Online sales market experiences hyperdrive impact of COVID-19

by | Apr 7, 2020

The COVID-19 situation is constantly changing one thing we know for sure is that people are now bulk-buying and online shopping more than ever. Since many people are staying home and working from home most purchases are now taking place online rather than in store. Online sales have been growing since social distancing went into effect in the state and at the national level. People are trying out Instacart to have food and groceries delivered to their door and Amazon more than ever before.

According to Forbes, It’s far from just toilet paper (though if you point me in the right direction there, please show me the way). Everything from high end coffee makers, fitness equipment and pajama pants are seeing a surge in demand. Even in my own neighborhood, I’ve bartered paper towels for toilet paper.

Brands who are already well prepared for e-commerce and are high on the maturity curve certainly have an advantage. But most unfortunately are not prepared. Profitero and Kantar surveyed 200 brand executives just a few months ago and found that only 17% believe their organizations are leading competitors in e-commerce. The vast majority (71%) say their organizations are merely catching up or keeping pace.  

For this 71%, the next several months will be make or break time as organizations are pushed to the max to meet demand.

According to, as people have embraced social distancing as a way to slow the spread of the pandemic, there has naturally been a drop-off in brick-and-mortar shopping. That would seem to mean there would likely be an increase in online shopping as people turn to ecommerce to purchase the items they might have otherwise purchased in person.

Subscription and convenience services, which have seen significant upward trends in both revenue and conversion.

Anyone who has faced empty shelves or seen price gouging online knows that health and safety products are being purchased far faster than they can be produced and restocked.

According to data from Nielsen, items like hygienic and medical mask sales are up by more than 300%.

While less about the immediacy of protecting and feeding themselves, it comes as no surprise that as people are homebound and no longer pursuing external entertainment options that there is an increase in digital streaming services. In addition to streaming services like Netflix, Amazon, Hulu, and Disney+ seeing atypical gains in subscribers in the first quarter of 2020, non-traditional streaming services like movie studios are releasing media streaming, on-demand, sometimes earlier than projected release.



1 Comment

  1. Joe S

    Amazon gets richer, while Mom-and-Pop businesses are being strangled. It hardly seems fair, does it?

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