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The Shift to Digital Shopping during the Pandemic

For the past several months, businesses have had to learn how to operate during a pandemic. With huge economic losses and financial setbacks, companies have had to become creative in order to save their businesses and employees. Since small businesses in the United States contribute a big deal towards economic growth, the lockdown in March, coupled with the shutdown of a fourth of total small businesses resulted in economic repercussions. However, for E-commerce companies, the pandemic has actually been more of an advantage than an obstacle.

According to the Global Connected Consumer Index Report, a report that has researched consumer trends during the pandemic, “39% of respondents say they will conduct a mix of online and in-store shopping. 28% will shop mostly online, 24% say “they can’t wait” to shop in a store and 10% haven’t planned that far ahead.” Nosto, an e-commerce platform, reported that, “After a massive 66% spike in daily online sales year over year for May, early August averaged 7% higher daily online sales and 3% growth in daily traffic compared with a year earlier.”

It isn’t necessarily that consumers prefer online shopping to in-person shopping, it’s the fact that lockdowns and shutdowns of retail businesses have led to a decrease in supply for certain clothing or e-commerce goods, so online platforms have had to fill the closed business’ spots. In addition to this, people are still scared to shop in person, as the virus hasn’t subsided in the United States, therefore people feel more comfortable shopping in the leisure of their home.

As of October 14th, studies from Digital Commerce 360 show that , “36% of consumers shop online weekly since the rise of COVID-19, up from 28% pre-pandemic” and “90% of consumers prefer home delivery over a store visit, 80% are likely to use digital communications with store associates, and only 28% plan to increase in-store shopping between August 2020 and February 2021.”

From this, we can see that the amount of users online shopping have increased throughout the pandemic, and there is a growing amount of customer retention for certain companies due to the low number of consumers planning to switch from digital shopping, to in person shopping.

What we can take away from this is that the world of retail may very well shift in the upcoming years. Even if the pandemic is to vanish in the upcoming year, consumers may have found peace with the digital style of shopping due to not having to deal with physically going to a store. companies are starting to shift their products to online shopping in order to compete with the world of e-commerce and because comfort is very important to consumers, shopping could potentially only be on digital platforms.

While this is an extreme possibility that may not happen, it will be interesting to see how digital shopping and e-commerce will evolve these upcoming months into the new year.



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