By the second quarter of 2020, life as we know it has changed significantly. But how has the situation changed over 18 months?
The blockade that was so rampant last year has been lifted, and restaurants, movie theaters and gyms have basically reopened. However, when children are still out of school (regardless of parental preference or school requirements), many face-to-face companies are faced with staff shortages.
At the same time, as you may have seen in hundreds of posts on LinkedIn, many office workers are facing the challenge of returning to work, and the virus (to varying degrees across the country and the world) is still One factor-or choosing to leave their company to work in a more remote area.
Although some people call this the “post-COVID” era, the situation is still changing rapidly.But retail and E-business company Has begun to see new behavior changes Shopping habits, And what changes in the past year show signs of persistence.
COVID e-commerce trends
During the COVID-19 crisis, the digital economy is booming. As people embrace social distancing, they are turning to online shopping more than ever. 67% of consumers The report said that due to COVID-19, their current shopping methods are different.
Retailers meet the challenge not only by supporting more online sales, but also by adopting emerging technologies that connect with shoppers or make their customer experience more convenient.
1. New trending product categories.
Grocery e-commerce Soaring in the second week of March 2020. “In just a few months, the North American grocery e-commerce landscape has accelerated by three to five years,” The McKinsey analyst wrote, Who also provided the following data:
- During the peak of the pandemic, 20-30% of business moved online
- The penetration rate of online groceries will stabilize at 9-12% by the end of 2020
With the broad expansion of the product categories that shoppers may order from online retailers, Wal-Mart developed its digital grocery business in 2021, and eMarketer said they will surpass Amazon’s sales in this category this year.
Sales of household goods and fitness products also increased. Leisure goods expenditure An increase of 18% due to increased spending on home fitness equipment, and Furniture and household equipment The industry grew by 5.7%.
Will these trends continue until the transition to the “new normal”?
Although the penetration rate of grocery e-commerce is expected to continue to grow, reaching 14-18% in the next three to five years, some analysts believe that household goods and fitness Consumption will cool down.
2. Low loyalty.
Due to various reasons, consumers’ loyalty to their typical brands has declined. E-marketers report By mid-2021, more than 80% of consumers reported buying a different brand than usual—a trend that began in the early days of the pandemic. Today the reasons are usually lower prices (65%) and out-of-stock products (51%).
3. Contactless payment.
It is unrealistic to expect online transactions to replace every face-to-face purchase. This is why great progress has been made in various contactless payment methods during the pandemic.
E-marketers report In 2020, the number of people using short-distance mobile payment globally increased by 22.2% year-on-year.
4. The realization of coronavirus-friendly.
While some shoppers turn to digital commerce, others take advantage of new or expanded pick-up or delivery options in local physical stores.
Partly because grocery stores support online purchases, third-party delivery providers such as Instacart have cooperated with them to accelerate delivery services, and food delivery companies such as DoorDash and Uber Eats have also begun to provide grocery delivery services.
Curbside pickup from restaurants and brick-and-mortar stores is particularly popular as a non-contact way of picking up on their own time.
5. Social media shopping.
Some social media platforms take advantage of higher online retail demand by adding more business functions, so that shoppers participating in online retailers can browse and purchase products without leaving the platform. These platforms are usually closely integrated with e-commerce platforms so that e-commerce operators can easily promote their products in multiple places.
In 2020, the composition of social e-commerce 3.4% of total e-commerce sales, And this percentage is expected to continue to rise.
However, while social platforms provide more opportunities than ever to contribute to the total retail sales, it is not just about shopping through the platform.
this Most millennials and Gen Z Think of social media platforms as a better place to learn about new products than online search.
The lingering pandemic disrupts consumer behavior and supply chains
The volatility of the COVID-19 pandemic and the way it affects our shopping habits may continue into the foreseeable future.
The surge in virus cases in certain regions may temporarily accelerate the demand for online orders and home delivery. In other places, cases may cool down, thereby increasing face-to-face retail sales.
Omni-channel and online shopping will continue to permeate the retail world, especially in keeping with concerned shoppers with a less-touch mentality.
But the interruption is not just on the consumer side. As the changing model changes expectations of a supply chain that is not yet ready to adapt, supply has its own problems.
According to McKinsey, Demand fluctuations in the United States are driving shipping demand and causing port congestion-but COVID-19 has led to port blockades, which has further reduced capacity.
“The interruption of trade between the Asia-Pacific region and the Americas has never been so tense,” said Cyber Smith at 2pm“The simple function of buying goods and services no longer works in many places. Now, multiply this inefficiency by 1,000, and you will encounter a global shipping crisis that requires a long-term solution.”
Post-COVID business is omnichannel
The major shift in e-commerce in 2020 is obvious-but will it continue?
eMarketer forecast By 2023, global retail e-commerce sales will continue to grow at double digits. In other words, the flow of people has also begun to recover.
Obviously, in the future, choosing between online sales and physical stores is not the answer—on the contrary, “providing a compelling omnichannel experience…is a necessary condition for survival,” McKinsey analysts said.
Those in Nislan IQ Agreed: “Looking forward, retailers should expect regular interruptions. Prepare for the bullwhip effect (increased inventory volatility due to changes in consumer demand). Given the unpredictability of today’s job market, employment interruptions are expected to continue.”