Why Ecommerce is the New Normal

Bobby T.

Bobby T.

Information Systems, The SPL Group

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The coronavirus pandemic has resulted in a massive surge in e-commerce volumes. By April, many carriers saw increases in sales of over 50% since February. Here are five reasons why e-commerce may very well become the “new normal.”

Brick and mortar stores will be slow to reopen– before the pandemic, e-commerce comprised around 14-15% of retail. However, during the pandemic, e-commerce became one of the only ways to obtain items deemed “non-essential.” While brick and mortar stores will reclaim some of the revenue when they reopen, it will be slow, and consumers will be reluctant to return to brick and mortar stores. This may very well be the ultimate downfall of brick and mortar retail stores, as we are seeing many businesses go bankrupt amid the corona outbreak.

Brands and retailers are reconsidering their channel mix- Many retailers which were mainly brick and mortar had to have an online presence even before the pandemic. Now, with during the pandemic, e-commerce seems to be the only game in town, and that will last a while. Brick and mortar retailers will have to reconsider if it is worth it to keep their shops open amid this new surge in e-commerce. Consumers are realizing how much more convenient it is to buy things online than in person.

Consumer trust in online vendors is at an all-time high- Prior to the pandemic, brick and mortar stores still had their place; consumers like to be able to interact with a product before they buy it. However, once covid-19 started to be taken seriously, these same consumers had to step out of their comfort zone and give e-commerce a chance.

Virus-related products will remain popular- Since the start of the pandemic, people have become almost neurotic about washing their hands. Products such as Purell, Clorox wipes, and hand soaps have seen a huge increase in sales, and they will likely continue seeing these sales figures.

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Declines in consumer-spending will not offset progress- Corona has had a major impact on the economy. Unemployment is now at 13.3%. Naturally, people want to conserve their money. While it is true that consumer-spending has decreased, the bulk of spending during the pandemic has been through e-commerce. While overall consumers are spending less, e-commerce now has a much larger slice of a smaller pie.