eCommerce and the Corona Virus: A Case for Optimism

by | Aug 19, 2020 | Collect

​Understanding the full impact of the Corona virus epidemic on the American society, specifically on its economy, might take years. Americans today are living in an altered world, with varying struggles depending on living situations, health impacts and unemployment fears. Considering the quarantine, the changing rules, the unique regulations of each field and the fact that leaving the house has changed dramatically means financial analysts are still in the dark as to the long-term effect on retail in the US. Obviously, the economy before and after the pandemic are two very distinctively different things. Yet, there is one retail sphere that will probably come up on top thanks to the epidemic, and that is ecommerce.

The ecommerce field has had a positive surge during these months of uncertainty, as brick and mortar stores remained closed. For ecommerce sellers in many different sectors, business is better than ever. In fact, as people have their shopping options limited, the advantages of staying at home and still having everything available is a true triumph of this digital age. It means that in relative safety and keeping with health codes, essentials are brought right to your door.  At this time the pandemic is far from over, even as lockdown is being eased in many states. Yet, surveys show that online shopping is happening 70% more than at regular times. This is no small feat, and carries with it hope for the US economy, as well as specifically for ecommerce sellers.

What Tomorrow Brings

This isn’t to say it is all smooth sailing. No one knows how long the global crisis will last and how big of a recession could be underway. With many people trying to prepare for an unforeseeable future, running an ecommerce business still must be done with diligence and determination. Of course, managing a business, big or small, is intensive work. With that in mind, companies who have had the strength of mind to delve into the ecommerce world, are at a much better place than those who are attempting the transition now. The boost in ecommerce due to the pandemic is described as the growth expectancy of three years reached in three months. No time for a gradual transition. This is the place to be if a business owner wants to stay afloat.

It is true that some might write off the surge in the ecommerce world as a momentary trend. Their thoughts are that right now people still have money to spend. Others say that the growth is limited to specific categories and not indicative of the real picture. Many fear that the holiday season will prove disappointing. In spite of this, there is room for hope. In close analysis of online shopping behavior and trends it seems the ecommerce realm is the best bet for the time being. According to research, more online merchants have joined in the first three months of 2020, than in all twelve months just two years before. A vast demographic of 60-80-year-olds that has not been so active online before has discovered the benefits of shopping without the health risks. These customers will very likely not return to former shopping habits soon.

​The Right Thing at the Right Time

There are other indicators that this boost in growth is not a fluke or a temporary occurrence. Ecommerce has many benefits and advantages even if the corona virus wasn’t happening. It is no wonder that many retail giants are already levitating towards online. There are billions of dollars being invested in the ecommerce realm as the forecasts are a 25% growth in sales by 2022. While other business owners, regular retail sellers, are looking at a very bleak year, one they might not survive, ecommerce holds the promise of relatively easy continuum. Add to that the looming prospect of another lockdown, anticipated in the winter, and it becomes evident that online selling and ecommerce is not going anywhere. And for many, it is a Godsend.

Some say the reluctance to admit that business is booming has to do with ecommerce sellers fear of added competition or a recession. Yet, with the government trying to figure out a way to assist the economic sphere the truth should be told. Not all businesses are equal. The advantages of ecommerce players cannot be dismissed as temporary or marginal. It is probably safe to say ecommerce sellers should not be using the Corona card when it comes to investing in marketing, buying more supplies and even returning loans. The fact that this epidemic struck when the ecommerce realm is very much established, means easier times for both ecommerce sellers and customers. In fact, it could mean the American economy has a real chance of getting through this crisis, and that is indeed a reason for hope.