The New “Normal” of Online Consumer Trends

What’s Changed in Online Shopping Due to Covid?

Because of the global pandemic, it’s safe to say that “the new normal” has become more and more the norm. Let’s highlight some of the notable consumer trends that have risen out of Covid, and how this can benefit many businesses in the future.

More people are more accepting/trusting of eCommerce

In a study done by Shopify in 2020, 52% of buyers say more of their spending has moved online compared to last year. Because of this shift, online purchases became the safer and preferred option — even as cities removed mandates. 81% of buyers said they planned to continue shopping online by the end of 2020. With improved delivery and pickup options, online shopping is quickly becoming the more convenient option.

Smaller/locally owned businesses are online more than before, and will continue to be. 

Buyers are more conscious and aware of local businesses within their area and are intentionally seeking them out to support them. 46% of buyers in the US and Canada said they made purchases from local, independently-owned businesses throughout the pandemic. Notably, this is also a conscious effort that newer online shoppers are making too. Of that group, 34% reported doing this more often than they did pre-pandemic.

Businesses have noticed this uptick of support, and many local businesses have taken the time to onboard themselves with eCommerce and online options they may not have had initially. This is an investment that many businesses will likely continue to utilize moving forward as mandates are removed.

COVID has accelerated an already steady-growing trend.

Despite the drop in in-person sales due to social distancing guidelines, online shopping via eCommerce saw a large boost and has been growing consistently from the 2010s onward. A study from the second quarter of 2019 shows that eCommerce retail sales have risen 44.5%. This compares with an average year-over-year increase of 14.6% over the past five years. The pandemic has rapidly accelerated trends in eCommerce that have been building for years. This dramatic swing away from in-store transactions and toward eCommerce will ebb, once it becomes safer for in-person shopping. However, we will likely not return to where we were before the pandemic.