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Shifts in E-commerce Consumer Behavior

Life can never be the same again. Things will never be the same again. And we are not just talking about global picture: economical or financial changes. It will drastically change our habits & behavior, including shopping ones. The pandemic is affecting almost every single business sector, for better or for worse. And it will definitely leave a long-lasting trace afterwords.

And the second-order effect in consumer behavior will be quite lasting. Needless to say, as COVID-19 outbreak continues, the most serious shift in consumer behavior is happening in grocery/food e-commerce.
  • According to Rakuten Intelligence, order volume for online grocery retailers grew 210% from March 12 to 15, compared with the same period in 2019. And from the poll taken in the US, the percentage of adults who said they increased online grocery shopping, escalated from 11% to 37% just in March. It is highly probable that these shopping patterns will continue, even when the pandemic eventually abates. Why? Well, because e-commerce & spending habits tend to form out of repetitive behavior & during periods of peak performance. As well as they tend to stick. Besides, the emergency precautions might have a lasting 'after-effect' and people are likely to keep this habit for some time. Obviously, some consumers will return to stores, but their number might be much lower than before.
  • The other interesting finding was discovered by Klarna app, where they revealed that Gen Zers, Millennials and Gen Xers Are Turning to Marketplaces When Shopping Online. Moreover, the data showed that consumers in the US are shifting their e-commerce spending away from apparel & footwear toward beauty, health, sports, leisure & hobby items. This type of shift in spending patterns is likely to apply not only to the US but to the rest of the world, as people are stuck at home. Klarna's data also revealed that consumers are more interested in using payment options that give them more flexibility in their finances, which means that people will be looking for ways to save up on a purchase or to earn some money back.
  • Playing games over zoom, online celebrations & gatherings, WFH & e-schooling, yoga class live streams - new societal movements, and most of them caused by social distancing. And again, this way of 'consuming' activities/information might stick there for quite some time, mainly because people will find it more convenient or even more effective.
    While staying home you eventually get used to the advantage of home delivery and you would probably love to keep that one permanently. Therefore, a contactless delivery will become more of a norm. Companies will pay closer attention to their employees by offering and providing proper sanitation.
Just because our environment is suddenly volatile, it doesn't mean it will be lacking opportunities. Today's humanity tends to quickly adapt and find new extraordinary ways out. And the challenging times like these could become a great impetus to look at things differently. All we have to do is to learn from this experience and appreciate every moment.

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