The Rise of E-commerce Post Pandemic
Updated: May 26
It is no secret that e-commerce is on the rise. In fact, a recent study showed that in 2017, global e-commerce sales reached $2.3 trillion and are expected to exceed $4 trillion by 2022. But what is causing this growth? And how will it be affected by the pandemic?
What Has Caused This Rise?
There is an increasing number of people with access to the internet and mobile devices. As of January 2021, 4.6 billion people were active internet users, which is more than half of the global population. Over 90% of these users accessed the internet via mobile devices.
According to a poll taken in 2021, over 2 billion people are regular digital buyers. This has nearly doubled from the 1 billion back in 2020. The trust in online shopping continues to strengthen.
There has been a shift in consumer spending from offline to online channels. In the US, online sales (including digital services) are anticipated to surpass $1 trillion by the close of 2022. This is a 17% increase from 2021 and there are estimates that it will at least quadruple by 2025.
What Influence Has The Pandemic Had?
The first major impact observed has been the accelerated growth of online grocery shopping. Many food providing industries had to quickly adjust to no longer having brick and mortar locations open to the public. People were asked not to leave their homes except for the essentials and had strict regulations on being indoors with others. Grocery stores adjusted with online purchases, drop-offs and curbside pick up.
The second major impact has been the surge in demand for home goods and essentials. There was a major uptick in home improvement projects and purchases as people were staying indoors for safety. Many were actively working from home and needing to create an office space or provide schooling for their children. This led to a rise for those needs and essentials.
The third major impact has been seen through the force of businesses to move online. Like the food industry, many businesses were finding themselves shutting down their brick and mortar locations to quickly open online stores in order to stay afloat in this new pandemic world. Business owners were able to maintain their stores and orders via online purchases, which allowed flexibility during some of the more impactful shut-downs.
What Can We Expect In The Future?
Looking forward, e-commerce is expected to continue growing at a rapid pace. This growth will be driven by the continued increase in internet and mobile penetration, the growing trust in online shopping, and the continued shift in consumer spending from offline to online channels.
This massive development in online influence can be directly linked to the pandemic and its overall impact on the world. While we were heading towards a more technology-forward future, COVID certainly sped up the process. As businesses and the economy continue to persevere, we will undoubtedly see what else e-commerce can do for us in the future.
The direct impact that the last 2+ years has had on businesses has been overwhelming, specifically for the small to medium size business owners. Many of which have had to figure out how to be more creative than the next person so that their products don’t get buried alongside the thousands of others that are now suddenly online and trying to make it work.
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