Exploring The Growth Of E-Commerce During The Pandemic

In the past year, have you transitioned your focus from in-store sales to the online variety? We would argue that there has never been a more important time than now to invest in e-commerce. The coronavirus pandemic has undoubtedly made life tough on all of us for about a year now. For retailers everywhere, business has never taken quite the hit it has since COVID-19 infiltrated our existences.

Needless to remind you, our world is now one where social distancing, mask wearing, hand sanitizing and regular hand washing is necessary. In an effort to prevent further spread of the virus, many stores have either closed up shop for periods of time or significantly limited the number of customers that can visit at any one time. The hits to everyone’s bottom lines have been massive.

Online shopping has skyrocketed.

What are consumers to do when visiting stores in person isn’t necessarily safe? Naturally, online shopping has become to the go-to alternative. This isn’t to say, of course, that surfing the internet for one’s shopping needs is a new trend. The worldwide web has served as a popular shopping mall for many years now. However, in our pandemic-burdened world, online shopping has become more of a necessity.

The shift from offline to online shopping has been enormous over the past year. As Sarah Perez reports on TechCrunch.com, the COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated the shift to e-commerce by five years. She cites data from IBM’s U.S. Retail Index that highlights the significant decline of department stores in wake of the pandemic.

“In the first quarter of 2020, department store sales and those from other ‘non-essential’ retailers declined by 25%,” Perez details, “This grew to a 75% decline in the second quarter…The pandemic has also helped refine which categories of goods consumers feel are essential, the study found. Clothing, for example, declined in importance as more consumers began working and schooling from home, as well as social distancing under government lockdowns.”

Online sales continue to boom in 2021.

So far this year, there has been no slowing down of e-commerce sales. Sadly, the coronavirus pandemic rages on. This only serves to make online shopping a continued necessity in the months to come. In a recent DigitalCommerce360.com article, Fareeha Ali makes note of this trend, highlighting the significant rise in online sales over the past year.

“Consumers spent $861.12 billion online with U.S. retailers in 2020, up 44.0% from $598.02 billion in 2019, according to the latest Digital Commerce 360 analysis,” she reveals, “Online spending represented 21.3% of total retail sales last year, compared with 15.8% the year prior.”

Ali also points out that COVID-19-related boosts in online shopping resulted in an additional $174.87 billion in e-commerce revenue in 2020. “If it weren’t for the bump in online sales from the pandemic, the $861.12 billion in e-commerce sales wouldn’t have been reached until 2022,” she writes.

Is your company in need of a safe and secure e-commerce solution? Unity Payments can help you take advantage of this ever-growing trend. We’ve made selling online easier than ever! Please don’t hesitate to call us at 1-800-661-3761 or email us at info@unitypayments.ca to learn more.