Online shopping continues to grow during the pandemic, but what will happen to online stores once social distancing and quarantine orders are lifted?
Many of the industries booming during the pandemic seem to be directly related to fulfilling pandemic related needs. eCommerce businesses centered around medicine, groceries, household supplies, and personal care products grew 30% to 40%!
This e-commerce growth could be attributed to the increased need for these products. Before investing in shifting your business online, it's important to consider:
Will e-commerce continue to grow post-COVID?
eCommerce is thriving more quickly than ever before, but that doesn't mean it's growth won't continue. In fact, most studies conclude that digital shopping is here to stay for the following reasons:
Value and convenience
Understanding post-COVID shopping behaviours is vital for any business making the shift to an eCommerce platform. COVID-19 has permanently changed how consumers shop, offering a wealth of opportunities for businesses ready to adapt to this new reality.
Value and convenience
The most important advantage of online shopping is its expansive market. In a saturated and competitive market, consumers are constantly bombarded with thousands of products to choose from.
Online shopping makes purchasing decisions easy. The ability to filter, search, and compare goods online allows shoppers to comfortably prioritize value and convenience, with little effort.
Tip: According to the US Consumer Pulse Survey, the biggest reason why consumers try e-commerce businesses is for availability and convenience.
More than ever, people are purchasing products from the most convenient, fastest option, as opposed to visiting a retail location.
E-commerce will always offer more availability and convenience than retail locations. The physical retail market can’t compete with the unlimited options available through e-commerce businesses worldwide.
Though consumers were pushed to e-commerce to fulfill COVID-19 needs, many will continue to favor online shopping over retail post-COVID because of its innate ease and convenience.
As our world becomes more digitally adapted and technologically advanced, it’s no wonder why e-commerce has overtaken retail in recent years. COVID-19 aside, e-commerce has maintained a 15% growth year over year for the last decade.
COVID-19 pushed e-commerce growth substantially, already expected to bring in more revenue than department stores as early as 2023! Alongside the shining future of e-commerce, comes the downfall of retail. Pre-COVID, retail locations were already facing a decline.
In 2017, over 7,000 stores in the US were closed, up 200% from 2016. In 2019, that number grew to 9,300. Analysts predict that by 2025, over 75,0000 stores will close.
While retail locations close, more and more customers are purchasing online. As the world becomes more connected digitally, eCommerce gains more customers.
Currently over 5.1 billion of 7.3 billion people have smart devices to make digital purchases. That’s 70% of the world that can purchase any e-commerce product available to them, a much wider market than any retail location.
While e-commerce is growing at a rapid rate, retail is falling just as quickly. Though the state of eCommerce and retail changed dramatically in 2020, the pandemic simply accelerated this inevitable shift.
More than ever, consumers are switching to new brands and leaving loyalties behind. Unable to shop at usual locations that have their usual items, consumers are looking online for suitable, if not better alternatives.
The new shopping behaviours brought on by COVID-19 offer businesses a crucial chance to become consumers’ regular products, these behaviours won’t go away after COVID-19.
Over 75% of US consumers engaged in new shopping behaviours, breaking brand loyalties in the midst of the pandemic. For many, these new shopping behaviours will persist, as over 73% of consumers who have tried new brands will continue to incorporate new brands into their routine!
Take Away: As the pandemic introduces the ease of eCommerce to an ever-growing population, more and more people will favour online shopping over retail permanently. The new world of post-COVID shopping behaviours proves incredibly promising for any e-commerce businesses able to offer availability, convenience, and value!