How COVID-19 Changed Online Shopping in Sri Lanka

COVID-19 which is a pandemic worldwide has affected many countries worldwide. More than 200 countries are affected by the COVID-19 pandemic either directly or indirectly. The COVID-19 pandemic has severely affected Asian countries and Sri Lanka is one of those counties. The economic activities of a country are interrelated with the global economy by international trade. Sri Lanka is also affected by this pandemic and it’s almost an intolerable burden now. Drastic changes in almost all aspects of the country such as:

  • Tourism
  • Apparel and textiles
  • Retail and consumer
  • Construction and engineering
  • Banking and finance
  • E-commerce, and online shopping

The whole economy of the country just blew through before and after the lockdown of the country. The effect of the pandemic was blown through the entire economy not long when the lockdown of the country. The ongoing pandemic seriously influenced the monetary states of various layers of the family unit economy. This was further demolishing the work of people and families in the nation because of started government limitations and guidelines, for example, social separating.

As individuals have accepted social distancing as an approach to moderate the spread of the pandemic, there has normally been a drop-off in physical shopping.

That would appear to mean there would almost certainly be an expansion in internet shopping as individuals go to web-based business to buy the things, they may have in any case bought face to face. I’m sure most of us are now e-commerce customers and use the online platform to do all our shopping.

How has COVID-19 affected the country

  • More urban communities are going under lockdowns, nonessential businesses are being requested to close, and clients are for the most part evading public spots.
  • Restricting, looking for everything except fundamental basics is turning into another ordinary.
  • Brands are adjusting and be adaptable to address evolving issues. The circumstance is quickly evolving.
  • The measure of individuals considered protected to accumulate in a solitary spot has dwindled from thousands to hundreds, to ten.
  • Restaurants, bars, cinemas, and exercise centers in many significant urban areas are closing down.
  • Most Government and Private firm employees are working at home and only coming to office on certain days. Most meetings are conducted through the e-platform

If you are interested about how the socio-economic impact on Sri Lanka by COVID-19 pandemic then this a link to a research done by University of Ruhuna.

Online shopping in Sri Lanka before COVID-19

Innovation is progressively assuming a larger part inside Sri Lanka’s retail area, with various conventional retailers receiving web-based business stages to supplement existing retail channels. As of late, electronic retailers, for example, have expanded their pieces of the overall industry. The capacity of conventional sellers to challenge bigger retail outlets has been reinforced by a developing number of cloud-based stages, f

In mid-2017 Sri Lanka’s online shopping market estimated worth was $40 million, developing to $50 million by mid-2018. Given the developing measure of pre-purchase research on the web, the internet business market gives no indications of slowing down. South Asian online retailer established in 2012. It was estimated that online shopping in Sri Lanka could grow to $500 million by 2025 Sri Lanka’s online deals industry could extend essentially in the following five to seven years, given the correct speculations are made from time to time.

Talking at the Sri Lanka Retail Forum in 2018, 64% of buyers taking part in pre-purchase research online in 2017, an increment of 30% over the earlier year. Measures are likewise being taken to eliminate legitimate boundaries to the advancement of Sri Lanka’s computerized economy. In an offer to give better assurance to buyers in online business, the Ministry of Industry and Commerce reported designs to build up an advanced customer security structure to cultivate the improvement of the computerized economy.

Talking at a discussion on internet business change held by the Consumer Affairs Authority (CAA) in September 2018, five areas of priority that ought to be given expanded consideration which are education, payments, data protection, awareness and laws, and privacy. Also, the CAA is working with partners to distinguish holes in the lawful structure, with an accentuation on these key territories. When the CAA closes conversations with partners, they are relied upon to propose new enactment that will uphold the development of e-commerce.

As you can see Sri Lanka’s online shopping market was up to a certain good level with many buyers. Each year the online shopping market grew fruitfully with more buyers adhering to it. However, the target buyers for 2025 might have changed with the COVID-19 pandemic.

How COVID-19 changed online shopping

If we just go through the years before the COVID-19 pandemic usually people go to shops, boutiques, or supermarkets to purchase any item. It was quite convenient and easily accessible therefore most of the customers used this method. However, online shopping and purchasing items have also been present even before COVID-19 and we can say it was mainly the young crowd that did online shopping may because if their busy lifestyle limited them is going to a store and purchasing items.

One of the reactions we’ve seen to how individuals are moving toward this time of confinement and vulnerability is in gigantic short-term changes to their shopping practices. From mass purchasing to internet shopping, individuals are changing what they’re purchasing, when, and how. Individuals are grappling with the real factors of our interconnected world and that it is so hard to incidentally isolate those associations with others. To say that we are living on phenomenal occasions feels like a misrepresentation of reality.

But with COVID-19 being a pandemic all countries advised people to maintain social distance and to avoid being overcrowded places. then there were isolated and lockdown areas and even whole country curfew for months. This directed people to do more online shopping and purchase things because it was difficult to go to a store. Online shopping was easy and accessible, it was just a few orders and payment then your stuff was at doorstep. The online market also grew increasingly with the high demand.

In most countries worldwide the online purchasing has been increased but it’s mainly focused on specific items such as essential items. Online purchasing of other items has decreased compared to pre-COVID times. Items such as:

  • Groceries
  • ICT/electronics
  • Pharmaceuticals
  • Education
  • Cosmetic and personal care
  • Furniture household products

These items have been bought more through online shopping nowadays. People just cut down the purchasing of non-essential items and increased in storing of essential items thinking there will be sudden lockdowns and reduction of essential items. Everyone concentrated on living each day rather than making big plans.

You may have heard the idea of panic buying and you also must have bought stuff and stoked out of panic. You all must have bought the so-called essential items and stocked them up for future needs. Everyone thought like that because COVID-19 spread so fast around the world and no one was certain about the future.

Post-COVID-19 the E-consumer in Sri Lanka has been increased from $11 to $38 which is a significant increment. There is a significant rise in usage of all e platforms such as e-payment, e-banking, e-sports, online health consultations, and online shopping. E-platform was very convenient and allowed everyone to do all their work at home at a fingertips distance. Now we are in the second COVID-19 wave and people are now use to all e-platforms especially online shopping and find it very easy and simple.

Finally, COVID-19 which has been declared a pandemic has affected human lives in many ways. Most of our day-to-day routines have changed and we have to adapt to different routines now. Most of you must be working at home, most of you haven’t gone on a vacation, to watch a movie or shopping in a long time. This is normal life now and you must have got used to doing online shopping. Post-COVID-19 the E-consumer in Sri Lanka has been increased from $11 to $38 which is a significant increment. Most people now use online shopping as it simple, easy, and prevents social gathering to one place. The online shopping market also improved and expanded in many ways to meet the increasing demand. We hope it’s okay to say that people have found solutions to problems and adapted to these methods

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