21st September 2020
E-Commerce Trends in 2020
E-Commerce channels are not a new trend as consumers use the internet on a daily basis to order goods. However due to the impact of COVID-19 more consumers are seeking out new ways to do their weekly shop as they are concerned about entering physical stores. Developments in technology and and innovations around delivery services has made it easier than ever to order food and beverages online. However, are consumers habits changing towards a digital future or do consumers still prefer going to a physical shop.
How is COVID-19 shaping consumer attitudes towards shopping?
COVID-19 has had a major impact on consumers decision making process regarding the food and beverage industry. It is also shaping consumer habits regarding shopping in physical stores as many consumers are still concerned about a second wave of the pandemic occurring. This is highlighted as 74% of global consumers across May-June 2020 stated they are concerned a second wave may happen.
FMCG Gurus research also shows that 69% of global consumers are concerned about other customers in shops handling food and drink as a result of COVID-19. This highlights that a large percentage of consumer are concerned about the virus being transmitted by other whilst in physical stores. This is something that will drive demand for e-commerce channels – be it from retailers or brands – as consumers look to minimize the contact that the products they purchase have had with other people.
The increased concern towards shopping in a physical store has led to changing attitudes towards online shopping. In July 2020 FMCG Gurus consumer insights show that 64% of global consumers are more willing to shop online for food and drink as a result of COVID-19. However, these attitudes are not reflected by consumers actual buying behavior. This is highlighted as only one in ten consumers across the globe state they have started shopping online for food and drink as a result of COVID-19.
One of the main reasons to why consumers still prefer going to a physical store is to evaluate the product in person. FMCG Gurus research shows that 70% of global consumers who only shop in a physical store state that they like to physical evaluate the products they purchase. This shows that irrespective of attempts made by the industry to reassure consumers otherwise, there is still the belief that online retailers will often send consumers the lower quality products or products nearing use-by dates to avoid products having to be thrown away and classified as waste.
However, 65% of global consumers who have switched to shopping online in the past six months state they are satisfied with the online delivery for food and beverages. Consumers have expressed many ways in which they believe online shopping can be improved including cheaper products (77%), more promotional offers (66%), and greater availability of products (60%).
Whilst consumers express a concern to shopping online in a physical store brands and retailers must capitalize on the growing demand for direct-to-consumer delivery channels. Limited direct-to-consumer channels in some countries can be counted as a primary reason for this behavior gap and is something that the industry needs to address.