Demand for e-commerce and increased online functionality has surged in recent years, especially in emerging markets. COVID-19 has further accelerated this transition: as governments across the world implemented isolation measures and ordered the closure of non-essential businesses, e-commerce became key to business survival.
Although 2020 has been a tough year for many businesses so far, retailers that have maintained intact supply chains and viable routes to market have found opportunities opening up. Shortages of certain goods and channel limitations have encouraged consumers to diversify from their usual brands.
A recent McKinsey report suggested that the global pandemic has triggered a permanent shift in buying patterns. A rise in e-commerce has been seen across all product categories and, even with stores reopening, many consumers plan to maintain these new online shopping habits. It is therefore critical for businesses to optimize the functionality of their online platforms in order to maintain profits. Finding trusted partners who can guide them through this process will be invaluable.
Agility and two of our partner companies, ExpandCart and Shipa, are banding together in an endeavor to help retailers with no technical expertise establish and brand online stores quickly and manage the sales and shipping process.
ExpandCart, one of the Middle East’s leading e-commerce support specialists, provides small businesses and retailers with the key features they need to develop their own branded stores. These stores can then be integrated with the Shipa platform, which gives online retailers access to some of the world’s fastest-growing e-commerce markets and allows them to manage the shipping, fulfillment and delivery of their products. This partnership enables businesses to create seamless customer experiences and to keep track of their performance and KPIs via dashboards.
Agility has also launched the Bee3 Online initiative in partnership with the Kuwait National Fund for Small and Medium Enterprise Development. This is aimed at helping Kuwait’s 500+ SMEs who are registered with the Fund connect with leading e-commerce companies. The portal introduces merchants to the resources, developers, platforms and partners that can assist them in establishing or expanding their online presence.
We hope that these partnerships will help retailers navigate the shift to e-commerce and thrive in a post COVID-19 market.