Either the world we are living in is inherently strange, or the times we are braving. I say this because of the pandemic – it slowed life down but boosted the adoption of technology. While this boost was most lucratively translated into the e-learning sector, the ecommerce vertical was also rewarded pretty handsomely, particularly in developing economies and generally in developed ones.
The working class in Asia, South America, the Middle East, and Africa were enabled to work from home by technology, and ecommerce transactions helped turn the economic wheels during extended periods of lockdowns. As gruesome as the entire situation was, businesses were able to support employment, and consumers didn’t panic, thanks in part to ecommerce.
As per the latest findings of The Economist, online shopping grew by 33% YOY in 2020, hitting a net value of around $4+ trillion. The same research also forecasts that half of everything bought in China in 2021will be purchased online. As damaging as 2020 was, Nike managed to add around 70 million new customers to its loyalty program during the pandemic. The same article shares a couple of interesting insights as well. First, the US has 2.2 square meters of retail space per citizen (6x that of China). China has ~0.4 square meters. This indicates the misplaced reliance the western retail market has on physical stores. Second, around 9,000 retail stores in the US were either acquired or bankrupted due to the financial losses caused by COVID-19 in 2020. On the other hand, Amazon exceeded USD 100+ billion in quarterly sales in Q4CY2020, and Shopify recorded a 60% increase in new stores creation during the first six weeks of the pandemic.
All these findings make it clear that ecommerce and social commerce are forces to be reckoned with. The future of retail stores is being reimagined as we speak. It would not be wrong to say that the future of physical stores might just be limited to brand theatres, where customers get a live, interactive demo of products. The final transaction would nonetheless be performed online.
While ecommerce businesses took center stage, A&O– an ecommerce enabler – continued operating behind the scenes, powering already-established brands and paving the way for new entrants by making the transition as smooth, fast, and seamless as possible.
So, what do we mean when we say that A&O is an enabler? In a nutshell, we enable companies to harness the power of ecommerce. Our proprietary solution, ezCommerce, addresses the end-to-end needs of businesses. How? By automating, simplifying, and streamlining their operational requirements. This means that from stock, inventory, and SKU management to order, shipping, and fulfilment, ezCommerce can be integrated with any custom or a third-party solution, technology, or platform to automate tasks. Our solution offers real-time data sync, including auto order, stock, and price synchronization with your back-office systems, including ERP, WMS, CRMs, and 3PL services. Plus, with solid dashboards capturing actionable information, you can make data-backed decisions on issues such as the best sellers, pending orders, and the best performers in terms of shops, categories, and SKUs.
A simpler way to understand what ezCommerce does is via real-life problem statements. Imagine yourself as a businessperson running a shoes business. You have a physical outlet, your website, and virtual stores on eBay and Amazon. Besides, you have partnered with several affiliates to sell your particular brand of shoes for a set commission. Additionally, you have listed your products on various local ecommerce domains to solidify your branding and reach more shoppers.
Your targeted efforts reward you with several orders coming in daily from every channel. How tough or challenging would managing the stock, orders, shipping, and tracking the most profitable channels become? Quite a lot! This is where ezCommerce shoulders your burden of keeping everything going without any downtime or lags. You have an aerial view of your stock and inventory at all times and the freedom to direct and redirect stock as per the changing requirements. ezCommerce connects all your retail outlets and their stocks to your online channels and automatically assigns orders to particular locations. This is what we call centralized management of distributed sales and logistics.
With stock and order management taken care of, are you free to focus on growing your business? Far from it! Your affiliates are all demanding custom prices and campaigns to meet their sales targets assigned by you. So, how do you manage the prices and campaigns? With ezCommerce, of course!
The same goes for integrations with shipping agencies to ensure timely fulfillment and digging data to identify trends and forecast stock and inventory requirements.
Speaking about integrations, along with being completely compatible with the leading names in the respective industries, ezCommerce can be integrated with any technology, device, platform, and marketplace conceivable. From channels to shopping carts, shipping agencies, ERPs, marketplaces, and everything else in between and beyond, ezCommerce offers back and forward-compatibility.
Besides these criticalities, another area where A&O stands tall is maximizing the percentage of shoppers converting to buyers on our clients’ websites. As humans, while our shopping patterns have changed over the past several years, how our brains process information has not. Audits of several ecommerce portals have revealed significant opportunity to reflect more shopper-friendly visuals and communications to turn shoppers into buyers. A&O has expertise in shopper psychology and the subconscious triggers proven to grow businesses.
Our clientele includes the most coveted, genuinely global brands, such as Philips Malaysia, Adidas USA, AFS Gear USA, Global Mobiles, Petpeppy Canada, Herbion Malaysia,and Adidas Global. With physical offices in Canada, Malaysia, and Pakistan, A&O is comfortably poised to enable your business and propel it to new heights of success.