MSMEs, COVID-19 & The Shift Towards e-Commerce Ecosystem

The pandemic has left us with one thing which proved really beneficial for most of the businesses – Shift towards e-commerce ecosystem of MSMEs.

There are always two sides to every coin. And, the saying holds true for every situation in life as well. When coronavirus spread began and COVID-19 started showing its vast negative impacts across businesses, domains, sectors, etc. Most of the people were of the opinion that the pandemic will eventually leave us only with negative effects and lessons but it seems as coronavirus spread is gradually dying down and normalcy has been restored in the market, the pandemic has left us with one of the biggest positive things which proved really beneficial for most of the businesses – Shift towards e-commerce ecosystem of micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs).

Paradigm Shift

MSMEs cutting across domains have shown a tremendously positive shift towards the e-commerce ecosystem. It goes without saying that e-commerce was one of the pillars that helped MSMEs sustain and survive the negative winds of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Contactless Delivery

 When most of us were locked inside our homes due to the lockdown-related restrictions to curtail the spread of coronavirus, it was e-commerce that came to the rescue of most of the micro, small and medium businesses as the trade houses kept running by shifting businesses online. Stores went online to offer services to their customers and continued to earn at least some amount of money to manage the basic expenses.

Turning crisis into opportunity

Many SME business houses which eagerly wanted to make a transition from offline to online trade but kept procrastinating it in the name of some circumstances or the other finally turned this crisis into an opportunity in the view of pandemic. When coronavirus hit the businesses and thereafter lockdown was imposed, traders and business people were left with no other option but to embrace e-commerce so as to keep the businesses running. With the help of technology and the internet, business houses made a timely entry into the e-commerce ecosystem.

Realizing the hidden potential

Once small and medium businesses made a transition from offline to online in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic, they realized the immense potential of the entire e-commerce ecosystem. With lesser expenditure, traders saved more money in terms of financial margins due to the lesser number of intermediary channels involved in the entire business process right from step 1 to end delivery. Realizing what all benefits the e-commerce ecosystem has to offer, many businesses which were hesitant or not so willing to embrace online medium are now coming forward to make the ‘offline to online’ transition.

Government-backed promotional schemes

Keeping in view the immense and multiple benefits of the e-commerce ecosystem for MSMEs, the government too has come forward with a number of schemes to encourage and promote the smooth ‘offline to online’ transition.

Conclusion: Silver lining

In a nutshell, amid the Covid-19 pandemic, MSMEs have made a very smooth transition towards online from offline. If we compare the pre-Covid 19 era vis-a-vis the post-Covid 19 era, we can confidently say that this offline to online shift i.e. entry into the e-commerce ecosystem by MSMEs is one of the biggest silver linings of the entire coronavirus episode.

By Raghunandan Saraf, CEO & Founder, Saraf Furniture

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