Manoswita Naha, Content Writer, Manoswita Naha, Content Writer
The COVID-19 barges across the globe, spreading panic as the fear persists. Many governing bodies across the globe were forced to lockdown the cities, vacating malls, public assembly places, deserting the bustling streets, to contain the spread of the dreaded contagion. Public safety is the primary concern private businesses shut down, traffic on logistics had been brought to check and of course effected the retail market, the most imported magnate element for consumer inflow. As the retail market hits the rock base, the entire chain of beneficiaries among the retail ecosystem is found high and dry, counting huge losses and waiting for a good time to rain upon them. Reckoning the dip in the market value irks, the global leaders understood that to pull the shutters up once again won’t be an easy task.
In this grave scenario, the world is waiting wide-eyed to spot the ray of hope in pitch dark sky. Thus, to tackle the situation, the big-brains of the world are on-to a joint effort to pen-down some conclusive strategies to parent the corporates to regain their strength. Some even concluded that online-to-offline will be the next revolution to help the consumer good retail to minimize the pandemic effect. Software interface designing companies are also found to rally-up by undertaking the local business and presenting them with an online platform bringing the offline transactions online.
Amidst the COVID-19 crisis, Capillary, a leading SaaS company in Asia, stepped up to provide a ringside view of the retail market condition of India, China, and Singapore. The case study unfolds the impact on the retailers and measures to rule-out the negative impact. The derived results are based on the data analyzed across 10, 0000 stores in geos mentioned above before and during the lockdown. Further, this will provide a triple screen of judgment in predicting the right time to make hay for the retail market.
COVID-19 crisis took the first hit on China. Being the epicenter of the pandemic, making it more vulnerable before it could take preventive measures to mellow down the crisis. The impact was large but didn’t last long. From January the offline retail sales fell sharply by 20.5 percent (YOY). The impact was more devastating on the automobile and petroleum industries where the sales dropped by 37 percent and 26.2 percent respectively. On the flip side, the customer visit per store decreased by 79 percent leading to the sales drop of about 65 percent. After eight weeks of lockdown, China is slowly walking the path of recovery, as the retail market witnessed a 22 percent increase in sales and 43 percent more customer visits from March 6, 2020, equalizing the previous sales mark.
After this pandemic, we believe that Indian retailers across sizes will understand the power of omnichannel digital transformation. In the long run, consumer brands particularly should increase the percentage of their e-Commerce business and deploy the O2O strategy of reaching consumers across touchpoints to prevent businesses from closing down
Considerably in Singapore, the retail sales drop was less compared to that in China. The government contained the contagion at a very primary stage, yet the country whose economy majorly depends on the travel and tourism industry faced a huge dip in the economy. Viewing the worsening condition Dorscon Orange alert was issued from February 24-27, 2020. Less travelers are found to visit the retail stores and the sales slumped 45 percent which is 26 percent lower than the previous year. However, post-March 1, 2020, the market was improved by almost 11 percent and about 16 percent more customer visits and advancing towards normalizing the market scenario.
According to the recent reports issued on the COVID-19 crisis, India is now in stage 3 and the government is actively taking measures to fight outbreaks to spread among the civilians. The study says that compared to the above-mentioned loci, there were not many signs for market dip till March 16, 2020, as the Indians were happily prepping for the festivities. By March 17-25, 2020, India witnessed a huge drop of 46 percent and 55 percent in consumer visits and expected to decline further in the upcoming weeks due to on-going nation-wide lockdown.
The predicted recovery was dated the first week of May 2020, on the condition that there is no extension of the lockdown period. The possible ways to hit the road of recovery are being Omni channel (expediting personalized shopping experience), adapting Live commerce and by merging the offline (enabling the live stream viewers to purchase items while they watch) and the online data to upgrade online selling (to divert the traffic to their e-commerce website/app and clear out the inventory).
Aneesh Reddy, CEO of Capillary Technologies, says, “This is a very trying period for retailers across the globe. Reports suggest that it will take 5 or 6 months for the world to recover completely from the impact of this pandemic. In the meantime, China has set remarkable precedence in not just battling the spread of the virus but also supporting the economy. In India, we are still in the critical phase of a national lockdown. While the Indian government is doing everything in its power to battle the virus from their end, retailers can also look up to their peers in China and Singapore to save their businesses and chart a quick road to recovery.” Adds Aneesh, “After this pandemic, we believe that Indian retailers across sizes will understand the power of omnichannel digital transformation. In the long run, consumer brands particularly should increase the percentage of their e-Commerce business and deploy the O2O strategy of reaching consumers across touchpoints to prevent businesses from closing down.”