Boom in e-commerce and online sales, how online shopping has changed during Covid-19
The global Covid-19 pandemic has turned the world upside down. In the space of a few weeks, all habits changed radically: dinners at restaurants, aperitifs with friends, concerts, cinema, physical activity in the gym, shopping, the way of living at work, school, everything was upset. A change to which we had to adapt as quickly as possible.
With more and more countries and cities in lockdown, the limitations of access to commercial activities, the inconvenience of keeping your distance, wearing a mask in a shopping center has made the shopping experience less pleasant and has changed overnight spending habits of entire countries.
We have witnessed a boom in e-commerce and online sales in the year we are leaving behind. It is clear that economic activities must adapt, be flexible and meet the new needs of the public.
We talk about it with Michele Urbano Sole Director of ITLAB Srl a “historic” Apulian web agency that has been involved in creating websites since there were 56k modems.
“We are witnessing a significant process of growth in the use of information systems by everyone and, at the same time, the awareness on the part of the entrepreneur that he can no longer give up an online presence. For a professional or a company, not being present online today means being out of the world. The current emergency has changed everyone’s habits and lifestyles. Today, shopping is mainly done online.
Any user through his mobile phone always has the internet in his pocket, he sleeps next to it and not being able to move freely, he started buying online, discovering unimaginable advantages. All this translates into a huge demand for websites and ecommerce systems. Entrepreneurs who have believed in these technologies in the past have been rewarded. Those who have not done so try to adapt to the change taking place ”.
E-commerce Covid Report: how consumer choices have changed
The United Nations Conference on Trade and Development conducted a survey of around 3,700 consumers in nine economies, both emerging and developed, including Italy, to better understand the impact of the pandemic on online shopping.
It found that following the pandemic, more than half of the respondents shopped through e-commerce more frequently than before Covid.
Online shopping actually increased by at least 10 percentage points across most product categories, most notably: electronics, DIY, education, cosmetics, household and pharmaceuticals.
Despite the growing use of e-commerce to make purchases, the average monthly spend per buyer has decreased, because in a phase of uncertainty people have preferred to postpone important purchases and have focused more on everyday products.
The strongest decline was suffered, as expected, by the tourism and travel sector: about 75% less per online shopper.
Boom in online sales: the generational response
Average monthly spend per buyer has not decreased evenly and has had different impacts based on the age of the shoppers. Different age groups had a different response to purchases during the pandemic.
It is good to remember that reports are evolving, because behaviors change as the situation changes.
However, Generally Z and millennials are the ones who have felt the crisis and concern for the future the most, drastically reducing purchases.
On the other hand, only a small percentage of people of generation X said they were worried about the situation, as well as more inclined to save in this delicate moment from an economic point of view, most of those born in the 60-70s did not change their own expenses and habits.
E-commerce after Covid: what prospects for the future
It is not possible to make realistic forecasts at this time, however it is quite evident that it is necessary to adapt one’s business activities to the situation that changes in condition, anticipating people’s needs, creating e-commerce sites capable of accompanying its customers in this delicate phase.
It is reasonable to think that what has become a buying habit during the pandemic will continue into the future, directing an ever wider audience to turn to e-commerce.