eCommerce Industry and the COVID-19 "Return to Normal"

It’s no secret that the eCommerce sector boomed in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. For much of 2020 and 2021, social distancing and quarantine took over and changed the consumer purchasing world. Mass closures of thousands of brick-and-mortar stores drove most consumers to look to online shopping to fulfill their wants and needs. Whether we liked it or not, window shopping was being put on pause until the world was deemed safe again. 

Now that things are rapidly improving in 2022, the real question is around where we’re going as we move forward. For instance, if someone started using a food or grocery delivery app during quarantine for safety, are they going to give up that convenience as restrictions go away? Consumers love convenience. There’s an entire subreddit committed to life-hacks that has over 6,700,000 subscribers, all looking for ways to make their daily lives easier with simple fixes. 

Commerce Growing Everywhere →

While it is true that eCommerce is thriving in 2022, brick-and-mortar sales are by no means declining. In fact, brick-and-mortar sales grew faster than eCommerce in 2021, surging by a staggering 18.5% versus eCommerce’s growth of 14.2%. A huge part of this, as one could imagine, is the fact that people are just ecstatic to walk around and shop in person again. There was a huge push to support local businesses during the pandemic and people love to shop small to keep money local. 

The need for community support wasn’t the only way these small businesses stayed afloat, though. A lot of these small businesses survived because they turned to eCommerce when they had no other option. Thankfully, eCommerce acted as their lifeline and patrons loved the hustle and drive that these businesses have to this day. A huge quantity of small businesses didn’t end up making it through the storm, but those who did adapted to, reacted to, and overcame this unforeseen beast of a challenge are well-respected amongst their communities along with the rest of the world.

All this being said around brick-and-mortar's 2022 success, both sectors are growing at such a rapid pace. How can both eCommerce AND brick-and-mortar be thriving like this? There are multiple factors at play here, but one interesting point to call out is that COVID forced everyone to stay inside and not go out to spend money on drinks, movie theatre tickets, cruises, travelling or anything else that would have them spend a ton of money. Those who had the lucky opportunity to work from home during the pandemic were able to save money, which in turn they could either spend on online shopping or in brick-and-mortar stores once they opened back up. 

Where Do We Go From Here? →

There’s no doubt that the industry as a whole is still molding itself after the pandemic and even going into more current events. There are also new variants popping up all over the place, so we may even shift back to where we were in 2021. Brands and advertisers are going to have a remarkable task to keep up with the trends of the industry to figure out how to grab a consumer’s attention. It will be paramount to know not only what types of media or advertising are getting people interested, but where the sales are actually coming from. 

Creating content and optimizing ad spend in the right places will be paramount to keeping up with the times. With consumer purchasing surging on both fronts, a huge opportunity has presented itself for everyone to grab a piece of the pie.