25 October 2022
4 min read
Interview to Patricia Lui – Champion and mentor at SMU-X
- How do you think the eCommerce/ retail industry has changed before and after the Covid19 pandemic?
There is no doubt that Covid has changed the way people shop, resulting in the growing popularity of eCommerce among not only millennials and Gen-Zs, but also Gen-Xs and some baby boomers. While Covid has impacted consumer demand, it has also affected many established traditional brick-and-mortar retailers, driving them to develop their eCommerce channels. Regarding the products people buy online, some categories, such as clothing, household cleaning items, accessories, and some food, have become popular. As a result, people are now buying things across a broad spectrum of product categories ranging from convenience goods to lifestyle products and even luxury goods.
- What are your perspectives on the future of eCommerce?
eCommerce will continue growing after Covid, and at a much faster pace than before. While Covid has accelerated the growth of eCommerce across different generations, more opportunities are now available for brands to expand their eCommerce strategy beyond the already-available options. For example, brands can further invest in social commerce and integrate different marketing channels to form an omnichannel strategy.
- What recommendations would you give to a retailer who’s returns policy isn’t effective for its consumers?
One noticeable difference in people’s changing buying habits during Covid is that more people are now buying the same item in bulk and ordering multiple items in a single purchase. That way, consumers will save more time and perhaps delivery costs. The new buying patterns require retailers to have an efficient and customer-friendly returns policy. A clear and transparent return policy would be helpful to avoid any misunderstanding. But more could be done to make the process smooth and painless for consumers. For example, retailers need to shorten the time to process the return duration for refund and allow consumers to track the return and refund process online.
Returns are a pain that both eCommerce and consumers face and, although right now it might not be projected or seen as a necessity, it is, however, a competitive advantage that can allow many eCommerce to develop an advantage with respect to all competitors.