Czechs are Learning to Shop Online Even for Consumer Goods. E-Commerce is Bound not to Return to its Original State

Prague Morning

The current pandemic motivates retailers and consumers to use the capacities of e-commerce. Its share in the Czech GDP will increase to 2.7%. Companies no longer expect a return to the situation before coronavirus, shopping online will become standard even for goods that were bought exclusively in brick-and-mortar stores.

Closed shops, non-operating restaurants. At first, the loss of the opportunity to shop in brick-and-mortar stores seemed to be a significant obstacle for many customers. Fortunately for them, many companies already had an alternative to traditional shopping – and so mass purchases and transactions moved online.

“From the customer’s point of view, this is a completely natural development. Customers have learned to easily find online the Commodities they used to shop for in retail stores. The fact that e-commerce is fully capable of replacing classic retail services is thus confirmed, “says Michal Šejba, regional manager of Exactly.

According to Shoptet.cz data, e-commerce in the area of ​​food, distribution and other delivery services is growing at an unusual rate, by up to 420%. Internet sales during quarantine are also used by many others. Across industries, the number of newly established e-shops has doubled in recent weeks. “Also for retailers themselves, online business is a cheap, fast, and affordable alternative in times of limited store operations,” adds Michal Šejba from Exactly.

It can be expected that many customers will primarily stay with online shopping. Intensive cooperation with delivery services and the possibility to make a transaction immediately (for example, when paying by card) are much faster and more comfortable for customers.

According to a survey by Exactly, distrust in existing payment gateways has so far been the most fundamental obstacle for consumers in the Czech Republic when shopping online. “As many as 66% of clients had a problem storing payment details on the e-shop or payment portal. There are also concerns about the trader’s credibility or technical issues. More frequent use of e-commerce services helps customers gradually break down these barriers,” explains Šejba.

Quarantine measures are not necessarily just barriers to business. In a certain way, they emphasize and confirm the trends that the business climate will follow in the long run. The turnover of Czech e-commerce increased by 15% year-on-year.

According to Admez, it currently accounts for 2.7% of domestic GDP. It is undisputed that the unavailability of day-to-day business helps the process, but in the long run it is a global trend. In the coming months and years, therefore, online shopping is likely to become the general standard, and the consumer relationship will shift towards a new, more interactive form, to which a process the pandemic will contribute.

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