The Latest Research on COVID-19 and Its Effect on Ecommerce

by
May 19, 2020

The global spread of COVID-19 has brought much uncertainty. We continue to brace ambiguity when it comes to the future, facing questions over the state of our economy and the unforeseeable return to normalcy.

In contribution to our original research study, ShipStation conducted a secondary study to track the progression of COVID-19 and how it has transformed ecommerce. Our latest research shows a continuous spike in ecommerce spending, with 54% of Americans saying they are shopping online more as a result of the outbreak. We have seen a 23% increase in spending since the start of the pandemic in March. 

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Online Retail Spending is Up

As the nation resides in a state of quarantine, 78% of Americans say their retail spending has increased within the last 60 days. Among some of the reasons consumers say they’re spending more, 71% say unsureness of product accessibility in-store, 47% say it’s a result of being at home more, and 1 in 5 say they have more time to shop online. Predicting the year as a whole, 36% of Americans are expecting to spend more in 2020 than they did in 2019.

Shipping & Delivery Challenges

As COVID-19 continues to disrupt and challenge the day-to-day for most retailers, 50% of American consumers have experienced a delivery delay or cancelation as a result. If you compare that to back in March, less than 1 in 5 had encountered a delivery disruption. Adapting your business during COVID-19 is essential, with 87% of consumers expecting proactive communications from the retailer if their delivery is negatively affected. 

Changing Retail Expectations

In light of store closures and impacted delivery times, retailers have had to make adjustments to their return policies in order to appeal to those looking to buy. In response to COVID-19, 68% agree that they have lowered their shipping expectations, and 58% say they will place less emphasis on delivery speed moving forward. Consumers are now focused more on flexible return policies, with 45% of Americans expecting brands to provide free returns as a result.

Support for Small Businesses

COVID-19 has had a heavy impact on local and small businesses. However, in response to the crisis, our research highlights a resurgence in support for small-to-medium retailers. Our findings reveal that 62% of consumers say they’re now more aware of local and independent brands they can support, with 55% increasing their spending with those brands. The benefits of supporting small businesses extend far beyond the crisis itself, with 74% planning to support more local and independent brands in the future.

These statistics are pulled from our research study. For additional findings and to download ShipStation’s full report, check out “Ecommerce Beyond COVID-19.”

Let ShipStation Help

In efforts to keep your business up-to-date with all things COVID-19 related, we created a ShipStation resource hub. You can find our latest blogs, carrier updates, webinars, and much more here.
In addition, now it is better than ever to rethink how your business can evolve during this challenging time. To support your business, we’re offering a 90 day free trial for all new customers. Move online with ShipStation and we’ll help you grow your business from anywhere.

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