DGAP-News: Unity Group / Key word(s): Miscellaneous
The pandemic has accelerated the transformation of the retail sector and its switchover to digital. Within a few months of loosening the restrictions on traditional retailing, the accelerated growth of e-commerce slowed down, but is still impressive. Retailers should move from responding to the current changes in the market environment to long-term investments in the digitalization of sales channels, including the development of omnichannel platforms - these are the most important conclusions from expers of Emarsys and Unity Group.
After the first weeks of the lockdown, when the pandemic-induced change in shopping habits led to a boom in the e-commerce industry, and leading into July and August, many countries are already seeing a normalization of the channel's share of total retail sales. Despite a more recent and clear slowdown in the e-commerce growth, its role in shaping retail sales and the entire economy is disproportionately greater than before the outbreak of the pandemic. In many countries, the last few months have seen the growth of the e-commerce industry, which has been previously achieved over many years. During a webinar organized jointly by Emarsys and Unity Group, experts in the transformation of digital business and e-commerce together wondered whether the observed changes in the market structure are sustainable.
- Our analysis of the period from 26 July to 8 August, i.e. 3 months after the first loosening of the restrictions, clearly shows that online sales continue to gain in importance. In countries such as the United Kingdom and Australia, the year-on-year (YOY) growth of revenues from online sales still exceeds 100 percent while, in the DACH region, including Germany, the dynamics have stabilized at 40 percent. At the other extreme are Brazil and China, where the last 2 weeks have brought clear double-digit drops in online sales. However, globally, we can see the continuation of the e-commerce "offensive" and its strengthening as an increasingly important retail channel - comments Árpád Deák, RVP Sales & Growth for Central & Southern Europe from Emarsys.
CEE region on the afterburner
The pandemic increased the number of online purchases made in traditional retail chains, but not least for the stores themselves, it also significantly increased the Average Order Value (AOV) of baskets. In the case of 'pure' e-commerce, the Czech Republic (+54%) and the more developed countries, such as Estonia (over 47%) and Spain (approx. 47% increase) were in the lead in the week analyzed by Emarsys starting July 27. In relation to online retail, however, we can see a very clear benefits within the CEE region. In the Top 5 countries in terms of growth by AOV, 4 are from Europe - with Romania at the forefront.
Landscape after the virus first hit - what will the future bring for the retail?
This year's change in consumer attitudes has similarities to the situation in 2003, specifically the outbreak of SARS in China, when the shopping behaviour of the country's inhabitants changed completely. They were afraid to go out so they did all their shopping online, driving the local e-commerce market. Although the crisis was short-lived, many consumers embraced and continued to use this form of shopping, paving the way for the development of such global players as Alibaba and other Asian digital giants.
- COVID has left its mark on both traditional and e-commerce businesses. It showed that traditional stores will not disappear because people want to have a choice, but they will have to introduce more and more digital solutions to enrich and support the shopping experience. For security reasons, customers will prefer smaller and local traditional stores. Large shopping malls are losing out on the Internet in many areas - security, convenience and a wide range of products... For e-commerce, the pandemic is undoubtedly a turning point. In my opinion, we are moving faster and faster towards a model where the Internet will become the main retail channel and traditional sales will be complementary. The development of online sales automatically translates into the increased popularity of services such as click & collect, pick-ups or parcel machines. However, while the former is a temporary trend, the latter will stay with us for many years - adds Dominik Janes from Unity Group.
2020 is an explosion for e-commerce. According to Emarsys and Unity Group experts, next year will only be better and the further growth of this sales channel can be expected. For retail stores, a key factor will be their attitude towards the current situation, as well as predicted trends. The pandemic has "pushed" a new group of customers - those over 60 - to shop online and, at the same time, has increased the popularity of online shopping within numerous product categories. The latter includes both food and FMCG purchases. These changes represent a great opportunity, but also bring serious challenges for commercial companies.
- The pandemic gave people an impulse to test online shopping, often for products that they have never bought online before. It also showed that not all stores were prepared for such a drastic increase in demand for their products. It's a lesson for the future for retailers to constantly invest a lot in the "ease" and convenience of online shopping on the one hand, and, on the other hand, to take care of the continuous development of logistics, because you have to be ready for a flood of customers at any point, not only during Black Friday - summed up Dominik Janes from Unity Group.
About Unity Group:
Since 1997, Unity Group has been implementing solutions for the digital transformation of companies, in particular sales. 23 years of experience and more than 500 successful projects around the world allow us to effectively cooperate with both medium-sized and large companies to which we offer comprehensive support. From our offices in Wroclaw, Krakow, Zurich and New York, we provide solutions in four key areas:
CUSTOMER - platforms, portals and automation for effective customer engagement and improved customer experience (B2C/B2B e-commerce, mobile solutions, portals and digital experience platforms)
OPERATIONS - from product information and order management to the supply chain, essential systems for the daily operation of companies (product information management, order management, master data management, process automation, content management, managed services, and supply-chain solutions)
DATA - business analyses and data management solutions as essential components of any modern business (data consulting, data engineering, data analysis and machine learning solutions)
CORE - structural systems that power information technologies (system integrations, cloud infrastructure, DevOps)
Unity Group is an interdisciplinary team of experts, but our effectiveness is proven above all by our customers: Leroy Merlin, Tesco, Carrefour, Nestle, Auchan, McDonald's, SIG, Santander Bank, ING, Swiss Re, Credit Agricole, Deutsche Bank, Allianz, Volkswagen Group, Hyundai, PSA Peugeot Citroen, General Motors, OnniBus, GATX, GLS, Tagesspiegel, Saatchi & Saatchi, HP, PPG, LPP or RTV Euro AGD.
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This industry-specific, outcome-driven approach combined with our customer-centric personalisation, actionable AI and a fully integrated customer data platform (CDP) - make Emarsys the platform of choice for more than 2,500 companies around the world. Join thousands of leading brands who trust Emarsys to deliver the predictable, profitable outcomes that their businesses demand and the highly personalised omnichannel experiences that their customers deserve.
Marta Jankiewicz, Marketing Director