The coronavirus has led to many U.S. consumers changing their shopping behaviors quickly, leading many retailers to have to change their strategies as well. Many consumers have turned to e-commerce to satisfy their shopping needs leaving many retail stores unable to fulfill their sales. In an early April 2020 Digital Commerce 360 survey of 107 retailers, 36% of retailers said they adjusted their marketplace strategy as a result of COVID-19.
The pandemic has allowed e-commerce companies to take the lead. In the first quarter ended March 31, consumers spent $146.47 billion online with U.S. retailers, up 14.5% from $127.89 billion for the same period the prior year, according to the latest U.S. Department of Commerce data. However, there remains an issue for these ecommerce companies, how do we get these shipments out as fast as possible?
Consumers who are used to shopping in retail stores receive their purchases right away. However, those who choose to shop online must wait roughly around 2 weeks. The issue is with the pandemic, many shipping companies have been delaying shipments. According to a Digital Commerce 360 and Bizrate Insights survey of 1,000 consumers in May 2020, consumers faced longer delivery times, limited stock, higher prices and limited customer service on marketplaces during the crisis.
In order to counter the pandemic, many retail stores have turned to new strategies such as allowing customers to place orders online, so when they arrive, an employee will bring the item out to them. This allows the stores to ensure the employee and customer safety as well as bringing in potential sales as well.
Many might assume that because of the coronavirus, customers are less likely to go out and purchase an item. However, according to a survey by Digital Commerce 360, 55% of retailers reported that e-commerce has declined more in April than compared to March. Roughly half of the retailers also reported that website traffic has dropped and online purchases have been down.
Why is that?
It could be due to the fact that consumers are afraid the packages they receive may potentially have coronavirus. On the other hand, consumers realize that ordering online and picking up the items through curbside is not any different. The second way also saves the consumer money and they do not have to worry about delivery delay.
Many ecommerce companies have been releasing COVID-19 response letters in order to combat customer’s worries about spreading coronavirus through packages. 5miles has released their response to 5milers right here. The pandemic has only helped to further and jumpstart the e-commerce industry. Many companies have been developing new ways to launch everything online.