Consumer Spend Is Shifting To Ecommerce: The Untold COVID-19 Story

Consumers are spending online, some by willingly and some due to necessity. Some people who hardly or never purchased online have also started doing so. Therefore, brands are gradually turning to a direct-to-consumer business model and several ecommerce businesses are witnessing substantial growth.

Ecommerce sales represented the bulk of overall retail sales growth in the US even before the outbreak of COVID-19. And ecommerce sales are expected to go as high as $6.5 trillion in 2023.

If ecommerce overall is leading, then why is business confidence so low?


It is true that as a result of the coronavirus crisis, consumer spending is low as compared to the same period last year. The traditional brick-and-mortar stores took a hit because of the pandemic. Retailers with little or no ecommerce presence are shifting rapidly to alter their business trajectories. If your business is facing similar issues, take a look at this guide. It explains how you can shift your brick-and-mortar business online.

However, there’s a bigger story here. Some ecommerce categories are experiencing a better stretch for sales. Some of the businesses are witnessing their best sales ever over the last four to six weeks, even as compared to last Black Friday.

One natural skincare and beauty brand, Naples Soap, demonstrates the challenge as well as the opportunity that are faced by numerous businesses in recent weeks. Before the last several weeks, the majority of their sales came from many retail locations. When those had to be shut then the company had to move completely online. And their sales have tripled over the last 30 days.


The common thing between the brands that are performing well in recent weeks is that all of them engage with their customers and have developed a relationship. Recent studies show 43% of ecommerce merchants report increasing sales. To better comprehend how coronavirus crisis has influenced consumer behavior, you can turn to own customer database and analyze transactions across brands. Research reveals that ecommerce sales been rising from the time when stay-at-home restrictions were implemented and April’s average daily sales are much higher than March’s averages.

The brands witnessing the most growth sell new essentials. These include products that help you increase comfort at home, and usually fall under the office supplies, health and beauty, housewares, home improvement, and toys and hobbies categories. It is predicted that growth for new essentials will increase as stay-at-home restrictions continue.


The data shows that a couple of ecommerce categories are thriving at this time. Telling these stories is challenging because retail is usually lumped together by narratives as a monolith which leaves little space for ecommerce businesses (that are not giant marketplaces like Amazon and Walmart) to tell their story. However, a human component is also there and that is it is difficult to advertise success while so many others are struggling.

Yet, the response of the world to COVID-19 is having such an influence on consumer behavior that is probably never going to go back to its pre-COVID state. And the ecommerce brands that adjust as per this enormous change will be victorious afterward.

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