COVID-19 Drives Online Shopping Growth
It is safe to say the COVID-19 pandemic will be one of the defining events of 2020 that will have implications for years to come. Already, it has transformed the shopping habits of Americans. According to two new studies, American consumers will continue to order items online more often long after the global pandemic has calmed.
The online commercial real estate marketplace, CommercialCafe, recently conducted a nationwide survey regarding the online spending habits of consumers both before and after the pandemic began. The research discovered that 45 percent of respondents shopped online once a week before the COVID-19 outbreak. That figure jumped to 59 percent as a direct result of the current crisis.
Thus far, the most popular categories for quarantine purchases have been groceries, medication, and pet food. 69 percent of respondents said they placed groceries among the top three products they are most likely to buy online – compared to just 32 percent before the coronavirus pandemic.
On the other hand, clothing, electronics, and furniture purchases online have declined during this time, dropping from 56 percent before the pandemic to 37 percent. In contrast, clothing and accessories were the most important e-commerce category in 2018.
An international study from payment company Paysafe also offers a look into online purchasing on a global scale. As per the report, more than half of U.S. consumers (54%) are turning to online purchases. In fact, 25 percent of U.S. shoppers are going online for the first time to make purchases – and this trend will not be declining any time soon. The study finds that this will continue into the future, with 49 percent of U.S. consumers saying they will likely maintain an increased level of online shopping.
Brick-and-Mortar Retail Struggle to Stay Afloat
As the situation continues to rapidly change, brick-and-mortar stores are beginning to struggle. At first, both brick-and-mortar and online stores were scrambling to keep up with demand. However, now that many consumers are turning to online stores, brick-and-mortar retail locations could lose out the most long-term. 83 percent of respondents to the CommercialCafe survey said they now plan to purchase products online that they would normally buy in-store.
In addition, Paysafe found that consumers are growing increasingly comfortable with alternate forms of payments, with 65 percent saying they have tried a new payment approach for the first time during COVID-19, and 60 percent of all North Americans stated they are more comfortable with the idea of using contactless cards in the future than they were before.
Both businesses and consumers are doing their best to adapt to these strange, unprecedented times. As a business owner, one of the best ways you can face the uncertainty and support your customers is to ensure you are offering the best payment processing options, like high risk credit card processing. Finding the right payment processor is a great resource to ensure you continue to serve your customers as best you can.
Author Bio: Blair Thomas has been a music producer, bouncer, screenwriter, and for over a decade has been the proud Co-Founder of eMerchantBroker, the highest-rated high-risk merchant account processor in the country. He has climbed in the Himalayas, survived a hurricane, and lived on a gold mine in the Yukon. He currently calls Thailand his home with a lifetime collection of his favorite books.