Buyer personas have rapidly shifted in favor of digitally-enabled contactless or at-home solutions in the New Normal. A recent study revealed that 50% of consumers say they will not return to shops for ‘some time’ or ‘a long time’ after lockdowns ease. In a span of eight weeks, the global usage of eCommerce has surpassed projections for two to three years out. It is likely that these short-term changes in consumer behavior will become permanent in many cases.
With US retailers’ online year-over-year (YoY) revenue growth going up 68% as of mid-April, surpassing an earlier peak of 49% in early January, it is clear that companies that are pivoting to digitally-enabled offerings to service consumers while following social distancing norms are staying relevant.
Brick-and-mortar stores are partnering with tech companies to enhance their digital capabilities. Target integrated Shipt’s grocery delivery service into its offerings. As a result, the Target app’s downloads have risen to 53,100 per day in April, up from 25,000 per day in March. Papa John’s has launched Facebook Instant Ordering to expand its digital ordering capabilities. Walgreens partnered with Postmates to deliver a wide variety of grocery items and personal care products.
Impact of COVID-19 on customer behavior
- 60% of consumers are apprehensive about going to stores due to the fear of being infected
- 50% of consumers have ordered products online that they would normally purchase at the store
- 62% increase in Buy Online Pick-up In Store (BOPIS) and curbside pickup between Feb 24 and March 21 compared to the same period in 2019
Impact of COVID-19 on business
- 210% increase in online orders volume for eCommerce merchants between March 12 to March 15
- 90% increase in online orders for brick-and-mortar retailers in the US and Canada between March 29 and April 12
- 14.34 billion global visits generated for retail websites in March 2020, up from 12.81 billion in January 2020
(Data Sources: Emarsys, Apptopia, C+R Research, NRF, Adobe, GWI, PYMNTS, Statista)
The current environment has created an urgent need for expanding digital services and either launching new direct to consumer commerce or replatforming into a forward-looking, integrated Brand Marketing and eCommerce platform, which can help businesses find their new relevance today and gain competitive advantages for future growth. Enterprises need to leapfrog by investing in a next-generation microservices digital platform—including Content Management System (CMS) and eCommerce—which has the flexibility to support multiple commerce models and, if needed, be localized for various markets worldwide.