How COVID-19 has affected Online Shopping Behaviour and eCommerce Sales?


Remember the 31st Dec night? Like every year, people were excited to welcome the new year 2020 as well. “Happyyyyyy Newwww Yearrrrr”, greeted everyone to each other, only if they could realize that the year isn’t going to be happy at all.

It’s been four months into 2020 and things have only gone from worse to worst. And the only reason for that is Coronavirus.

Originated from the Wuhan city of China at the end of 2019, the Coronavirus also denoted as COVID-19, has turned into a global pandemic within a few months.

It started at a small scale but soon spread like wildfire all over the world. In a few months span, nearly 2 million cases have been reported worldwide and the count is increasing rapidly each day. The USA is currently having the most number of cases as well as reported deaths, followed by Spain, Italy, France and Germany with each crossing the 100K mark.

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It has led to complete lockdown in many countries, which has made a severe impact on businesses. Be it offline businesses or eCommerce, COVID-19 has left no one. People have been asked to maintain social distancing and keep themselves quarantined along with some other preventive measures like washing hands properly at regular intervals.

Schools, Colleges, Bars, anything that involves social gathering has been shut down. Flights have been cancelled, borders have been sealed. Offices are closed and employees have been asked to work from home. Only a few stores are opened such as Pharmacies, Grocery stores, etc. to deliver essentials to the citizens.

The current situation is very critical and frightening, and no one knows how long it will take before we get rid of this completely.

While staying at home seems to be the only solution to prevent the spread of COVID-19, the global economy, on the other hand, has been hit hard due to the Coronavirus outbreak. Businesses have suffered huge losses as they are not getting customers and hence no sales. Online businesses are also facing a major downfall as they are not currently accepting orders due to shipping and delivery troubles.

As per the World Economic Forum, it can take up to three years for the US and European economy to recover from the crisis created due to the Corona pandemic.

How COVID-19 has changed Online Shopping Behaviour?

As people are aware of how infectious this disease can be, they are concerned about how safe it is to receive online orders, the reason being that the virus can live on surfaces for up to two days.

With that being said, people are worried that the item they purchase can contain the virus. A product travels through many places before it reaches the end customer and you simply cannot figure out if it came in contact with the virus anyhow, though it is highly unlikely that you will be exposed to the virus through a package, since shipping and delivery are getting highly delayed and the virus would not survive that long. The WHO, i.e. the World Health Organization has also addressed the concerns saying that it is completely safe to receive orders from countries with COVID-19 cases.

A statement from their website read- “The likelihood of an infected person contaminating commercial goods is low and the risk of catching the virus that causes COVID-19 from a package that has been moved, travelled, and exposed to different conditions and temperature is also low.”

Besides all this, shoppers are raising doubts over interacting with the delivery guys too. And let’s be honest, the fear is genuine. You never know who the next victim of Coronavirus is as it doesn’t show symptoms very early but within 2 weeks. This had led to eCommerce businesses providing the option of “contactless” delivery to the consumers.

Impact of COVID-19 on eCommerce Sales and Revenue: Which sectors are dominating?

Since public places have been shut down and people fear to step out of their houses, offline shopping has witnessed a drastic downfall. Ultimately this has led to the only possible solution, i.e. online shopping. Which sectors are dominating the eCommerce market?

1. Food and Groceries


As the news of lockdown reached the public, people realized that it is going to be challenging to buy groceries or other food items. This made people purchase all the essential items in bulk so that they could avoid the hassle of visiting supermarkets later.

E-retailers providing grocery items witnessed heavy traffic and the orders almost doubled or tripled.

2. Medical Sector


Online businesses that deal in the supply of medicines are among the top sectors that are dominating during these hard times. Purchase of medicines related to cold, cough, and fever have increased by a significant margin. The demand for masks has touched the sky.

Medical eCommerce businesses are making sure that people do not have to come out of their houses to purchase medicines.

3. Online Streaming Services


As people are left with no other option except spending their days in quarantine till the lockdown gets over, they are keeping themselves busy by watching movies or web series.

The subscription rate of online streaming platforms like Netflix, Hotstar, and Amazon prime has increased exponentially, leading to higher conversions and revenue.

Final Thoughts

I had never thought that such time would come where the entire world would be in the survival mode. This feels not less than an apocalypse.

Things are getting difficult for each individual. And we can understand what you are going through. Let’s just hope things are back on track and we are living the same life we used to live prior to this COVID-19 pandemic.

As a token of support, we are also offering some free modules to our customers/merchants. You can view the list of the modules here.

Manish Barthwal

Manish Barthwal

Following his passion for writing, Manish has been providing value to his readers through his write-ups. He predominantly writes for the e-commerce industry. Apart from writing, Manish's love for cricket is unmatchable. He is an ardent cricket fan.

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