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Impact Of COVID-19 On Retail And The Surge Of E-Commerce

In spite of the strict regulations and lockdowns brought on by COVID-19, eCommerce has experienced startling growth. According to the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development, there was an increase in online retail sales’ share of total retail sales from 16% to 19% in 2020. 

Global sales shot up to $26.7 trillion in 2019, which was an increase of 4% from 2018. If there is one thing that can be said about online retail, it is that it is not a passing trend. It most certainly is not just another good solution to add to your retail strategy. It is absolutely necessary for any retailers’ survival. 

What Will Continue To Fuel eCommerce Growth?

Most customers that have increased their online shopping habits will continue to do so well after the pandemic subsides. Let’s take a look at a few reasons why customers will continue to make their purchases virtually:

  • Newly Developed Shopping Behaviors 

The state and government-mandated quarantines have radically changed our daily lives. This has also affected the way we do our shopping. For many consumers concerned about their health, online shopping is safe and convenient. There is zero possibility of contracting the virus as there is no contact with others. 

  • COVID-19 Fears Will Persist

With death tolls unexpectedly rising throughout the world, consumers are understandably prudent about going into enclosed public places. That is why online shopping ticks the boxes for most. There is no need to leave the house to get the products they need. 

  • Mobile Shopping Continues To Grow

M-Commerce, or mobile shopping, continues to make headway. According to Insider Intelligence, m-Commerce is expected to reach $284 billion or at least 45% of the total U.S. eCommerce market by the close of 2020. 

Customers can shop by using “one-click” checkout. Payment information is entered only once, then customers use the one-click option to complete their purchase. 

Offering a wide selection of products, at a discounted price, and supreme convenience creates the perfect trifecta for the best customer experience. This is why online shopping reigns supreme. 

How Retailers Can Join The eCommerce Revolution

The severity of the current pandemic may fluctuate, however, one thing is certain, that eCommerce is here to stay. To stay ahead of the curve and meet your customers where they are, take a look at these tips:

1.  Use multi-or omni channels to connect with your customers.

It’s critical to know where your customers shop. Depending on their needs, they may shop at an online store, shop at Amazon, or pay a visit to their local brick-and-mortar shop.

2.  Be honest. 

Never try to conceal from your customers that you are facing difficulties such as shortages, rising costs, or supply chain problems. Be transparent with your customers. Keep them in the loop about the latest developments and updates and express your determination to resolve the issue. 

3.  Stay flexible.

During such a time of unprecedented uncertainty, customers truly value flexibility when it comes to payment options, shipping, and customer service. If you were forced to offer home delivery due to having to close your doors, consider continuing to offer it after you are able to open your shop again. 

4.  Examine your data.

It is important to test and see which channels and platforms are generating the most revenue. You can also directly ask your customers for their feedback via surveys, reading social media comments and reviews, as well as customer service interactions. 

eCommerce Is Here To Stay

The pandemic crisis has brought on radical changes to our lives and our economy. COVID-19 has accelerated the growth of eCommerce, driving more customers to shop online from the safety of their homes. 

Retailers that are willing to pivot and adapt their businesses to this new landscape will fare better.