.. In all online stores they constantly monitor what is selling best at some point, adjust various campaigns and the like. At the time when Slovenia was covered by the coronavirus, everything turned upside down.
With the outbreak of coronavirus and initially only recommendations to stay home, more and more companies have decided to work from home. Home-schooling has also led to a sudden change in consumer shopping habits. We talked about it with Aljosa Domijan, serial entrepreneurs, startup investors, to partners in Gambit trade d. o. o., which operates one of Slovenia's largest online stores, oneA.com.
Surely, with the coronavirus outbreak and the follow-up, and with the massive relocation of employees from offices to home, you have noticed different trends in the online store than you were used to before. Sales of which were most on the rise?
With laptops, we were surprised by the amount. Just on Friday, March 13th, we sold them more than last December. Increased demand continues. Obviously, more and more people are working at home. And when they settle down for their new job at home, they find that they also need more powerful networking equipment, a camera, a printer, paper, and a mouse. Yes, mice are kind of a surprise. We sell a few times more than keyboards. We quickly realized that customers were using the keyboard on a notebook, but the mouse still preferred the right one, not the one on the notebook.
What about printers?
After several years of declining sales of printers, it is as if it were just a product coming to market. First, we were convinced that customers were buying them because they had to print something to work from home. After talking to customers, we now know that children need a printer for school. In short, the printer has become a must-have device in the modern household.
You have also prepared a special job offer from home on the website. Why?
On the very first day, we realized that we needed paper, headphones, staples, staplers, envelopes to work from home, we always lacked a cable, a power supply… enaA.com Buys quite a few companies, we decided to help them by delivering everything ordered directly to the home of each of their remote employees. To make it easier for customers to find themselves, we made a special offer on the page https://www.enaa.com/kampanja/3475, where we now add everything you need to have in your home office. We are also introducing three-month free-of-charge remote technical assistance for all our users, making it even easier for company employees to work under new conditions.
How did you adjust your business?
Most of the company works from home through MS Teams. So far, we have used this teamwork solution only for document sharing and reporting, and now for video conversations and video conferences. Within two days, we got so used to MS Teams that no one on the team was no longer using video chat via Facebook Messenger or Skype, which was commonplace so far.
But are shoppers skilled at online shopping? Do you also adapt to them differently?
For a long time now we have contact instructions in Slovene and English. We have noticed that English-speaking customers always use Whatsup or email, and Slovenes are the king of phones. These days, the number of orders over the phone has increased the most, so we estimate that we are also being contacted by customers who, until now, have mostly bought in physical stores. We advise, assist and, in agreement with them, place an order at enaA.com. From here, however, everything goes the same way as if you had placed the order yourself. They get the order confirmation on their e-mail, they make a payment and the shipment goes on the way.
But did you have enough stock in this rush?
For the first two days anyway. Then we leaned on our suppliers in Slovenia and the EU, who are surprisingly well stocked. Of course, in the day or two when we get them, we run out of disinfectants. From computer equipment, we notice that in Slovenia we are running out of ink and toners, webcams and headsets. Delivery of these products is expected to be difficult until at least mid-April.
What about delivery? It was probably quite a mouthful too?
Logistics is not just our challenge. Imagine that virtually everything that has been bought so far in non-food stores can now only be ordered online. Warehouse workers and delivery service drivers, not only in Slovenia but across the EU, all over the world, are the heroes these days. They work overtime late at night to accommodate any demand that has moved from ordinary stores to the web. Don't mind if your shipment arrives with a day or two delay.
The key change that has caused all this is working from home. Could this be a summary of everything?
Certainly. With this crisis, Slovenes experienced a quantum leap into the information society. All of a sudden, we love video conferencing, teamwork online, paying with credit cards, shopping online. (P.R.)