The growing role of e-Commerce in the global economy

Jessica McNally from Department for International Trade, says across the world, without warning or choice, brands and retailers have been forced to adapt to a pandemic that saw stores closing and supply chains changing. The Covid-19 outbreak has had enormous implications for how business is done and it is clear that e-Commerce is set to become more important than ever to the global economy.

A client recently told me that they are redirecting their business and budget into direct e-Commerce sales as a result of Covid-19. They had always traditionally sold through wholesale and distribution routes, however a 94% increase in website sales from customers buying directly had forced a review of their sales strategy to meet the demands of customers who are at home and ready to buy.

Across the world, without warning or choice, brands and retailers have been forced to adapt to a pandemic that saw stores closing and supply chains changing. Stores that have remained open have had to navigate a new landscape of keeping shoppers socially distanced and issues with reduced or rationed stock. All of this has resulted in a change in buying behaviours as consumers increasingly shop online out of necessity rather than choice and are growing confident in online shopping.

Bazaarvoice found that of their 6,200 brand and retailer sites there was an increase of 21% in online orders in March compared to last year. In their survey of over 3,000 consumers, 41% said they had moved their purchases online rather than shopping in store. This highlights that interaction with online channels is on the up and means, now more than ever, e-Commerce has become a vital sales tool that brands need to utilise to engage with their customer bases.

It can feel daunting to morph your business into a successful e-Commerce business. There is a need to migrate from solely using domestic platforms to expanding to international marketplaces all the while maintaining that connection and interaction with your customers.

Knowing which direction to choose, which platform to launch on and which people to garner advice from can be a challenge in itself. That is why the Department for International Trade (DIT) has launched a brand new, six-week programme available to businesses in Yorkshire, free of charge. This is an opportunity for you to learn step-by-step how to effectively set up, sell and deliver ongoing sales to overseas customers online. Featuring nine workshops delivered by the very best industry experts, this programme can assist you in platform management, localisation and branding, whilst covering specific topics such as social selling and pricing psychology.

The Covid-19 outbreak has had enormous implications for how business is done and it is clear that e-Commerce is set to become more important than ever to the global economy. Furthermore, the opportunities for growing your business overseas are out there and the rewards for getting your online approach right are even bigger than they once were. To take advantage of DIT’s Selling Online Overseas Accelerator Programme, apply now.

Enterprise Growth Solutions, in partnership with the Department for International Trade, is delivering the contract for the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), which provides £7.1 million of support for first time, but also experienced exporters as part of the Exporting for Growth Programme.