Many industries have been hit hard by the unprecedented pandemic outbreak last year. Despite the negative impact of COVID-19, it posed a positive impact on many other industries as well. The e-commerce industry experienced a boom as essential stores were forced to close and everyone had to shop online for everything.
The US e-commerce market rose by $183 billion as an effect of the pandemic (March 2020 to February 2021), according to Adobe’s report. Consumers in the US contributed $813 billion online in the calendar year 2020 alone. The e-commerce market’s growth of $183 billion is similar to the spending of last year’s holiday shopping season (November and December 2020) – $188.2 billion.
The effect is expected to last even after the pandemic’s critical stage. In the first two months of 2021, consumers had already spent $121 billion in the US, a 34% YoY growth. The growth rate is going to continue, bringing between $850 billion and $930 billion of sales in 2021, and $1 trillion in 2022, according to Adobe’s prediction.
Apart from the surge in online sales, the pandemic also changed consumer’s shopping habits. In January and February 2021, the buy-now-pay-later method grew in popularity, leading to a jump of 215% year over year. Both in-store and curbside pickup services had increased as well. These insights show that shoppers are receptive to different delivery alternatives; 30% of US consumers prefer pickup over standard delivery service.
As the pandemic was unexpected, retailers took some time to adjust and adapt to the overwhelming wave of online orders. “Out of stock” statuses were more common, especially for groceries, pet products, and medical supplies.