The unexpected outcome from COVID-19

Consumers embrace eCommerce

Frank Nesci Comestri

Is COVID-19 the catalyst to speed up digital transformation in the retail sector?

Comestri Co-Founder Frank Nesci
shares insights and thoughts on what we have seen so far.

There has been a seismic shift to the current state of retail; companies are being forced to reimagine how they do business and consumers are embracing all things digital. While we acknowledge that many retail businesses are struggling, there are some that are thriving in this strange new world where we’re forced to use digital more:

Kikki K, who not long ago entered into administration, has seen a massive spike in online sales as people set up their home offices. Earlier this month, the stationery retailer reported sales over ‘five times’ the volume of the same week the previous year. With core stationery items dominating the company’s revenue, the retailer sold over 10,000 notebooks and 8,000 pens and pencils in one week alone.  Kikki K’s digital presence is now contributing 60% of what the brand’s revenue would have been from the 59 bricks and mortar stores across the globe.

In the last weeks of April and early March, online grocery sales increased by over 45%. As consumers looked to avoid visiting grocery stores (and found shelves empty when they did), they gravitated online. Leading online retailer Catch reports traffic to their grocery pages is up 467% YoY in recent weeks, and an uplift of sales of household goods by 290%

Myer is another big winner of isolation shopping, recording massive spikes in sales over the Easter long weekend. Consumers gravitated towards self-care and home improvement, lifting online sales 800%. As digital drives their business forward, Myer has also brought back 2,000 staff members to assist with the surging order volume.

Kogan is reporting it’s biggest uplift in active customers since it’s IPO, growing over 13% YoY. The pure play retailer saw it’s gross sales increase by over 50% in March.

At Comestri, we’ve seen a steady increase in online transactions since January and a huge upward shift since lockdown measures have been enforced. With stimulus spending and uncertainty still in the market it will be interesting to see whether this trend will continue.

Transactions on the Comestri Platform

The situation we find ourselves in today is forcing businesses and consumers alike to innovate. Over the years, we’ve heard a lot about digital transformation… now it’s being forced upon us. Consumers need a new way to shop, and businesses need a new way to make their products available to these consumers. Will 2020 be the catalyst for real change in retail?

What do you think? Join the conversation.