Will a second lockdown be another opportunity for e-commerce businesses?

As the e-commerce business in Nepal witnessed a great boom during the lockdown and the pandemic period. The eCommerce business in Nepal was not in use it suddenly got. Things were finally opening up and getting back to a new normal of masks and sanitizers when the second wave hit again. The high rising of the virus once again stirs the doubt of a lockdown being implemented. In an attempt to see the brighter side of things, let’s see what this could mean for the e-commerce business.

E-commerce before and after the virus

E-commerce before the virus was very limited. There were only a few online businesses in Nepal. The reach of these digital platforms was also very short mainly focused on the city. 

There were many up-and-coming digital technologies and applications. However, people were not very quick to adopt them. There are many things people prefer to do physically or just do not trust the online versions. 

But with the pandemic, there was not much of an option left. It pushed people to try digital platforms they had not previously. And the pandemic also led to many new e-commerce businesses to rise from the inspiration of the situation.

The lockdown increased the number of users on the internet, as many people were stuck at home they started browsing more advertisements, more pictures, and surfing on websites. People who were too busy for social media started getting active. This also means that the marketing strategies by the e-commerce platforms spread and reached more people than before. People who used to skip ads started watching them. With no other alternation, people had to order online for food, groceries, or any items. They witnessed how easy e-commerce could make buying things, and that it is indeed trustworthy. This rose as a habit for people and led to the boom of e-commerce in Nepal. 

Also Read: Online Business VS Offline Business in Nepal

Ecommerce now

After recognizing the potential of Nepal’s e-commerce market has, India’s Flipkart and Nepal’s Sastodeal have struck a partnership. This partnership was made In attempts to enable cross-border trade. As the virus cases have been rising significantly again, it may call for a lockdown period. Once again, the eCommerce market can use the lockdown to promote itself and launch further above. 

Some factors that require focus to do so would be:

Essential products

People will buy only necessary and essential items at a time of a lockdown. A maximum number of people will most definitely prioritize essential products like groceries, hygiene products, etc. Hence, like Amazon and Alibaba

S Freshippo had done, focussing on delivery and sales of such items will boost the market. 

Digital Marketing

Almost 60% of Nepali’s have access to the internet and over 90% of them do so through a mobile phone. The Internet is the one thing people will not stop using no matter the situation. E-commerce sites exist upon the internet and they should use it for marketing as much as possible. 

Social media

Even if an e-commerce website exists people may not know about it. There are about 8 million Social media users of only Facebook and Twitter alone. 70% of Nepal’s population is under 35 hence there are a majority and an increasing number of social media users. There are thousands of businesses running through a social media app alone. Clothing stores, bakeries, and simple shops posting online attract a lot of followers and help any business not just online even physical ones!

As the threat of Corona Virus strikes the country yet again, it is a very risky and sensitive period. A lockdown has drastic effects on people especially on people who depend on their income from their daily work and labor. 

However, as every cloud has a silver lining, the silver lining from this situation is for the e-commerce market. We encourage you to limit your outings to necessities and adopt safety precautions. 

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