COVID-19’s impact on e-Commerce & Online shopping

A man doing online shopping, entering his card details in an e-commerce platform.

The COVID-19 pandemic sent people indoors and stopped most individuals from shopping in stores around the world. It hasn’t prevented individuals from shopping online, however. The world’s largest online retailer, Amazon, has made money hand over fist during the pandemic – as has many other major global retailers.

In April 2020, during the initial wave of the pandemic as countries began to lockdown, Amazon announced it had made $75.4 billion in revenue for the first three months of the year. That figure equates to Amazon making more than $33 million per hour for January, February, and March.

How rich have owners of online retailers like Amazon’s Jeff Bezos become during the pandemic? According to Washington Post data reporter, Christopher Ingraham, “if Jeff Bezos gave all 876,000 Amazon employees a $105,000 bonus, he’d be left with exactly as much money as he had at the start of the pandemic.”
The COVID-19 pandemic has truly helped a number of major e-commerce and online retailers. It has accelerated the already fast-moving trend of people shopping online. Fifteen to 20 years ago, the fear for traditional stores was that customers would solely buy products online.

Even as far back as a decade ago, traditional stores around the United States and the United Kingdom were boarding up with online stores being the only place to shop. Shopping malls in the US, so popular in the 1980s and 1990s, are now a thing of the past. The pandemic hasn’t accelerated the decline of places like these in America, it has simply put another nail in their coffin.

For so long, it was claimed that Millennials were pushing the world to be completely digital. It is easy to forget that Millennials are now in their 30s and 40s. They began the trend of going online and it is Generation Z pushing it over the edge. As younger people become consumers, the world will only continue to move online when it comes to shopping. It is Generation X and Baby Boomers that are being forced to catch up. Many of these people are the ones still venturing out to traditional stores whether it be for groceries or other items.

Online shopping’s increase in popularity has come due to stores not being allowed to be open in many countries. Some stores have chosen not to open and put themselves or customers at risk. Online shopping is safe with the Centers for Disease Control stating people are at low risk to contract COVID-19 from having packages delivered.

COVID-19 pandemic’s impact on e-commerce has led to more people working for major online companies. These jobs are mostly in delivery and warehouse collections. The world of shopkeepers and assistants helping customers is dying with many of the modern-day jobs in retail being moved to other areas, including delivery.

Online shopping and a move toward digitalization have been quickened thanks to the pandemic. It was a trend that was always coming but has been made possible more quickly by the coronavirus. These changes are here to stay. The pandemic has also led to many companies realizing it is cheaper to operate with employees working from home. With fewer people going out for work and pleasure, they will turn to the Internet to obtain what they need.

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