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How COVID-19 Changed the Face of eCommerce

COVID-19 has changed the world in many ways. Grocery store aisles are no longer two-way streets. Pizza delivery is now “contactless.” Restaurants are either closed or coming up with creative ways to offer to-go or curbside pickup.

While traditional bricks-and-mortar businesses are learning to adapt to the changing environment, so is eCommerce. With nearly 95% of the American population under stay-at-home orders, some eCommerce store owners are experiencing sales levels they have never seen before. Unfortunately, some are not so lucky.

We recently conducted a survey of eCommerce store merchants to see how COVID-19 is impacting their business. Nearly 30% are experiencing a 50% or more increase in sales, while slightly less than 20% are seeing a decrease of that same amount.

Data published by ccinsight.org, an initiative tracking COVID-19 related commerce metrics, shows rapid growth in eCommerce orders beginning in mid-April. “Retailers and pure e-commerce businesses have been growing 100% year over year until they saw rapid growth starting mid-April that is getting close to an astonishing 150% in terms of orders.”

Another interesting statistic, recorded by Quantum Metric, is conversion rate. For the month of February 2020 conversion rates, “jumped by nearly 9% as shoppers demonstrated the same kind of buying urgency that we typically see during Cyber Monday.”

These conversion rates correlate with an 80% increase in online orders in North America since January. ccinsight.org published data that shows the increase beginning in mid-March.


None of this should come as a surprise. With all of us stuck at home and retail stores closed, we have no choice but to turn to eCommerce. We can also contribute some of this spending to the direct infusion of the CARES Act stimulus money.

So what does the future look like? It’s a pretty safe bet to say that there have been many first-time online shoppers thanks to COVID-19. By providing them with excellent service, fast turn around, and confidence that their transaction is secure, you should be able to keep them as customers once America opens up again. So market to them and encourage repeat orders!

2020 is going to be a pivotal year for eCommerce merchants to embrace mobile commerce and get online stores up to date with designs that are mobile-friendly.

The 2020 Remote Payments Study points out that consumers are 30.6%  more likely to make their purchases online in 2020 than they were in 2019.  53.3% of them used their mobile devices to help them complete their most recent purchases, clearly showing the need for embracing a mobile-first attitude when it comes to store design. Additionally, 72% of consumers have used their mobile devices to help them shop in stores.

COVID-19 has definitely changed the face of eCommerce and many etailers have risen up to the challenge of getting goods in the hands of consumers quickly. We can all keep our fingers crossed that online shopping will continue it’s upward trajectory even after bricks-and-mortar stores reopen.

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