Johannes Wikström on E-commerce, the effects of COVID-19 and the future within the area

In today’s extremely competitive and convenience focused reality, consumers do not want to venture to the streets to do their shopping – instead, they want to shop from their home, making e-commerce increasingly important in the last couple of decades. It provides a flexible solution for both businesses and buyers and is a solid catalyst for economic development.

Now, the current COVID-19 pandemic is rapidly changing our behavior towards online channels – these changes are likely to stick post-pandemic. But how is the current pandemic really affecting e-commerce in the short-term and long-term?

At Free Agents™, we had a chat with Johannes Wikström. Johannes is a Swedish e-commerce specialist with more than 10 years of experience within commerce, mainly digital. Throughout his career, he’s been working with e-commerce in multinational brands such as Peak Performance, NN07 and Burton Snowboard. In the video above, Johannes gives his view on important topics such as the effects of COVID-19 on e-commerce, the future of e-commerce and the expansion of giants such as Amazon.

Johannes highlights that even though many companies are challenged to survive in the short-term, the pandemic also presents an opportunity. 

“Whoever wasn’t talking about e-commerce before is now. So, if you had it in the back of mind before, it’s fronts of mind right now”.

The brave companies who dare to focus on and invest ambitiously in their online business are likely to emerge as market leaders. Likewise, in an article about how COVID-19 will permanently change e-commerce in Denmark, Deloitte argues that “time is now to launch that digital market place, the click-and-collect universe or acquire the critical digital talent you have been considering to ensure that your business is fit for fight post-pandemic”. And the COVID-19 outbreak has led to major changes in conditions for companies – it has changed the consumers’ daily habits, consumption patterns, and ways of thinking. According to Deloitte, this has resulted in a boost in the “home economy” and a further improvement in online services that were already world-leading. 

Another interesting and comparable fact is the beginning of Alibaba, a Chinese multinational technology company specializing in e-commerce. The 2003 SARS crisis is widely known for kickstarting Alibaba’s e-commerce success in Asia. They introduced their online e-commerce business for consumers during the SARS crisis when many Chinese citizens were at home in quarantine and the business quickly excelled to new heights. The SARS pandemic accelerated the behavioral change of the internet becoming the mass medium in China. Now, we’re already starting to see the same patterns with giants such as Amazon and Alibaba, but also with small B2B and B2C companies. Similarly, Johannes explains how Amazon is coming our way heavily and describes some of the interesting future problem areas:

“The future development of multi-brand websites and mono-brand websites will be a lot about the co-existence with these big dragons”.  

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