The impact of containment on trade

At first glance, the equation seems simple, with physical stores closed, consumers go online to shop. But observations of shopping behaviour from the confines are actually more complex and certain trends have impacted e-commerce over the long term.

Internet users were initially looking for new product categories. To limit their outings, they preferred to order online products that they were used to finding in stores, such as groceries, baby products and children's games.

Other categories have also seen significant growth as consumers have had to find ways to keep themselves busy at home. This new trend has therefore increased the appeal of board games, video games, books and also sports equipment.

The normalisation of teleworking has increased sales of computer and office equipment.

The aftermath of containment for French retailers

Some of these trends continue after the confinement because new habits have been established: sporting goods are still quite large. Consumers are reluctant to return to the gym and prefer to equip themselves at home. They continue to equip themselves for teleworking because the return to the office is still partial and a new way of working is adopted.

These new consumer trends also create new challenges for the companies that market these products.

First of all, there is a challenge for brands that sell their products both in physical stores and on an online store: converting "physical" customers into online customers.

What difficulties have e-tailers had to face?

  • Slowing down of logistics for some structures in case of lack of personnel or sanitary measures difficult to respect in the warehouses.
  • Overloading of carriers and therefore delays in deliveries, which can causecustomer dissatisfaction.
  • Stock-outs and restocking difficulties for imported goods from abroad.
  • Delivery impossible abroad due to border closures.

What happened to Cdiscount?

On the Cdiscount site, these trends were reflected and new categories were sought and purchased by customers. New Internet users discovered and bought on Cdiscount to compensate for the unavailability of physical stores.

Cdiscount also provided support to small businesses and SMEs in difficulty during this period. A facilitated procedure for registering and opening a shop on the Marketplace has been put in place.

60 million masks have been delivered by Cdiscount to French companies.

Sanitary measures were introduced in the warehouses and the logistics department managed to maintain an optimal delivery time with the possibility of next-day delivery of a large proportion of the products.

During the lockdown,Cdiscount. com became a real alternative to the physical supermarket for certain primary and secondary goods. Consumers who were quickly delivered and satisfied with their experience have maintained certain consumption habits, even after the reopening of physical stores.