4 ways COVID impacted e-commerce—and where we are now

by | May 19, 2021 | Marketing, Public Relations

In the age of COVID, it became necessary to rebrand and re-operate the overall functionalities of nearly every B2B and B2C business. The pandemic has affected, to a great extent, brands, e-commerce, and industry as a whole. Brick and mortar companies faced massive challenges to their business style, but all businesses have been affected by COVID in one way or another.

In this article, we look at the possible effects of COVID on your brand. Even as vaccines are given and stores reopen, the effects of this storm may still come upon you, so you have to take care to ensure that your brand is unharmed. Let’s take a look at some of the changes that have occurred:

1. Understanding panic buying

As the news of COVID-19 spread, many consumers indulged in what psychoanalysts call “panic buying.” Medical supplies were bought in bulk in every household like they were household essentials. Since there were curfews in different parts of the world, most people turned to e-commerce websites, which began to thrive in the first part of the pandemic.

However, just as consumer psychologists predicted, the rampant buying stopped as the infection spread and online deliveries became complicated. Industries were shut down in many places also. As a result, the “retail therapy” sought by panicked buyers gradually stopped.

2. Safer than brick and mortar

It’s clear that brick-and-mortar stores lost their credibility during the pandemic because of the norms of social distancing, once experts found that the virus can remain active on surfaces. Although it was unlikely that e-commerce goods would contain the virus—the CDC even announced that there is a low risk of the virus spreading from packaging—most buyers lost confidence in the purchase at this point.. Even WHO stated that it is unlikely that the virus spreads from packaged goods, but despite this, the sales dipped for the middle months of the pandemic for e-commerce businesses.

3. Generational purchasing

The response to the pandemic in terms of purchase was different in every age group. Gen Z and millennials altered their purchasing behavior by cutting back on their online shopping habits. Stocking up on items and spending less was a trend in this group. However, Gen X was expected to show more measured purchasing behavior and spent 34 percent more than Gen Z. Their shopping habits did not change much. Thus, they maintained their reliance on e-commerce.

4. Changes in revenue models

As people began to embrace the norms of social distancing, a drop in in-person shopping revenue was inevitable, and people turned more towards online shopping. However, this did not exactly turn out as expected. Some industries have enjoyed a rise in their sales. The largest online retailer of China, JD.com, earned over quadruple the amount of revenue during the pandemic on household items. The same can be said about the Amazon conglomerate. But others saw a decline.

Statistical changes since March 2021

Things started to look up in most places during 2021. These reports from March onwards that help you understand the gradual rise of e-commerce sales from 2021 as the fear of pandemic started to dissipate.

  • March

Revenue reports from March show that consumers again flocked to online and digital experiences in the aftermath of the pandemic. It was found that the convenience of customers was the topmost priority: 81 percent of the shoppers prefer frictionless cross-device experiences that are available only through e-commerce. Social media also contributed to the e-commerce boom: 76 percent of Instagram users began making purchases through the app.

  • April

In April, there was a rising demand for clothing and apparel, a trend that’s likely to extend further into this year even if the pandemic condition continues. The leisure e-commerce market of 2021 predicts that there has been a 20 percent rise in apparel sales, and that amount is likely to grow up to $81 billion within the next four years. It was during this month that real-time payment options increased by 41 percent compared to the prior year. In 2018, mobile payments accounted for just 18.9 percent of purchases.

  • May

According to reports to date, paid search ad spend could increase about 24 percent in 2021. Significant rises in e-commerce will continue as the pandemic situation decreases. The ad spend for this year is projected to reach about $76.5 billion. It is a slight uptick from the last value projected in March.


Thus, several determining changes have occurred in the overall structure of e-commerce programs since the onset of the disease. New trends and stats will be generated as the effects of COVID change. The forecasted paid results have changed as time has passed since April of 2020. In every scenario, it is projected that B2B revenue will increase by a significant margin. Half of adults who had been using social media have turned into buyers as time passed. It is also projected that revenue might reduce a little at the end of 2021, but consumers will continue to spend more time on social media platforms.

Dharmendra Chahar
Dharmendra Chahar is a seasoned content writer, digital marketer and SEO expert, with years of experience in the field of marketing. He is passionate about helping people in all aspects of online marketing flow in the industry & also helping business with search and content marketing.


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