COVID-19s Impact on Retail and E-commerce and Why You Should Care
COVID-19s Impact on Retail and E-commerce
In this unprecedented era of the COVID-19 pandemic, it is no question as to why people around the globe are worried. With the unemployment rate expected to reach approximately 15 percent or more, the highest it’s been since The Great Depression a century prior, it’s evident that the economy will face backlashes for months or even years to follow. Our world will not go back to normal; instead society will adapt and continue on.
This ‘new normal’ (as I like to call it) can already be seen. In order to keep ourselves safe from the novel strain of coronavirus, humans are practicing social distancing and quarantining — a changed behavior that has quickly altered the way we work, socialize, and shop.
People who can work from home (most likely in sweatpants), happy hours are virtual, and shopping trends have changed rapidly, with merchants leaning on their omnichannel sites for support.
Spending Habits are Changing
Restaurants, movies, gyms and most retail stores are closed due to new government regulations enforcing a limit to the number of people allowed in a certain area at one given time. Because so many businesses have closed during the COVID-19 pandemic, over 26 million Americans have filed for unemployment since late March, with numbers expected to rise. This means many people who used to have the available funds to spend money on luxuries and/or entertainment are having to refocus their finances to other areas.
Not only is the average consumer spending less, but they’re spending differently. In an effort to stay safe, people are finding ways to purchase that involve the least amount of human interaction as possible.
Joshua Warren, Creatuity founder and CEO says of the situation, “I truly believe we’re going to see the biggest shift ever in consumer behavior once the pandemic passes — we’ll see more people using ‘buy online pickup in store’ (BOPIS) than ever before, as well as more people shopping online and wanting it shipped to their home than ever before.”
The Importance of Omnichannel
One of the best ways for merchants to stay afloat during these difficult times is to have an omnichannel presence. Shoppers are looking for safe, easy solutions as a precautionary measure resulting from the current pandemic.
Because of this, stores that allow customers to buy online pick up in store (BOPIS), ship from store, or have strong online presences are likely doing better than those who don’t offer omnichannel options.
Even grocery stores, which have typically relied on in-store, in-person shoppers, are capitalizing on e-commerce sales. Additionally, download of apps like Instacart and Shipt that allow people to hire personal shoppers to prepare and deliver their grocery orders have increased by 124 percent (Shipt) and 218 percent (Instacart).
Significant E-commerce Trends During COVID-19
Overall, e-commerce consumer sales are up 28.48 percent, with the most significant increase seen in the following verticals: medical, baby products, cleaning, food & beverage. Adobe analyzed that the online purchase of virus protective products (gloves, sanitizer, face masks) has increased by a whopping 817 percent. Additionally, the online sale of toilet paper has increased by 186 percent, as a direct result of the strange, bulk purchasing of the product by the masses. More logically, however, online sales for cough, flu, and cold medicines have gone up by 198 percent, and pain reliever sales have increased by 152 percent.
The sales for jewelry and luxury products (designer brands), fashion and apparel, auto and tools, and bag and travel have decreased significantly.
Need Help From Omnichannel Experts?
If you’re a merchant looking to increase your omnichannel presence, contact our expert team today. If you’re looking for a Magento Agency in Dallas look no further! Creatuity is an experienced, Magento exclusive Dallas Magento Developer, and a innovator in the Magento ecosystem. Feel free to check out our portfolio if you’d like.