The state of the retail industry has changed considerably in 2020. The largest portion of retailers implemented online e-commerce services to satisfy the demands of their customers during the lockdown, numerous non-essential businesses were forced to close their doors, while customers had to cope with changes in income, needs, and activities. Check out the sections below to find out the most significant changes in shopping and retail that occurred in 2020!
Changes in Shopping Behaviors
Did you know that there were numerous changes in shopping habits in 2020? Although online shopping is nothing new, for every $5 spent, $1 comes from online channels and marketplaces, accounting for 20% of the shopping revenues. A very popular resource for promo codes, Promocodius, is one of the main hubs that registered increases in demands for coupons and discounts. Their experts state that the demand for promo codes on Promocodius has increased by 13% compared to the previous year. This means that more and more people search not only for online goods but also for discounts and coupons.
Why Is Retail Important?
The largest private-sector employer in the United States is the retail industry, reaching $6 trillion in revenues in 2018. Despite the fact that online shopping is not a current breakthrough, in 2019, approximately 10% of shopping happened online, while 90% of customers preferred physical stores. By 2023, it is estimated that retail sales reach $30 trillion, which is why the retail industry has a pivotal role in the economy.
Statistics About Shopping Habits in 2020
Credit card companies reported that, while people spend as much money in-person as they did in 2019, online purchases increased. For instance, on Black Friday, people bought four times more online compared to the previous year. Other institutions, such as the National Retail Federation and Prosper Insights and Analytics, state that people spent slightly less during the holidays in 2020. More specifically, spending was 14% less than in 2019 during the period from Thanksgiving to Cyber Monday, but roughly the same amount as in 2018.
In terms of packaging, a company that analyzes shipping information known as ShipMatrix found that 273 million packages were shipped in the US by the Postal Service. This means 43 million more packages compared to the same period last year. There were other major changes during the 2020 holiday season:
- Most retailers offered their Black Friday deals online for the first time and had discounts throughout October;
- Shops were closed on Thanksgiving Day because of doorbusters leading to crowds;
- Cyber Monday was replaced with Cyber Week and it was the most profitable online shopping day in history;
- Christmas shopping season started slower than usual.
The most popular products bought by people in 2020 were habits that lasted throughout the holiday season and include health-related products and gym equipment. Home supplies were also a large part of people’s shopping carts, including masks, toilet paper, hand sanitizer, wipes and other disinfectant products, and thermometers. The pandemic had very little impact on the elderly’s shopping habits as they remained less likely to adopt online shopping. On the other hand, youth shopped online more frequently.
Bergmeyer conducted a survey on almost 1,000 participants regarding shopping habits in 2020 and the possible future of retail. Their main findings are summarized below:
- Almost 30% of the participants stated that they do not see their in-store shopping changing after the pandemic, while 10% were certain that they will not change their habits.
- 35% state that they are quite reluctant to go back to their usual non-essential shopping, while 20% were strongly apprehensive. The main causes were crowds and concerns regarding the cleanliness of spaces.
- About 40% stated that the vaccine is required in order to return to the behaviors before the pandemic. 5% of the respondents stated that things will never return to the way things used to be, while 5% believed that things will go back to normal immediately.
All in all, the consequences of the pandemic regarding the retail sector are still harsh. Despite this, people are now more apprehensive, look for bargains and coupons, and their shopping habits changed significantly.
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