There is no denying that the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has affected almost every aspect of your daily lives. How we work and learn, social norms, and even how we buy our necessary supplies has changed in response to COVID-19. Masks are now part of our daily health recommendations, and many stores require masks before allowing entry. However, going to the store in person is not your only option. ECommerce was on the rise well before the pandemic started, but eCommerce has grown even faster now that the pandemic is in full swing with no signs of slowing down anytime soon. While other industries are struggling to find ways to stay afloat, much of eCommerce is flourishing as more and more people order things online rather than buy them in person. ECommerce has undoubtedly felt the impacts of the coronavirus pandemic, but not all of them negative.
Increase In Online Demand
When the world first started taking the pandemic seriously, there was a frantic panic to buy essential supplies out of an abundance of fear and wanting to be prepared for the apocalypse. Toilet paper was remarkably hard to find in stores for weeks, with some stores implementing restrictions on how much a single customer could buy. When the stores no longer had stock, many people turned to online retailers. People who had never bought toilet paper online were now flooding online stores to find precious items. This trend applies to other items as well. Less than a year ago, most Americans would not consider buying groceries online, but by March, online sales of food and drink had risen by over 20%. People are buying more and new products online that they didn’t before the pandemic. People are also purchasing new items online or shopping in categories they ignored previously. More people are buying more varied products online than ever before.
In general, if a customer can buy something online, they would opt for delivery over purchasing the same item in person. The convenience, availability, accessibility, and safety of online shopping now outweigh the habit of in-person shopping for millions of people globally.
Boost For Brands
Online retailers often have more stock available to customers, but their supply is not endless. When an item goes out of stock on one site, customers are now more likely to go to the brand directly to find other places it might be in stock. This is a change from past behavior as before customers would look for an alternate item before going directly to the brand. This new behavior is a fantastic boost for brands that offer where to buy pages so customers can easily find a new retailer with stock. Customers are also more likely to sign up for restock alerts than before, which means customers are willing to wait for the item they want from the brand they want to come back in stock. This means all marketing from brands, including direct response, social media, email blasts, and more, are all bolstered because more people are staying loyal to brands.
The COVID-19 pandemic primarily caused the impacts we are currently seeing on the eCommerce industry, but these changes might not be temporary. Some studies and polls suggest that even once the pandemic is safely behind us, not everyone will go back to in-person shopping. One poll found 28% of respondents said they would continue to shop mainly online even after the pandemic, with 39% saying they will use a mix of online and in person. We will never hit 100% of people shopping exclusively online, but these polls show that a larger percentage of customers will mainly shop online than would before the pandemic. It is possible that the lockdowns around the world, social distancing guidelines, and general fear of a pandemic forced people to shop online, and some customers discovered they liked that method better than going to the store themselves.
The ongoing pandemic has affected every aspect of our lives, but online shopping and eCommerce in general, has ballooned. More people are using eCommerce than ever before because delivery is significantly more convenient for customers than going to the store in person. Customers are looking for new products in new categories, but also scouring brand websites to find stock of the products they want the most. Brand loyalty is increasing as customers go directly to the brand to find where to shop rather than order an alternative. You don’t need to check another physical store because finding stock of the item you want is just a few clicks away. More and more people are enjoying online shopping, and more people plan to stick with online shopping even after the pandemic is over, which is good news for the eCommerce industry.