Ecommerce & Consumer Landscape in Czech Republic During COVID-19

Prague Morning

In today’s overwhelmingly data-driven environment, we get tons of data to look at every day – from the COVID-19 death count to the numbers about businesses that never returned to the market. But for those businesses willing to navigate through the pandemic, there is a different sort of data to look at.

Consumer behavior is, probably, one of the biggest areas (except for aviation business, maybe) that’s seeing the highest turbulence and shifts, and that dramatically impacts ecommerce and consumer demand.

With the Czech Republic being one of the first-responders to the coronavirus outbreak in Europe, it’s probably one of the most interesting countries to look at in terms of shifts in people’s consumer behavior. And, thus, we can spot early on the changing e-commerce trends.

So, after looking at worldwide ecommerce and consumer trends, here at SEMrush, we’ve compiled some CZ-specific data to pinpoint the changes in consumer behavior. These insights are designed to help businesses in their ecommerce practices to best meet the shifted consumer demand. So, be sure to pay attention to!

Ecommerce Market & COVID-19 Impact in the Czech Republic

With 52% of consumers taking social distancing seriously, it’s not surprising to see more people shopping online. And, with generally decreasing consumer confidence, the ecommerce field seems to be better suited to navigate through what turns into an economic crisis on top of a health crisis.

Just take a look at the graph below that shows the ecommerce turnover in CZ:

Image taken from: https://ecommercenews.eu/impact-of-virus-on-ecommerce-in-cee-market/

From what we can see, the overall ecommerce in CZ seems to be fairly stable. And we can even notice spikes in online shopping during the weeks where COVID-19-related restrictions were put in place. So, in the times of a crisis lies an opportunity for businesses that are already or only willing to operate online.

As a business, though, you can’t just think about this pandemic crisis only in terms of the rise in online purchases. It’s all about the nature of changing consumer demand. So, when we think about data we have to look at, we can conclude that the consumer behavior at the time of the coronavirus pandemic is largely about user behavior.

And, insights from SEMrush data will help us uncover some of the product categories that are seeing the largest spikes in consumer demand.

Coronavirus Top Impacted Industries

According to Ecommercenews.eu, the biggest contributors to the increase in the ecommerce sphere come from sales in Health (+206 percent), Building Materials (+119 percent), Children’s Goods (+103 percent) and Chemist’s (+101 percent). In the meantime, they report on a downshifting trend within the Garden, Clothing and Fashion and Office, Workshop, Warehouse segments.

However, we have been living with this crisis for a while now, and health is not the only thing on our radar. So, at the time when people are starting to adapt to the “new normal”, we’ve taken a look at the data from worldwide-growing product categories – Hobbies, Sports Gear, Home Appliances, and a bonus category, that are seeing some impressive spikes in consumer demand.

COVID-19 Impact on Growth of Consumer Interest in Products

Clearly, with everyone moving their leisure activities indoors, homes turn into multifunctional spaces: your office, your gym, your restaurant, you name them all. Thus, searches for Home appliances, Hobbies, and Sports Gear product categories are absolutely skyrocketing.

Below, based on SEMrush online search data, we’re uncovering the breakdown of what products are seeing the biggest rise in demand.

Hobbies

It is quite unusual to spot impressive spikes in searches for more quiet leisure activities. Sewing and puzzles online searches have almost quadrupled just within one month. It seems like Czechs also prefer exercise and yoga to online video games, although the rise in searches for game consoles (a rising trend worldwide) is also significant. Coloring books and painting by numbers activities also make it to the top ten of the fast-growing Hobbies category.

Sports gear

With the increase in searches for fitness and yoga online, we could expect a huge rise in the sports gear category. If we look at resistive rubbers whose online searches rose by more than 300%, or dumbbells that are twice more popular now, we can conclude that less space-consuming sports gear products are gaining larger popularity. However, fitness machines are still in the top-10 list for increasing demand. We can also spot some more old-school exercise activities gaining larger popularity – the searches for a jump rope have almost doubled over the past month.

Home appliances

With the stay-at-home measures, some people also rediscovered cooking, or just started spending more time in their kitchens. So, many consumers even turn to DIY things like bread-making or brewing their own beer. Then, of course, given that consumers are stocking up their houses with extra food, freezer searches have almost doubled. And with many recipes requiring more kitchen appliances than a simple pot and a fridge, kitchen robots and mixers have also gotten their share of increasing online consumer interest.

Bonus category: Coronavirus-related products

Of course, the biggest increase in online searches occurs across products that are directly connected to the COVID-19 pandemic and safety measures – voluntary or Government-imposed. So, if you thought that the toilet paper panic was a big deal, it only gets the tenth place in top-10 online searches for pandemic-related goods. And, items like disposable or safety gloves, drapes, and antibacterial gels have witnessed an unprecedented increase in online searches.

What Should Ecommerce Businesses Do Now?

It’s quite obvious that this exponentially increasing shift towards online purchasing is likely to stay with us in the post-pandemic era. And, coronavirus has only accelerated the growth of the ecommerce industry.

But, with a more uncertain economy and shrinking purchasing power across the globe, this trend is still facing many challenges. But the economy tends to recover eventually after every crisis, while consumer behavior stays. So, we can expect people to keep going online for shopping across many product categories. Thus, if you already thought that maybe your business should invest in its online visibility and presence, this coronavirus should serve as a great push towards that direction.

And, here are some quick suggestions on how you can make your move towards online or improve your post-pandemic sales if you’ve already gone digital.

If you already have an online presence (and sales):

  • Update your Google My Business profile with relevant information about your business. This post can guide you through the entire process.
  • Work on your website & SEO for better rankings, higher traffic, more user-friendly experience, and conversions. Right now,  you will be competing with an increasing number of businesses who’re improving their SEO and establishing their online visibility.
  • Use a multichannel approach: try to place your product across multiple platforms — from local marketplaces like Alza.cz, Aukro.cz, Bazos.cz, and others, Instagram Shop, Facebook Shopping, etc. Basically, try to be wherever your customers are.

If you are only about to go online:

  • Issue gift cards and advertise them on your social media platforms to ensure some initial sales online. Such a product can be booked, purchased, and redeemed later.
  • Get a share of existing consumer demand by making use of the most popular local marketplaces for your product. So, do some research and try to find out where Czechs are purchasing most frequently – Amazon, eBay, Aliexpress, Google Shopping, etc.
  • Establish your business online even if you think you’re all about brick-and-mortar presence. Look at your competitors who are doing some impressive things online – from online loyalty programs to social media contests. Moreover, being online may help you create consumer demand rather than just sit and wait for your share of the existing customer base.

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