Online Shopping, E-Commerce Entrepreneurship Grow Amid COVID-19
Entrepreneurship Technology

E-Commerce Entrepreneurship Grows as Unemployment Rises Amid COVID-19

online shopping
(Image: iStock/AndreyPopov)

The global spread of COVID-19, or the novel coronavirus, has caused a complete shift in our culture and how we do business. Under state governments, many major cities across the country have issued mandatory stay-at-home orders for residents and closed down all “non-essential” brick-and-mortar businesses. Because of the pandemic, over 25 million people have filed for unemployment while many small businesses have been forced to retreat to the internet to stay connected with their customers. The result has created a surge in the growth of online businesses that are thriving in the digital space.

While the viral outbreak has caused many businesses to close their doors, others are learning to adapt to the changing landscape and utilizing digital storefronts and their social media accounts to find new ways to earn revenue through the pandemic. According to reports from Adobe Analytics, the U.S. e-commerce industry has seen an overall 25% increase in sales just in the month of March. Other services like delivery apps, virtual workshops, and digital services have also experienced an increase as well due to the viral outbreak.

Reports also show that pickup orders are also on the rise with the number of purchases shoppers have bought online and picked up in-store increasing 62% year-over-year during February and March 2020.

While consumers have been shifting their purchasing more to online from stores over the past few years, the pandemic has accelerated this shift. Adobe Analytics did not provide comparable year-over-year online sales, but the data collected does show for the first quarter of 2019, online sales increased by 11.9% year-over-year, according to the U.S. Department of Commerce.

“U.S. consumers are turning to e-commerce more during the COVID-19 outbreak due to the fact that social distancing measures and shelter-in-place orders have made online shopping more convenient or, in some cases, the only way to get the goods they need,” Taylor Schreiner, director of Adobe Digital Insights said to Digital Commerce 360.

Schreiner explains that the elevated levels of online shopping in the U.S. will likely continue as long as shelter-in-place orders remain in effect.

“The big unknown is whether consumers who become used to more online shopping will stick with it, even when social distancing measures are removed.”