E-commerce: prepare anti-crisis pie together

Published on October 09, 2008

E-commerce: prepare anti-crisis pie together

    The fourth annual e-commerce conference on Thursday opened with a three-hour roundtable devoted entirely to the financial crisis and its possible consequences for the industry. Concerning the consequences, the opinions of the participants diverged: from a gloomy playful “I propose to continue to live on credit and not give back - banks will go bankrupt and will not look for you” eHouse Vice President Andrei Khromov to “thanks to the crisis, we will improve and improve the quality of service” marketing Softkey Director Tatyana Tsvetkova.

    But the general vector of discussions on the first day of the conference adamantly rushed towards the solid positive that the crisis would bring to e-commerce. Fedor Virin, head of research at Mail.ru and the Internet and Business Association (AIB), showed a presentation that fixed the assembly point for those who are ready to prepare for the crisis. Sooner or later, Fedor believes, the “long shoulder” of the crisis will hit the medium and small e-business. But the good news is that people will not stop buying on the Internet and will not change the usual shops. They will simply moderate their habits of expensive goods.

    A recipe for an “anti-crisis pie” was also proposed: unification, popularization of electronic commerce among the masses, the struggle for new and retaining old customers by working on the quality of services and, finally, the willingness to jump at any moment onto the wave of recovery that should come after the recession. The fact that market players need to consolidate is supported by AIB President Aleksey Belyaev.

    However, there is no rise, no decline, not even on the horizon (if the horizon is the New Year holidays season). Aleksey Basov, who is “a little bit“ Runner ”, a little bit Finam,” says that companies from the portfolio of the investment fund continue to grow, and indeed they have no crisis. A recession can affect only large business, which operates with large volumes of borrowed funds. In the real sector of the economy, and among relatively small electronic merchants, “nothing will happen,” he adds.

    Roman Gorshkov, head of the online business Eldorado, also believes that at least until the New Year you can continue to work quietly. And then there will be a chance to "eat a share of offline stores", due to the stagnation of the latter. Here the president of RATEK agrees with him Alexander Onishchuk: “in the conditions of a shortage of funds, the pace of expansion of retail chains will certainly slow down, which will positively affect online.”

    “But the money is ahead!”

    As for electronic means of payment (EPS), the crisis will not affect them in any way, because they are “vessels not communicating with the banking system,” said Peter Darakhvelidze, director of external relations at Webmoney Transfer. “We have zero credit debt, we work fully on a prepayment basis,” he substantiated his position.

    “And credit cards - it will be bad for them,” he rolled a traditional barrel from Webmoney into the card garden. “Now electronic money is considered such a surrogate. And when the holder of the card cannot pay her, then this real money will become a substitute. ”

    However, participants in the round table entirely devoted to payment systems would not agree with Peter. A post about him - a little later.

    Peace, labor, reductions

    Throughout the round table there was probably not a single speaker who would not rub his hands in anticipation of the appearance on the market of a huge amount of free labor. Programmers, typesetters, designers, etc., who have come under reduction, will line up for each vacancy in the surviving companies. And those, in turn, will finally be able to lower wage rates and thereby significantly reduce costs. Not to mention the fact that long-standing holes in the states will be filled, because of which many promising projects are idle.

    Such a picture is painted, for example, by Alexander Galunov from Books.ru and Tatyana Tsvetkova. Galunov, who survived the 1998 crisis with his business, now feels clearly more confident. And his younger colleagues, who also intend to play the card of mass unemployment, are in tone most likely simply ignorance of what happened after black Monday 10 years ago.

    Trade engine

    Contextual advertising, pay-per-result advertising, can also change its landscape. Nikolai Popkov from SU Advertising is sure that everything will remain with her as is. But Andrei Khromov believes that pay-per-click rates may fall. This will happen due to the fact that advertisers, who today do not really monitor the effectiveness of ad placement, will review their habits and abandon the “advertising based on principle”, which performs any functions, just does not sell anything.

    Aleksey Basov, who generally agrees that those who use it for other purposes (but to increase traffic, build a core of sites, etc.) will leave contextual advertising, does not anticipate a serious drop in the cost of a click.