Covid-19 has changed our lives in many ways. We now go out of our homes with a lot of protocols in mind which weren’t even imaginable a few years ago. While every aspect of the human experience has been affected, eCommerce has shocked the world with great results.
Many global eCommerce platforms like Amazon have made great profits, due to our changed dependence and adoption of eCommerce. To help you understand how that happened, we are here with 6 ways Covid-19 has impacted eCommerce and our buying behaviors.
6 Ways Covid-19 Has Affected Ecommerce
Below are 6 ways, Covid-19 has changed the way we perceive online shopping.
- Panic purchases are becoming common
- More people now prefer online shopping
- The way people shop has changed
- Governments have taken digital initiatives
- Safe shopping has become a priority
- Certain products are in high demand
Now let’s discuss the above points in detail.
1. Panic purchases are becoming common
With product supply chains facing crises worldwide, panic shopping can be seen, at the slightest hint of a massive shortage. At the beginning of the pandemic, as no one was prepared for what was to come, fear of the unknown was so great, that both online and physical stores found it hard to meet the rising demands.
During times of panic purchases, items like hand sanitizers, bread, toilet paper, masks are the top items to disappear.
Because of misinformation and too many opinions, it’s harder for people to feel in control. That is why, they tend to over-prepare, in case a shortage occurs so they are not left without supplies. Plus, when people see others buying products in bulk and emptying shelves, they tend to follow, and that creates a loop of panic shoppers.
2. More people now prefer online shopping
A 2021 report, by credit Karma, revealed that 70% of Britons now prefer shopping online. In this report, more than half stated that their online shopping activity has increased from the start of the pandemic and that has harmed their finances.
From the above report, we can understand how many people are now switching to online shopping and how the pandemic has forced people to change their shopping experience. The online shopping revolution has affected many people financially who are now choosing “buy now, pay later” services so they can handle their finances better.
A 2021 research by Adobe shows that many people in the UK still prefer online shopping even after the pandemic is much under control. The research showed that 40% of shoppers still avoid physical stores even after restrictions have been greatly reduced.
Although online shopping has become very popular there is still one risk to it.
Many people remain fearful of security issues that come with it. That is why eCommerce sites are continuously working on data security and are investing in secure payment gateways and processors to help customers shop with more confidence.
3. The way people shop has changed
The pandemic has hit major areas of the world economy. Many people have lost their jobs and tons of businesses have come to a halt. This crisis has led to many people changing the way they shop. According to BigCommerce, different age groups have reacted differently to online shopping.
Agility PR reported that Millennials are shopping more than Gen Z, X, and baby boomers. It also revealed that Gen X and baby boomers are realizing how covid-19 has affected the way they shop. They are trying to cut back and buy certain items in bulk.
A UNCTAD report stated that while ecommerce is booming, the average spending by a shopper per month has decreased due to Covid-19. That is because many people are delaying the purchase of expensive products and are buying necessities only.
Many are even trying to save for the future as the pandemic has brought along uncertainties.
4. Governments have taken digital initiatives
The pandemic has badly affected small-scaled businesses. Without a digital presence, many are finding it hard to make ends meet. To keep the economy stable, many countries have taken initiatives to bring small businesses online.
Many governments like the government of Costa Rica, have introduced a platform to promote small business and to help them work online. They have introduced an app and texting service for better communication among producers of meat, agriculture, and fish.
In Africa, an awareness campaign was run by Senegal to educate people about the importance of ecommerce. Indonesia also launched a program to promote the digitization of small, medium, and micro-enterprises.
5. Safe shopping has become a priority
A very obvious reason for online shopping is that it is a much safer alternative compared to shopping from brick and mortar stores. Many brands including fast-food chains like Dominoes have introduced contactless delivery services that minimize the risk of catching the virus.
That isn’t possible, with physical shopping. You interact with many people, including other shoppers, salesmen, cashiers, etc. You come in contact with so many objects that it increases the risk of getting the virus.
To avoid that, many people now prefer shopping online and the ease that comes with it further encourages them.
6. Certain products are in high demand
According to BigCommerce, from Feb to March 2020, food and beverage sales grew by 18%. People also downloaded more apps with which they could hire someone to shop for them and deliver the items to their homes.
Online streaming also increased as many people were at home. To stay positive, many took to streaming, and platforms like Hulu, Netflix, and Disney+.
While luxury items are experiencing low sales during the pandemic, many rich people are opting for “at home” dining provided by the finest restaurants. Many top restaurants have realized the importance of online shopping and are therefore providing home delivery services.
While a common man is more focused on necessities, the rich have found their way to luxury online.
In this article, we discussed 6 ways Covid has changed e-commerce for us. Covid has made us more aware of our buying patterns and has made us more particular and careful about health and safety. While many are opting to buy only necessities, many are also inclined towards entertainment platforms to remain positive and busy during Covid.
Many are now used to the ease and don’t want to return to brick-and-mortar stores. While online shopping is easier, the crises in the supply chain can make certain shoppers buy impulsively and that makes it harder for stores to maintain the customer demands.
Apart from the public, governments worldwide are also admitting to the importance of eCommerce. Many governments have taken serious steps to educate people and to bring small businesses online.
While eCommerce has made us all more dependent, and many have adopted it in their own ways, we cannot deny how wonderfully it has uplifted economies around the world.