Ecommerce and Virology: A Numbers Game
Depending on your perspective, 2020 may be the most disastrous year to be in business, or it may be the best year ever to have launched an ecommerce store. Analysts include cyber-selling as one of countless sectors disrupted immeasurably by one of the worst global pandemics in world history—and certainly in the United States.
While life and health represent the primary collateral damage of Covid-19, it’s harder to escape the tie-in between economics and well-being. As states began to implement closures of non-essential businesses, economic figures from the stock markets to GDP reflected a devastating side effect. A fascinating byproduct of that was a shifting of commerce from in-person to home-based, creating the kind of climate making ecommerce businesses naturally flourish.
And they have. Coinciding with a general transition to convenient online shopping, the Novel Coronavirus looks to be a windfall for the most prolific digital seller–Amazon–with niche entities following on their heels. For its share, Amazon’s net revenues by in the second quarter of 2020 soared to a dizzying $89.1 billion. With the holiday shopping season approaching, that number could double for the third and fourth quarters.
As goes Amazon, so goes the rest of digital commerce. Second-quarter retail e-commerce sales in the U.S. climbed by almost a third from the previous quarter, to just over $211 billion.
You know where we’re headed. A captive, home-bound audience is good news for both fledgling and established ecommerce merchants. US unemployment figures spiked in the second quarter of 2020, leaving more buyers stuck at home, with time on their hands. More time translates to better opportunities to fully research purchasing decisions. That means stepping outside their comfort zones. At this time, a second round of enhanced unemployment benefits are anticipated by January, often lining the pockets of lower-income customers with more dollars than they made in salary.
A recent global study indicates that 63 percent of consumers “transformed” this year. Almost 60 percent expect to increase their online shopping after the pandemic eases. There’s where the good news lies. If you’ve experienced a slight sales gain in this wake of reduced commercial opportunities, it may not wane once brick-and-mortar stores reopen with non-restricted conditions. Smart ecommerce players will use this time to expand offerings, inventory, web interface, and networking that once seemed elusive.
Here are more jaw-dropping statistics that will capture your attention:
Finally, an encouraging sign for newer or lower-volume merchants is sounding an alarm. The number of organic searches accounts for just under 24 percent of ecommerce traffic, while paid searches represent just 4 percent. This gap is critical for anyone tempted to jump ship over fears of a lack of ability to compete. Using best practices to position your online store through smart marketing, patience, and a glass-half-full mindset could show an impressive ROI in this unprecedented time.
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