COVID-19 has Changed Online Shopping Forever

As the Covid-19 news spread, people responded by stocking up on essential supplies. Soon The World Health Organization officially declared it a pandemic. Medical supplies like masks, hand sanitizers went out of stock. Brick-and-mortar stores struggled to keep up with the demand. Soon, people realized that the likelihood of spreading the infection from products or packaging that were shopped online was minimal. Online shopping during the pandemic saw a revolution, and it is here to stay. 

Girl staff packing goods for takeaway

Online Shopping Behaviors Vary

Consumers of different age groups have responded very differently to the pandemic. Young consumers have taken to online shopping in a big way. As per a recent survey, 96% of millennials have expressed serious concern about the ongoing pandemic and the way it’s going to affect the economy. The idea of shopping local but doing it online is really getting up there.

Health Care

Online shopping during a pandemic is dominated by health care and safety products. Sales of medical masks and household maintenance masks went up by 300%.

female putting on medical protective mask

Hand sanitizers and disinfectants were purchased faster than they could be produced. Sales of immunity-boosting health care products also saw an all-time high.

Shelf Stable Goods

Another booming category is that of shelf-stable items. Consumer packaged goods like shelf-stable milk, milk substitutes, dried beans, fruit snacks, etc have shown a growth of more than 300%

Food and Beverages

Online shopping for groceries was at an all-time high. Quarantine brought about a behavioral change around the way people shopped online.

Man using a tablet ordering groceries online
Editorial credit: Ksenia She /

Older folks who shunned the idea of buying online placed their orders and fell in love with the convenience of online shopping. Another trend that was noticed is ‘buy online and pick up in-store’ (BOPIS).

Digital Streaming

As most people were homebound and no external entertainment options were available, they took to digital streaming services in a big way. Services like Netflix, Hulu, Amazon, and Disney saw a phenomenal rise in subscribers in the first quarter of 2020.

Luxury Goods

This is one segment that is expected to bear heavy losses. Vogue Business has projected a loss of $10 billion for the industry in 2020. Luxury goods depend heavily on the purchasing power of Asian markets where the pandemic has wreaked havoc.

Fashion and Apparel

Since the retail part of their businesses has closed, even omnichannel sellers are facing losses. People have chosen to put more of their budget into daily essentials. As a result, online apparel sales are low. The industry has seen a 20% decrease in sales month-over-month.


Consumers are trying to adapt to online shopping during pandemic. There has been a considerable shift in their shopping patterns. Businesses have experimented with new technologies like virtual reality to deliver an immersive real-life shopping experience. The pandemic has changed the way the world looks at online shopping, and that also means that there’s no better time to be selling online. 

Paul Andrews
If you are looking to sell on eCommerce or are already selling on the platform but looking to scale up operations, then I am that guy you think you’re not looking for! But if you think again you can let me leverage my years of selling experience on ecommerce platforms to provide hands-on, strategic guidance to your brands or private labels to help set up, grow and scale your business.

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