Few could have predicted the effect that COVID-19 would have on us—and the full impact remains to be seen, particularly for e-commerce stores.
One thing is for sure: the world and economy will never be the same. The way that people shop and consume has changed dramatically, and modern businesses have been forced to adapt to survive.
One of the biggest shifts is the prevalence of online shopping and e-commerce. While online shopping has only grown in popularity since the beginning of the internet, the pandemic and resulting quarantine period have resulted in a sharp increase in online sales. Today, we’re talking about what the pandemic means for businesses across the country.
So, Why Are E-commerce Stores Surging in Popularity?
When COVID-19 began spreading to the U.S. there were restrictions placed on “non-essential” businesses and head counts instituted to reduce the number of people inside stores and businesses. Many companies made the switch to remote work and encouraged quarantine to slow the spread; this meant brick-and-mortar retail stores and restaurants were closed indefinitely. Businesses needed to adapt with delivery and curbside options, but the largest turn was to e-commerce.
The U.S. Department of Commerce reports that from January to July 2020, Americans did 30% more online shopping. From April to June, in particular, Americans spent over $200 billion online, which is a 44% increase from Q2 the previous year.
According to a survey of American and international consumers, 36% are doing weekly online shopping for groceries and home goods, which is a 10% increase. The surveyed individuals also reported that more than half of them would continue online shopping for the majority of their needs, even when state-wide restrictions ease. The companies that have adapted well to this economic catastrophe are those who embraced this shift and focused on their online offerings.
Why E-commerce is Superior in the Age of COVID-19
Unfortunately, not all businesses were able to weather the storm. Over 21 different retailers were forced to declare bankruptcy in direct response to the COVID-19 pandemic, including J.C. Penney, Neiman Marcus, J. Crew, and Brooks Brothers. On the other hand, e-commerce giant Amazon was up 28% in traffic by July. We’ve learned a lot about e-commerce in this new pandemic environment, and the list of essentials is clear:
- Fast, functional website design
- Increased flexibility with returns and exchanges
- Clear, visible product availability (or lack thereof)
- Curbside pickup or touchless delivery options
- Communication limited to sales, perks, discounts, and promos
- Added value for home life
What this All Means for Your Business
It’s no longer possible to get by with a mediocre website and lackluster e-commerce strategy. You need to modify your approach based on your target audience and the change in their lifestyle due to the pandemic. Are they working from home? Are they bored? Are they out of work? Position your brand to meet their needs via e-commerce and you’ll find healthy success.
Want to Grow Your Business? Contact REVITY Marketing Agency
REVITY Marketing Agency works closely with our customers, which include e-commerce stores, to create your brand online for strong presence, increased website traffic, and steady sales. See what we can do for your company.