There is no doubt that the COVID-19 pandemic has irrevocably affected different aspects of our lives, such as traveling, education, shopping, and more. The online business belongs to spheres that underwent strong changes during the quarantine, mainly because of the shift of many activities from the offline world to the online one.
In this article, we will discuss the impact of COVID-19 eCommerce, including online shopping and sales. As well, we will figure out whether it is safe to buy online these days and whether the online business will remain popular in post-COVID times. So, what are we waiting for? Let’s delve into the discussion of the COVID-19 pandemic’s impact on the online business!
How COVID-19 Changed E-Commerce?
COVID-19 has brought strong changes to eCommerce. Here is the list of main shifts that occurred in eCommerce after the pandemic outbreak:
- Increased number of sales in the digital world;
- Changes in online shopping behavior of consumers, namely the shift from impulse-based to value-based shopping. For example, people started to spend less on such categories as clothing or consumer electronics and more on groceries;
- The evolvement of digital entertainment and related services;
- Growth of web traffic in regard to various industries;
- Digitalization of the supply chain;
- The growing need to hire personal shoppers;
All the above-mentioned factors led to substantial eCommerce growth all around the world. As well, they impacted the state of online shopping and sales a lot. How exactly? Let’s figure it out!
The Pandemic’s Impact on the State of Online Shopping
It is difficult to overestimate the impact that the COVID-19 pandemic had on the state of online shopping. In pre-COVID times, consumers had a chance to visit physical stores whenever they needed to buy something. However, the outbreak of the pandemic caused quarantine, which prevent people to gather together. As a result, a great variety of shops was either closed or strictly regulated regarding the number of visitors that can simultaneously shop in them.
So, it became both impossible and inconvenient for consumers to go on physical shopping. Thus, COVID-19 made consumers change their normal shopping habits and ditch visiting shopping malls to shopping online. Subsequently, the popularity of online shopping has drastically grown.
The peculiarities of Online Retail Sales in Pre- and Post-Quarantine Periods
Thus, the COVID-19 quarantine boosted more online shopping by increasing the number of sales. But was it a purely qualitative booster for all online shops? Let’s figure it out by comparing and contrasting the state of online sales before and after the COVID-19 pandemic outbreak.
First of all, it is necessary to mention that not every online shop benefited from the quarantine. Take, for instance, the apparel industry: Before the COVID-19 outbreak, consumers tended to buy more clothes than after it. There are two main reasons for it:
- During the lockdown, people were “locked” at their homes and, thus, did not need new clothes;
- As well, people preferred to spend money on first necessities instead of on their wardrobe, especially during the period of panic buying.
Therefore, online apparel sales went down during the quarantine.
Secondly, online retail businesses reported that, despite the increased number of sales, the average online monthly spending per online shopper dropped. Most probably, many online shoppers didn’t want to spend much money on shopping due to the uncertain economical situation.
Is It Safe to Order Online During COVID-19?
Right after online shopping gained popularity due to the COVID-19 pandemic, a lot of online shoppers have started to wonder whether it is safe to shop online. Among the most widely spread concerns of consumers were the following:
- Can the infectious virus of COVID-19 live on the packages you order and, thus get delivered directly to your home?
- Is it trustworthy to buy from online retailers that do not have any physical shops?
When looking for an answer to the question of the possibility of getting the COVID-19 virus delivered to you with an online purchase, it is essential to mention that it can live on different materials from a couple of hours to several days. Thus, the virus would most likely die before your online purchases will be delivered to you.
So, ordering things online during the COVID-19 times might be absolutely safe when paying attention to the above-mentioned factors.
Will Online Business Remain Popular in the Post-COVID World?
So, the COVID-19 pandemic made people shift from visiting offline stores to purchasing online. However, will this consumer behavior remain popular in the post-COVID world?
Well, despite the fact that more than half of online buyers claim to continue buying on the Internet after the COVID-19 pandemic is over, the lasting success of online businesses will depend on their marketing strategies. Thus, it is vital to put much effort into the design, SEO, and development of your online business in order to remain efficient in eCommerce sales in the post-COVID world. Click here to know more.
A Bottom Line
All in all, the quarantine caused by the COVID-19 outburst had a great impact on online business. While giving rise to eCommerce, the pandemic changed the state of online shopping and brought new peculiarities to sales online. Finally, despite the fact that COVID-19 caused a lot of uncertainty and doubt in regard to the safety of online shopping, experts predict the long-lasting rise of the popularity of online businesses even in the post-pandemic world. However, you would definitely need to work hard to adjust your online business to the needs of your customers and encourage them to buy from your online store in the future. Thus, make sure to invest enough time and energy in the development of your online business today in order to reap the benefits of your work in the future!