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Home Insights & Advice How coronavirus has helped to push e-commerce to the forefront of retail

How coronavirus has helped to push e-commerce to the forefront of retail

by John Saunders

E-Commerce has been around for a while, buying retail products online is now as normal as any other part of our lives, from giant business titans like Amazon all the way down to online retail start ups like DotcomBlinds. Year on year the amount of time we spend shopping online increases as people move away from the high street and onto the virtual high street.

But due to the effects of Coronavirus and the nationwide lockdown, we’ve seen use of E-commerce sky rocket, as brick and mortar shops closes, the entire nation went online for their retail needs across all sectors, with people not just buying clothes and leisure items, but also people buying their groceries and DIY materials from online stores. So today we’ll be diving into the reasons why E-Commerce has thrived at a time where almost all other businesses are being hit hard.

High street shut down

This is the most obvious factor for E-Com booming during lockdown, simply put when the high street shut down, so did the competition for online businesses. So for consumers if they needed an item, they could only shop online for it as brick and mortar retail establishments had the shutters put up.

So of course, when an entire nation has no other option but to shop online for what they want, online business will boom. And that’s exactly what has happened as Online Purchases made up 33.4% of all retail sales in the UK in May. Customers who swapped over to online retail for the 1st time will likely stay online even after the pandemic has subsided, as online retail has been shown to be simple and easy.

Why risk it?

Even as stores reopen n the high street, lots of people are still worried about the possibility of getting infected with COVID-19 and as such are tentative to leave the house unless it is essential. Because of this E-Commerce again wins big, even if you can buy an item on the high street, is it really worth the risk of leaving your home, when you can get it delivered to your front door in less than 24 hours?

Because of the perceived safety when getting an item delivered compared to going out to a shop location, E-Com should see consumers visiting them just to get their items delivered rather than run the risk of infection.

Online business can be more flexible

Another contributing factor to E-Com’s rise if the fact online business can be very flexible and quick to adapt, due to the fact online businesses don’t need as much physical infrastructure when compared to brick and mortar stores. Where traditional retail outlets need store locations, regional warehouses, etc, online business have the benefit of only needing warehousing.

Because of this, online businesses can make changes to working environments far quicker than brick and mortar stores only needing to change their warehouse to allow for social distancing rather than having to make sure 100s of stores are compliant in terms of safety.

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