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COVID-19 Pandemic And Its Impact on The Global eCommerce Landscape

07th January, 2021

The impact of Covid-19 on eCommerce was a disrupting force this year, changing life, work, and businesses as we knew them. Within a year, the global online retail industry went through severe ups and downs and lost and gained users in billions. As per IBM, the pandemic even accelerated the shift to digital shopping by about five years.

Safe to say, eCommerce during Covid, as we know it, has transformed into what people like to call ‘The New Normal.’


RETAIL WEBSITE VISITS

Worldwide, the most visited retail websites recorded almost 22 billion visits in June 2020.

The global eCommerce visits were down to 16.07 billion in January 2020.


VIRTUAL EVENTS

At the beginning of 2020, the total loss from canceled marketing events was expected to cross $500 million.

The number of virtual event planning organizations doubled in 2020, with 84% of organizations reporting virtual events more cost-effective than in-person events.


CONSUMER BEHAVIOR

68% of shoppers won’t return to a brick-and-mortar store until the threats of Covid-19 have subsided.

62% of online buyers now shop more than they did before the pandemic


FESTIVE SHOPPING

Consumers spent a record $10.8 billion on Cyber Monday 2020, 15% up from 2019

Black Friday online spending for this year surged nearly 22%, i.e., $9 billion on the web.

Thanksgiving Day online sales rose 21.5 percent year-over-year to $5.1 billion.

2021 is upon us. The Coronavirus seems to be going nowhere. We can see the effect on online sales due to the pandemic on all actors of our digital economy in varying capacities. In a new year, amidst the same pandemic (likely mutated), what we all should be asking ourselves is relatively straightforward.

What can you take away from the Covid-19 eCommerce growth, and how can you use it to drive sales and conversions for your online business?


The Good:: eCommerce Growth During Covid-19

If you want to witness the most evident impact of Covid-19 on international eBusiness, look at the increasing number and frequency of online shoppers. Be it out of need, shipping restrictions, or distribution issues germinating out of nation-wide lockdowns- the bottom line remains that online shopping increased during Covid-19, especially in the following categories.

  • Pet Food
  • Baby Products
  • Meal Deliveries
  • Home Cleaning
  • Kitchen Utensils
  • Personal Hygiene
  • Medicines
  • Small Home Appliances
  • Groceries
  • Books
  • Board games
  • Online Teaching Subscriptions
  • Online Streaming Subscriptions
  • Toys
  • Gardening supplies
  • Gift Baskets
  • Flower Deliveries
  • Health Supplements

According to the IBM US Retail Index, this pandemic pushed online shopping roughly five years into its future. Physical stores have suffered where the online ones have boomed. The BOPIS(Buy online, pick in-store) trend grew by 208% year-on-year in August 2020. Despite the pandemic, the 2020 holiday season is projected to have brought in an additional $40 billion in sales.

In a great many ways, Covid-19 & eCommerce growth are walking hand-in-hand right now. Digital giants like Amazon, Walmart, and Target have grown stronger. The competition is rising. To avoid falling back while making the most of this opportunity, retailers will now need an active omnichannel fulfillment strategy and all the effort they can conjure to establish a global reach.

The Bad:: Online Shopping, Covid-19, and The Losses Endured

Online shopping during Covid took a few sharp turns throughout 2020. While physical stores took the worse hit, online stores also faced the constant dilemma between upgrading their strategies to survive or risking going out of business for good. It is evident from the declining sale of some of the most popular product categories.

  • Clothing
  • Fast Fashion
  • Non-essential Cosmetics
  • Travel Gear
  • Sports Gear
  • Luxury Good
  • Shoes

For instance, contactless delivery/touchless payment became one of the biggest eCommerce trends during Covid-19. But, brands that cannot offer this service to their customers are highly likely to be avoided when shopping choices are made. Therefore, following the transformative trends of eCommerce during Covid has become essential to their survival.

Despite increased spendings, the year-on-year online sales growth has slowed down, at times to half the projected rates.

72% of shoppers from a British study expect more discounts and promotional deals in times of financial uncertainty, putting more pressure on retailers.

61% of online fashion sellers plan to reduce their listings owing to the leftover stock and subsequent strain to discount prices.

During Covid pandemic, eCommerce sales have declined for reportedly 80% of traditional sellers.

Simply put, companies that have shaped their business strategies via eCommerce will weather this storm much better than the rest. Following the trends, seeking alternate supply chains, and implementing advanced inventory and delivery management systems will be necessary to function effectively in the market.

Key Recommendations:: Make the Most of eCommerce Trends During Covid-19 for Your Advantage

We are barely a year into a full-blown, pandemic-induced, planet-wide upheaval. The metamorphosis is still underway. In such circumstances, not even the best marketing gurus can predict how much of the eCommerce transformation is a temporary pandemic-fueled disturbance and how much of it will stay long-term. The forecasts are recording temporary shifts and guessing the disruption it might cause in the long haul.

So, right now, when almost everyone is split in their opinions about the impact on online shopping during coronavirus pandemic, here are a few ways you can adopt to keep your retail business safe.

Consumers are gravitating towards shopping methods that eliminate in-person contact. To keep up with the trend, you can integrate contactless delivery, curbside pickup, and contactless payments upon delivery in your online store’s features.

Capitalize on the products and categories that consumers are investing in right now, like everyday necessities. Expand your eCommerce store’s scope.

Analyze your target audience’s purchasing habits, learning costs, sales channels, etc., to create well-informed, situation-specific strategies.

Invest in an omnichannel sales model, expand your reach across multiple nations, and secure fall-back suppliers.

Additionally, advertise on multiple channels, mostly video platforms. Tell your consumers about the Covid-19 protections you’ve adopted. Up your display advertising game. Stay updated, and hope for the best!

Or, Get Some Help!

Go4amazon is a leading eCommerce service provider, currently assisting numerous online retailers across the globe. From seller onboarding on the best online marketplaces (Amazon, Noon, Walmart, Target, etc.) to handling marketing, advertising, data analysis, and customer services- we do it all for you. Especially during Covid, we have emerged as a leading eCommerce outsourcing company, owing to collective global expertise and the best resources you could find out there. To get in touch for an inquiry, drop an email at sales@nscportalservices.ae, and we’ll reply at the earliest and with the best.