The COVID-19 pandemic heaped woes upon many businesses around the globe. Stores shuttered, and retail suffered. But amidst all the dark clouds hovering above, there was a tremendous rise in digital use and digital advertising. As of today, ecommerce has accelerated in a way that wasn’t predicted before the pandemic. According to emarketer.com, “The forecast [of overall ecommerce sales has] shifted up by $119.62 billion, now reaching $794.50 billion in 2020 instead of $674.88 billion as originally forecasted prior to the pandemic.”
2020 Ecommerce Facts
The increase in adults participating in digital banking has risen tremendously. There will be 189 million Americans, including an increase of 22.8 million people, banking online this year. US ecommerce sales will reach a height of $794.50 billion by the end of 2020, up 32.4% year-over-year—while the prediction before the pandemic was only 18%. TikTok has gained 20.5 million US users, more than what was predicted by emarketer.com at the beginning of the year.
If this information isn’t enough to up your ecommerce game, it was revealed that “online shopping is so strong that it will more than offset the 3.2% decline in brick-and-mortar spending this year, which will drop to $4.711 trillion. As a result, total retail sales in the US will remain essentially flat.” Additionally, data shows that adults in the US will have spent 64 more minutes with media per day than was originally predicted. Users will also spend 26 additional minutes per day on their smartphones.
This year, the biggest ecommerce players in the US have significantly increased their profit. Amazon’s share is expected to grow to 39.0% this year and will experience the largest gain among all the top digital brands. Walmart, now the number two ecommerce player, displacing eBay, will reach a 5.8% percent share increase. Best Buy is up 105.5% in shares, and Target is up 103.5%. These brands will see their ecommerce sales more than double by the end of the year, while The Kroger Co. will overtake Macy’s as the tenth biggest retailer in the US. This year, these brands will account for 63.2% of all online sales, up from 57.9% in 2019.
Consumers are also planning to shop on Amazon in unparalleled amounts this holiday season. Two-thirds of respondents to a ChannelAdvisor and Dynata survey said they wanted to look for gifts on Amazon. According to Andrew Lipsman, emarketer.com Principal Analyst at Insider Intelligence, “We’ve seen ecommerce accelerate in ways that didn’t seem possible last spring, given the extent of the economic crisis. While much of the shift has been led by essential categories like grocery, there has been surprising strength in discretionary categories like consumer electronics and home furnishings that benefited from pandemic-driven lifestyle needs.”
A majority share of consumers are now taking to marketplaces first when shopping online. According to an August 2020 survey from ecommerce ad agency ChannelAdvisor conducted by Dynata, 53% of US adults said they began product searches at Amazon when planning to make a digital purchase. Additional research about Amazon also continues to show that consumers are okay with the ad experience on Amazon, “despite the fact that sponsored listings and other non-organic results continue to take up ever more real estate on the first search results page,” said Nicole Perrin, emarketer.com Principal Analyst at Insider Intelligence.
In a poll conducted in August by Survata, it was revealed that only 15% of US Amazon Prime members said ads had negatively impacted their Amazon experience. Almost half of those polled said they hadn’t experienced anything bad at Amazon. To add to that, research conducted in March suggests that US adults are fine with that Amazon’s ad business being built on its proprietary consumer data. Americans are additionally more inclined to share their personal data with sites like Amazon than with any other entity when it gave them a more relevant and personalized ad experience.
Singles Day, which took place in November in China, was a complete success for ecommerce companies. The event raked in $72.11 billion on the Tmall of Alibaba. It was up 85.6% percent from the previous year. First day sales exceeded total sales of 2019.
Livestreaming helped brands to dominate Singles Day sales. As retailers plan for upcoming shopping events for the Christmas season and beyond, they can improve in this area to drive user engagement and sales. Said Arnold Ma, founder and CEO of digital creative agency Qumin, “Any brand can add livestreaming to its strategy, but many should be careful about how they collaborate with influencers, as brands lose a lot of control with livestreaming. This is mainly referring to the ‘live’ nature of working with livestreamers. Normally, there isn’t a script, so the content isn’t polished the way it might be for a social media post. . . a tip is to build in-house capabilities, so that [you] have more control. We are just seeing the tip of the iceberg here. So, an investment in livestreaming is an investment in the future.”
Mark Tanner, Managing Director of Shanghai-based marketing and research agency China Skinny, said, “A lot of brands don’t actually offer great deals, but they do provide something special for the hundreds of millions of participating consumers, such as interesting new product launches or limited-edition products.”
In the US, Cindy Liu, emarketer.com Senior Forecasting Analyst at Insider Intelligence, said, “There will be some lasting impacts from the pandemic that will fundamentally change how people shop. . . for one, many stores, particularly department stores, may close permanently. Secondly, we believe consumer shopping behaviors will permanently change. Many consumers have either shopped online for the first time or shopped in new categories (i.e., groceries). Both the increase in new users and frequency of purchasing will have a lasting impact on retail.”
If all these aren’t enough to make you double down on ecommerce for your brand, do your research. Although everybody is hoping for the time when online wasn’t the only world you could delve into—given the pandemic in the streets—industry trends on the growth of ecommerce show no signs of slowing down soon.
Omni Channel Solutions can help you with your ecommerce business. We’re at the top of our game in the Amazon marketplace and other seller platforms. We provide support in all your endeavors and can easily procure a professional team to satisfy your demands. We work with you to up your ecommerce game for the best possible outcomes. Want fabulous and lasting results? Look no further. Contact Omni Channel Solutions today.