Is Covid-19 Shifting Consumer Spending to eCommerce?

The onset of COVID-19 has felt like the wild, wild west in just about every aspect of business (and life, for that matter). There’s no telling what the future will hold, but for right now, the lockdown has caused consumers to shift their spending over to eCommerce considerably. 
 

While many consumers were choosing to shop online before the coronavirus hit, the pandemic forced others to switch to online purchasing seemingly overnight. Customers who were used to buying in stores were suddenly plunged into the eCommerce world for the first time, and now, it’s possible that many of them won’t go back. 


eCommerce Is Growing

Ever since lockdown, eCommerce sales have seen a spike. One study showed that 21% of people increased online shopping as compared to before the pandemic. 

Unsurprisingly, businesses that sold essential goods saw the highest and most immediate increase. Online grocery sales, for example, skyrocketed during March and April. However, sales increased in other eCommerce categories as well. 

Electronics sales were up for the first time in years as shoppers scrambled to set up their home offices. Computer prices surged as the demand put pressure on the supply chain. With fewer reasons to leave home, lifestyle items like leisure apparel and beer and wine accessories also grew.


What Will The Reopening Of Stores Mean For eCommerce? 

Stores are slowly beginning to re-open, but fear and uncertainty are still keeping many people at home. It’s hard to know when, or if, this will shift, and the market will return to in-person shopping. 

Will in-stores sales increase as customers venture back out? Maybe. But it’s also possible that many of those newly converted eCommerce customers won’t want to give up the convenience and safety of shopping from home, and the online marketplace will continue to grow. 


What Does This Mean For Your eCommerce Business? 

Retention will become really important in the coming months. Many of you are seeing an increase in new customers and sales, and converting visitors to customers may have been easier over the past few months than it ever was before. 
 

Now, you have to keep it that way. Keep those customers alive and engaged in your business even when they are allowed back into stores. Make sure your user experience is better than your competitors and that your website is optimized
 

Your sales might be booming through this eCommerce surge and you might not have the bandwidth to think through any of this right now. That’s why we offer our site design package, which provides an all-inclusive service to craft your site into an organized, efficient, and well-designed eCommerce site.  
 

Don’t wait for things to slow down to focus on your site design, stay ahead of the game (and ahead of your competitors) with our custom design and development services. 


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How Is Covid-19 Affecting eCommerce?

The world is reeling from the effects of living through COVID-19, and so are many businesses.  Not all the changes have been negative, though. In fact, with people spending more time online than ever before, eCommerce sales are actually up 25%

This spike came from very targeted spending related to lifestyle changes from the virus.  Other eCommerce sectors have dropped dramatically.  

As we begin to learn more about how COVID-19 is shaping the eCommerce landscape, we can also help you to adjust your business.  

Let’s break down all the areas COVID-19 is affecting eCommerce, and how you can position your business for the best chance of survival–and maybe even growth–during this time. 

What eCommerce Patterns Have Developed During COVID-19?

What eCommerce Patterns Have Developed During COVID-19? 

As businesses struggle to catch up to this changing, unprecedented time, research is showing certain patterns emerging. If you can get an understanding of what these patterns are, you can leverage them for your business. 

What Are People Buying During COVID-19?

It probably comes as no surprise that people are spending more on services and products they can use at home. Businesses that enable people to easily work, play, eat, and live from home are in the best position to immediately take advantage of this COVID-19 driven consumer spending. 

While gyms have closed, at-home workout gear is up. With the extended closings of restaurants and their uncertain future, online food and beverage items sales are increasing. 

Other sectors that are seeing an increase in sales are home and garden products, gifts and specialty items, toys and games (think of all the puzzles you’ve seen on social media recently), and apparel and accessories.

What Aren’t People Buying Right Now?

Even with all the extra time online, people are still worried about spending. Economic uncertainty and a high unemployment rate have left many consumers rattled. In May of 2020, the savings rate for Americans hit an all-time high of 33%

This has trickled down to eCommerce in specific categories, mostly related to activities or services that are difficult to do right now. For example, items used for traveling (luggage, cameras, and swimsuits) have seen a decline, as have products needed to run a brick and mortar business, like store displays and fixtures. 

Who is buying more right now? And who is buying less? 

According to a recent study, both men and women have cut back on spending, although men seem to be more concerned about spending than women.  

Millennials and Generation Y might have a bad reputation for their financial habits, but they’re the ones buying the least right now when compared to Baby Boomers and Generation X.   

Everyone, it seems, is buying more in anticipation of COVID-19 continuing to spread. This is where the jump in specific eCommerce categories comes into play. 

How Can You Retain Customers During COVID-19?

How Can You Retain Customers During COVID-19? 

Even if you’re not in one of the booming eCommerce industries right now, there are still ways to engage with your customers and try to secure your business. 

Sell With Purpose

Think deeply about your customer’s needs. You know them better than any study. What do they dream about? What are their pain points? Go through each specific client one at a time and identify how you can help them. 

For example, if you sell office supplies but offices are closed, your customer might not be using the fax machine at work anymore, but that just means that they’re using one at home. They might need one in their home and the homes of multiple employees, which would be an opportunity for growth.  

How can you meet your clients and customers where they are right now?

Make Safety A Priority 

No matter what your business offers, everything comes back to health and safety.

Your customers are going to ask you how you are protecting them right now even if your products have nothing to do with healthcare. You could be a wholesale pen supplier and you will still need to have answers regarding COVID-19 safety precautions. 

It’s a shifting landscape, and fear is the driving force. Now, more than ever, it’s important to make time for the humanity side of your business.

Research, Make A Plan, And Then…Move

While there is still so much uncertainty in the eCommerce world, what we do know is that COVID-19 has changed the way we all do business.  

It has changed the way consumers buy, how people feel about spending, and how we, as businesses, continue to market ourselves and sell products and services. 

Change can be hard, but it doesn’t have to be impossible. You just might need a little help. Using a service like our eCommerce platform can make this transition a lot less painful. 

It doesn’t matter what you choose to do, it only matters that you adapt to these changes and make a move. The one thing you can’t afford to do right now is to wait and see what happens.

Still unsure about how to adapt your eCommerce business to a COVID-19 world? Our free trial lets you get started today with zero risks.

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