The COVID-19 pandemic that began to affect the United States in the winter of 2020 has had catastrophic effects on nearly every aspect of American life. Under statewide lockdowns, residents were not allowed to eat in restaurants, have social gatherings, or shop in “non-essential” retail stores.
This meant that the lion’s share of retail shopping moved online. As brick-and-mortar locations remained closed, online retailers found that they were doing significantly more business than ever before. Even though lockdowns have now been moderately lifted across the United States, many people are choosing to remain out of brick and mortar stores due to concerns for their health and the health of others.
As the months have gone by, many people have developed a habit of buying nearly all their essentials online and are continuing to do so. As a result, competition has increased amongst online retailers and many have modified their business model to offer even more savings to their customers.
In this article, fashion-forward e-commerce website LAV Direct explains how the COVID-19 pandemic is affecting online shopping and how conditions may change soon.
Changing Market Share
The difference in the e-commerce market share can be easily illustrated by looking at Census Bureau comparisons from the second quarter of 2019 to the second quarter of 2020. The Census Bureau found that e-commerce jumped by 44.5 percent during this time period, while overall retail sales declined by a slim 3.6 percent.
The percentage of overall retail sales, that were spent online, went up from 10.8 percent in the second quarter of 2019 to 16.1 percent in the second quarter of 2020. As a result, there are incredible opportunities for online sites to make a substantial amount of money in today’s new economy.
In the early months of 2020 and continuing into the late spring and early summer, most areas in the United States were under mandatory lockdown orders. People were unable to shop, eat in restaurants, or have social gatherings. Even after brick-and-mortar stores reopened, many high-risk people were unwilling to go out and expose themselves to the virus. This change is one of the major drivers that has resulted in the shift to online retail shopping platforms, like LAV Direct.
As people began to shop online more often, prices became more competitive and consumers recognized that online shopping often resulted in savings. Furthermore, consumers recognized that online retailers which offered paid memberships, like LAV Direct, provided their customers exclusive deals that were not available in brick and mortar stores.
Site memberships have allowed customers to compare their favorite brand-name products and decide which listings presented the best deals quickly and efficiently. Consequently, the idea of easily bargain and comparison shopping roared through these online retailers.
Products in Short Supply
In the early months of the COVID-19 pandemic many household products were in short supply. Common items like toilet paper, hand sanitizer, masks, disinfectant wipes, antibacterial sprays, and paper towels were nearly impossible to find in-person. This forced many people to turn to LAV Direct and other online retailers when they could not find the necessary products in-store.
Online retailer warehouses allowed these sites to be more effective in keeping essential products in-stock when local supermarkets and discount stores were not. Customers began to shift their allegiance to online stores during this time period.
The Advantages of LAV Direct’s Membership Program
LAV Direct offers a paid membership program. This program provides deep discounts, reduces shipping costs, faster shipping, and better access to the products people need and want. Some shoppers may not believe that spending money on a website membership is worth it, but when the enormous savings on their purchases are calculated in, it’s an obvious savings.
LAV Direct also offers its members a chance to make money from a total of four different income streams. Affiliates can earn money by encouraging others to sign-up for the membership. They can also receive a commission from the online sales.
Continuing Shifts in the Retail Landscape
As the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic continue, there will likely be another shift toward online shopping. It is possible that there will be more lockdowns in the near future due to the current inability to control infection rates. If or when lockdowns return, people will need to revert to shopping online more than ever before.
LAV Direct encourages all consumers to explore the outstanding deals they can take advantage of by shifting their in-store shopping to online retailers. As the economy changes and in-store prices increase, online shopping will increasingly be essential.