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How Covid-19 Triggered The Rise Of eCommerce


With the dangers of Covid-19 and having a new variant evolving almost every 4 months, people are getting more and more scared to go outside. By spending more time at home you can actually help others protect themselves and your health as well!

But as the internet thrives and becomes better, businesses that were able to adapt to digital platforms thrived, in general, while traditional retailers with weak online strategies dwindled, with several prominent ones filing for bankruptcy. 

The rise of eCommerce thrived in 2020 because of store closures and shoppers’ fear of contracting the coronavirus in public. Coronavirus impacted retailers of all types in the past year and a half, and Digital Commerce 360 researchers and editors had a front seat to the action.

We collectively interviewed dozens of merchants, conducted multiple retailers and consumer surveys, and hosted virtual events and webinars to hear how retailers handled these new challenges.

eCommerce surges on an upward trend

The face of online grocery/shopping is changed and will be like that for a long period of time – more likely. 

The coronavirus pandemic changed consumer habits, forcing food retailers to adapt quickly. Millions of households started buying groceries online for pickup or home delivery and many will continue using eCommerce options after the crisis passes.

Changes in revenue across eCommerce

As people have embraced social distancing as a way to slow the spread of the pandemic, there has naturally been a drop-off in brick-and-mortar shopping. That would seem to mean there would likely be an increase in online shopping as people turn to eCommerce to purchase the items they might have otherwise purchased in person. 

Is there a shift in product categories during the surge of Covid-19?

The constant changes in people’s preference of a specific product are changing at least every month. A lot of factors must be considered nowadays when marketing a product.

With this, the product categories that are being purchased are also changing. 

The factors that come with these are:

Health and safety products.

Anyone who has faced empty shelves or seen price gouging online knows that health and safety products are being purchased far faster than they can be produced and restocked.

Food and beverage.

In addition to long-term quarantine-type items, for groceries in general, sales are up. However, there are some behavioral changes around the way people are buying groceries.

Luxury goods.

While the above products and services are increasing in sales due to the current situation, other industries are not doing as well. In addition to obvious ones like entertainment, restaurants, and travel, one area projected to have significant losses is the luxury goods industry. 

Key Takeaway

All people, all of us, are in flux and just thriving. 

Your customers are trying their best to adapt to strange times without a lot of footholds and shifting their behavior as a result. As a business owner, you are facing much of the same uncertainty, while trying to support your customers’ needs and your own. 

And low-income households still seem to be out of reach due to a lack of basic digital literacy, high costs to access services, and low levels of financial inclusion. Addressing these barriers should be prioritized to make digital economies more inclusive for smaller companies and low-income households.  

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Adam Smith
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