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Corona crisis brought shopping centres and e-stores together

The corona crisis brought the regular commerce and e-commerce closer to each other, said head of Omniva parcel business Andre Veskimeister at the web stream focussing on e-commerce.

“The boost in e-commerce growth will not divide e-commerce and shopping malls, but rather bring them closer. Both the e-commerce experience and commerce experience are beginning to identify their roles in the purchase chain more clearly,” Veskimeister said. “It is likely that a store that so far focussed on displaying products and sales will become more of a place of consultation, trying on and emotion, and internet will become the place of purchasing.”

When speaking of the two areas of commerce coming closer, Veskimeister provided a parallel with how people used to have televisions at home and later new colour televisions were launched. “Today, no one speaks of colour television – we simply have television. Similarly to the television of the past, we currently have commerce and e-commerce,” Veskimeister explained. “However, in the future we will speak about commerce, by which we will mean precisely e-commerce. The physical store will likely gain a new role and meaning that will support the sales in the e-channel.”

The corona crisis also brought about a digital jump in e-commerce – due to the circumstances, many people had to try ordering products online, including those who had no such previous experience. “Time spent at home allowed people to learn new significant skills – one of them being safe online shopping,” Veskimeister explained.
Safe online shopping has become a daily necessity and important skill, according to Veskimeister. “It is the person’s own decision to make a knowing choice that they need the item they are buying and whether the place of purchase is a reliable merchant or not,” Veskimeister explained. “It is like a language skill that we all learn, acquire and test, and its importance will definitely grow.”

According to Veskimeister, such a digital jump quickened the trends that logistics and e-commerce experts have foreseen for quite some time. “People are buying online more and more, and the preferred delivery channel will be the self-served channel independent from time of day, such as the parcel machine located outside near one’s home.”

How to be prepared for sudden major changes even better is the learning curve the head of the parcel business sees in the corona crisis. “So far we have been used to linear growth in e-commerce, but we must also have a back-up plan for fast growth or decline in volumes,” Veskimeister explained.

On 28 May, Onlive PROTO small studio held a discussion titled “E-commerce before and after the corona crisis”, where Tõnu Väärt from the Estonian E-Commerce Association and Andre Veskimeister, member of the board of Omniva and head of the Baltics parcel business, discussed e-commerce-related topics. Additionally, Diana Paakspuu from the Re-Use Centre shared their experience with quickly launching an e-store due to the corona crisis. The discussion can be viewed on the Estonian E-Commerce Association and Omniva Facebook pages.


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