Everyone in the world has been affected by the Coronavirus, whether it’s physically or by association. People who can’t work from home are losing their jobs, businesses who don’t sell online are shutting down, and even St. Patty’s day was celebrated in isolation. The world is relying on ecommerce now more than ever. Are you ready for the changes brought upon by COVID-19?
Online Marketplaces Take Advantage of Spike in Ecommerce
Companies like Amazon are taking advantage of the spike in online shopping, restocking their inventory with items their brick and mortar competition once sold. Since most of these physical stores are closing, large online sellers are “placing orders for all kinds of merchandise in a bid to garner sales from consumers unable or unwilling to go to physical stores,” says Eric Roth of MidOcean Partners. Mega-marketplaces, like Amazon, are benefiting from social distancing practices, aggressively taking more market share and leaving physical store owners out in the cold.
Coronavirus Causing a Kink in the Supply Chain
While ecommerce stores are seeing an increase in demand, consumers are experiencing longer delivery times as a result of COVID-19. Fulfillment and shipping issues are causing delivery delays from Amazon, FedEx, and UPS. These companies stress safety for all of their employees which means expedited shipping is receiving less attention. A FedEx representative says “We are taking recommended precautions in terms of pilot, team member and customer health and safety.” International deliveries are negatively affected as well with US ports seeing a 20% decrease in cargo volumes.
COVID-19 Affecting Ecommerce, Marketing, and Advertising
Lifestyle changes throughout China and Italy may help predict the future of online retailers. 50% of Chinese and 31% of Italian consumers claim they’re frequenting ecommerce stores more often because of the lockdown. As ecommerce gets a boost, physical retailers in the UK are expecting a major decrease in sales. Clothing brands alone are on track to see a 20.6% decrease. Restrictions have made travel advertising almost pointless and even China’s ad spending has shifted, decreasing in total by 3% but increasing mobile ad spending by 17%.
Your Customers Could Be Waiting 1 Month for Amazon Deliveries
The rapid increase of online orders is taking its toll on Amazon. Not only has the industry giant instructed its employees to refrain from traveling domestically, but it’s also having difficulties getting items to customers. The company that promised 2-day and even same-day delivery is now showing delivery times a month out. Items in the “non-essential” category are more likely to have longer wait times. To combat the growing number of orders, Amazon is planning to hire over 100,000 new workers to help with the shipping process.
Online Marketplaces on the Hunt for Price Gougers
Large ecommerce platforms like Amazon, Walmart, and eBay are taking measures to deter and combat price gougers. State law enforcement officials are urging online marketplaces to do more to observe their users. “Price gouging during a time of national emergency is not only disgraceful, it is illegal,” says California AG Xavier Becerra. Sellers have been taking advantage of panic buyers for the past few weeks but officials hope that pushing these platforms to police their sellers will eliminate COVID-19 exploitation.
eBay Defers Selling Fees for Eligible Subscribers
While larger companies are able to stay afloat in the current economic climate, small to medium-sized businesses are having trouble keeping up. eBay is taking this into consideration by deferring selling fees for eligible store subscribers. When a store applies for support, their fees are deferred for 30 days.
Jeff Bezos Talks About Amazon’s COVID-19 Precautions
Founder and CEO of Amazon, Jeff Bezos, tells the public that Amazon’s top priority is safety. They have “implemented a series of preventative health measures” to make sure every employee, including the proposed 100,000 new hires, is safe. Amazon is also doing everything in its power to make sure warehouses are stocked with household staples and essential items.
Higher Demand Means Higher Wages for Walmart
Walmart is increasing their minimum hourly wage in ecommerce warehouses by $2 due to increases in online purchases and pressure from their competitors, Amazon and Target, who are also offering increases.
Etsy Sellers Getting Left Behind
Congress is putting together a stimulus package for American business affected by the Coronavirus but they are excluding a lot of Etsy users. “Self employed microbusiness” owners may not receive the same benefits as larger companies. Reforms have been laid out by Etsy community members but they require help from the community. Click here to sign the petition and make sure microbusinesses are included in the disaster relief package.
The COVID-19 pandemic is causing changes in business strategy and daily life. While some are benefited by the rise in ecommerce, others are being negatively impacted. But as COVID-19 continues to change how people buy, sell, and even live, you can still count on ecomdash to bring you the latest happenings in ecommerce.