How COVID-19 changed e-commerce

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    “How are you managing to get all the monthly groceries with supermarkets closed?”

    “I now buy online following all the COVID-19 restrictions.”

    We all have heard such things during the period Covid restricted us to our homes. Right after the pandemic hit the world, e-commerce gained an all-new spotlight in almost every corner of the planet. Shutting down of businesses and industries obviously could not shut down people looking for ways to meet their basic needs.
    So, from making big purchases to buying daily commodities, the world observed a massive shift in consumer’s shopping behaviour which we call the rise of e-commerce. Here are some facts, figures, and statistics displaying how COVID-19 affected online business growth all across the globe.

    E-Commerce growth across the world

    COVID-19 has caused a dynamic impact on the e-commerce landscape.

    • In April 2020, US retailers’ online year-over-year revenue growth saw a massive surge of 68% from 2019.
    • Online transactions in The UK boomed from 15.8% to 23.3% during the Covid period.
    • China’s online market rose from 20.7% to 24.9%, Australia 6.3% to 9.4%, and Singapore went from 5.9% to 11.7%
    • The people of Thailand downloaded online shopping apps giving a whopping 60% rise to the e-commerce industry in just one week.
    • Argentina’s online marketplace Mercado Libre doubled its sale during the second quarter of 2020 compared to the sales margin during the same period the previous year.

    Impact on small and medium-sized businesses

    Most large businesses already had e-commerce websites, but the most significant shift was seen in small merchants taking their businesses online.

    Though online buying rose about 6-10% across most product groups, small and medium scale industries producing consumer goods such as food and beverages, shelf-stable goods, health and safety products were able to boost their online businesses the most. According to a Canadian study, 67% of small businesses made arrangements for accepting online payments compared to the 47% who were providing online services before COVID-19 hit the world.

    Covid impact on consumer behaviour

    Surveys of the International economic market in various countries show a growing interest among consumers in purchasing through the website.

    Statistics show that mobile devices have been used the most for shopping during the Covid-19 spread, with 72% of customers using smart devices to shop online. It has been reported that 24% of men shopped online more frequently than 18% of women. Men found it convenient to utilize online purchasing options such as the BOPIS services (buy online, pick-up in-store) along with subscription services and curbside pick-up.

    Generation-wise, 30% of millennials shopped online more frequently compared to 24% of Gen Z, 20% of Gen X, while Baby Boomers’ share is only 8%.

    Final Thoughts

    Now that the difficult time is over, experts say that this elevated dependence on e-commerce is here to stay for good. People who previously preferred in-store purchases have now realised the benefits website shopping brings. Not only is it convenient, but low prices driven by high competition is a driving factor in e-commerce’s increasing popularity.


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