, book an e-coffee with Riccardo Mazzolo, Business Development Director MOLO17.

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