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Published: 23 november 2020 16:05 help to businesses to overcome lockdown challenges

„“ parduotuvė „CUP“
„“ nuotr. / „“ shop in „CUP“

For the second nationwide lockdown tighter restrictions have been imposed, forcing retailers to concentrate on e-retail once again. With the Christmas celebrations nearing – the most important period in the retail calendar – the online shopping centre is offering a helping hand. Now, new traders joining the e-retail platform by the end of the year will be granted the possibility to save and trade for half a year without paying the monthly service fee.

According to data from the Association of Lithuanian Trade Companies, the largest non-food product shops have seen customer flows fall by at least 50 per cent, while others have seen even greater declines, where according to various retailers, they have seen a decline in visitors of up to 80 per cent. marketing head Ernestas Kačerauskas says that the recommendations to act responsibly and not visit public spaces are reducing customer flow in physical stores, but this has no impact on their desire to purchase certain goods, particularly leading up to Christmas. The ‘Singles’ Day’ sales statistics alone should be a significant stimulus for businesses to transfer their sales online.

“Record Singles’ Day sales, which surpassed last year’s Black Friday, displayed that the search for items and Christmas gifts is rapidly shifting online. Due to this, retailers must not only consider but also actually develop their e-retail channels, and this is particularly pertinent to small enterprises, which did not do so during the first lockdown,” says E. Kačerauskas.

For some retailers, the indication to limit customer flows in their physical storefronts during the second lockdown will negatively impact their incomes or even force closures. Thus, in order to ensure that the upcoming Black Friday and Christmas sales proceed smoothly, invites traders to join their e-retail marketplace and trade for an entire half a year without paying a monthly service fee.

“At the beginning of the first lockdown, we noticed an 80 per cent increase in sales year on year, and it wasn’t just that grew, the sales of stores selling through us also grew. For small and medium-sized enterprises, which often have no capacities to invest sufficiently into brand recognition, it should be relevant to trade on an already well-known e-retail platform, which is seen as reliable by customers, has a loyal circle of clients and often can offer a better shopping experience,” says E. Kačerauskas.

According to him, the advantage of the platform is the possibility for international sales. Retailers can expand their potential circle of clients several folds by trading in Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia at the same time, and this is particularly relevant to businesses, which sell products that are suited for gifting.

“Clients are currently most interested in holiday decorations and such paraphernalia: Christmas clothing, advent calendars, and table decorations. Interior detailing is also popular: paintings, storage boxes, candle holders, and vases. Customers are also interested in tea, coffee and spice collections, and toys and books. Sports, particularly yoga and gymnastics goods, are becoming more relevant, as is sports clothing,” E. Kačerauskas explains.

Launched a little over a year ago, the e-retail platform currently hosts over 1,200 traders across the three Baltic States. The traders’ generated income has already exceeded 15 per cent and every month increases its share of combined income. The most successful retailers are those offering clothing, footwear, healthcare and pharmaceuticals, and furniture and interior goods.

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