According to the great majority of store owners, the “click-and-collect” option – allowing them to open during the lockdown by taking phone or online orders and with shoppers picking up their purchases outside the shop – won’t make a huge impact on their turnover.
Traders believe nine out of 10 enterprises – especially small stores – don’t have the infrastructure to make use of the click-and-collect option, which will be launched officially on Sunday; they have neither the website for customers to view their stock nor the space to implement the process.
Some market professionals tell Kathimerini losses can’t be recovered through phone orders, while others say that, between them, e-commerce and the click-and-collect option will save them just 20% of the holiday turnover, with the bulk of takings going to the large stores that already have the necessary infrastructure in place.
In fact, many big companies are also struggling to meet requirements, with leading toy retailer Jumbo announcing it will not open its stores for curbside pickups.
The announcement of the measure Friday raised many questions, such as whether purchases could be returned or what will happen if crowds build up outdoors.
In an effort to contain the enterprises’ reaction, especially the small ones, the Development Ministry is adding a new service to its e-Katanalotis application. Using this app, any company that serves its customers by phone will be able to let them know when they will receive their order, not in a text message on their cellphone but via the app for free.
Another initiative is an effort by small and medium-sized enterprises to preserve some of their sales. As of midnight Friday, the Piraeus Traders’ Association has been implementing its “Electronic Commerce Within 24 Hours” plan. Thanks to the planning and coordination of the Convert Group, the association’s member-companies can obtain their own “digital showcase” for their products at the marketplaces of Public and Skoutz, regardless of whether they have their own e-store or not.