COVID-19 Pandemic vs. eCommerce – Effects, trends and long-term impact, Part 2/2 created
Updated: Feb 18
In the previous article, we covered product categories to which were in demand during the pandemic, and how people have responded to the COVID-19 pandemic. Additionally, we covered the psychology of supply and demand, and how eCommerce has been going strong during this difficult human history.
Below we will discuss the global disruption in the supply chain, the Generational purchasing trends which go further in-depth on how the client base is reacting to the pandemic. Further details on purchasing behavior on key categories will also be explored.
Generational Reaction to COVID-19
A recent study by Agility PR Solutions has shown interesting facts on how different categories of consumers have responded to the pandemic. In summary, this survey covering the USA and UK has shown the following highlights.
93% of all respondents were concerned about seeing a somewhat or large impact on the economy. This was seen in pretty much all categories.
44% have said that the pandemic has changed their purchase decisions.
Millennials (54%) say the pandemic has impacted their purchase decisions, versus 33% of Baby Boomers, 42% of Gen X and 49% of Gen Z.
35% of respondents have said that the news of the pandemic has influenced their decision on where/how to shop.
28% of surveyed have said that pandemic news has influenced how much they are spending on products.
19% of Baby Boomers, 29% of Gen X, 28% of Gen Z, and 36% of Millennials.
29% of respondents say they are taking advantage of BOPIS services (Buy Online, Pick-Up in Store) get products delivered without going in-store, with 18% using a curbside pickup, 17% using subscription services, and 13% opting for auto-ship.
Baby Boomers 20%, Gen X 28%, Gen Z 47%, and Millennials 22%
Subscription services: 8% Baby Boomers, 19% Gen X, 19% Gen Z, 23% Millennials
Curbside pickup: 13% Baby Boomers, 13% Gen X, 22% Gen Z, 30% Millennials
49% of respondents say that due to the COVID-19 outbreak, they are concerned about receiving apparel or other products that were produced in impacted areas such as China.
With the time and effort, it takes to go locally to a store to obtain what you are seeking (and finding empty shelves), with proper inventory management online, saving the consumer time to purchase and obtain their goods an online store has shown to be an asset in getting their goods.
The New Consumers’ report from Rakuten Intelligence that found US eCommerce spending up ~36% YoY from Mar. 12-Mar. 15, driving it to almost double the growth rate from the previous trend.
Online Grocery Shopping is now becoming an important part of all grocers, and it is believed it will remain this way for most consumers even after the pandemic.
Health and Safety Products
As seen by retail shelves that have shown to be empty for various health products such as hand sanitizer, masks, and of course toilet paper. Staying clean and healthy is at the forefront of everyone’s mind. The demand for such products has exceeded over 300% as shown by Nielsen in the recent past.
COVID-19 Supply Chain disruptions
With Globalisation efforts being in full swing for decades, this has made every industry vulnerable. With China being given technology, manufacturing, and sourcing of many based products from precious metals to base medical components – it is apparent that the COVID-19 will change the Supply Chain to be shifted towards a more domestic and self-sufficient (local) production and sourcing.
It has been demonstrated that industries that are able to shift their productions from what they used to be producing are doing so in producing face masks, ventilators, and medical supplies during this pandemic. As an example, MyPillow Mike Lindell CEO (www.mypillow.com) in the USA diverted their production to face masks to assist in the shortages of the medical community.
Every eCommerce owner will be concerned about continuity of supply, and are most likely ensuring a 2nd or 3rd source is identified – preferably at cost parity and more locally if possible. However, with the disruptions encountered right now, and even after the pandemic, the supply chain will not be the same.
eCommerce has been an enabler of social distancing and has shown it to be a key tool to find goods in supply all the while allowing people to shop and make their choices based on price/time-of-delivery and availability. COVID-19 will have a lasting effect on online shopping, all the while supply chain will be pushed towards local sourcing as China will most likely make an impact due to quality/reliability as seen recently on PPE for hospital/care-home staff. To ensure self-sustaining reliability for businesses and commerce, flexibility with resourcefulness will win the day. May you all have a safe journey and good health during these turbulent global waters.