How COVID-19 Impacts E-Commerce Business

Andrea Martinez
August 3, 2022
 Mins Read

Managing an e-commerce business is no easy task! A crisis complicates tasks like managing operations, simplifying the supply chain, and satisfying customers and stresses all facets of the business. Due to COVID-19, governments have shut down non-essential businesses temporarily and enforced social distancing measures making it difficult for firms to operate. Traditional business models that are reliant on the physical presence of staff to produce goods and services no longer suffice in the current scenario. COVID-19 forces businesses to begin a work-from-home culture to continue sustaining in this challenging economy.

If you believe the work-from-home culture is unproductive, consider the following facts: –

  1. A renowned study reports that telecommuters work almost 16 days extra per year compared to their competitors.
  2. Another report suggests even a part-time work-from-home permission saves $44 billion yearly.

While working from home is helpful, some activities require collaboration and physical presence to solve issues. Before we understand how to tackle these issues, let’s examine what effects COVID-19 has on businesses.

Effects of COVID-19 on Life and Livelihood

Here’s how coronavirus has affected the world: –

  1. The worldwide count of COVID-19 cases stands at 32+ lakhs on 30th April 2020. Nearly 2.3 lakh people lost their lives due to this pandemic.
  2. Oil prices crashed to a record-low negative figure of $37.63 on 27th April 2020.
  3. IMF states many prosperous countries like Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the US, and the UK will experience a recession in 2020.
  4. Industrial production and car sales in China have drastically fallen.

In such a grave situation, most businesses are focusing on what value they can provide to society. Dynamic changes in strategies, producing safety items like masks and gloves, and enforcing strict hygienic conditions while serving customers are how large companies are showing they care.

The Response of Different Societal Fragments to the Pandemic

Experience does affect the way people react and this couldn’t be truer in pandemics. We have noticed how diverse age groups react differently during this crisis.

Gen-Z and Millennials

Concerned youngsters are specifically altering their buying patterns. Most people of this generation are anxious about the pandemic’s effect on the economy and job market. 96 percent of them are worried about the crisis and its impact on the economy. They are holding off on unnecessary expenses, gathering groceries, and spending less on travel to save money.

Gen X and Baby Boomers

Though concerned, this generation is less likely to alter their spending habits as much as their younger counterparts. A renowned survey states that 24 percent of boomers and 34 percent of Gen X have let their purchases be affected by the crisis. Their comparatively casual attitude is also evident in the fact that almost 30 percent of them are panic buying as opposed to 59 percent of millennials and Gen Z.

Men v/s Women

Shopping patterns also differ based on gender. While survey data indicates women are more concerned about COVID-19, it also established that men are more likely to pinch their pennies during the pandemic. A staggering 33.3 percent of men, as opposed to 25 percent of women, state a drastic in spending on products due to the pandemic. Furthermore, 36 percent of men, as opposed to 28 percent of women have let their travel and experiential spending take a hit due to corona.

Here are Some Implications of COVID-19 on E-Commerce Business

1. E-commerce Businesses Struggle with High Demand

Government-enforced quarantine and lockdown have hit traditional businesses hard. However, E-commerce businesses face complete opposite issues because of high demand that they’re unable to meet due to persistent shipping and supply challenges. Research in China by Re-Hub states that the situation will last for at least the next four months. 6 out of 10 people claim that their e-commerce spending will go up substantially and that puts further pressure on e-commerce companies. Recruiting staff temporarily and optimizing processes to handle the demand are some ways to grow e-commerce businesses during this pandemic.

2. Increase in Online Grocery Store Businesses

Almost every country is in a strict lockdown right now. With limited people and services operating, this lockdown forces people to buy and cook at home instead of dining out. Hence, the demand for online no-contact and hygienic grocery stores has increased by many folds. Attempting to avoid crowded stores, many people are opting for BOPIS (Buy-online-pick-up-in-store) option for their grocery shopping. Carrefour, a French retailer, states vegetable delivery has grown by 600 percent. This trend isn’t limited to western countries. China, an eastern giant, experienced a 251 percent increase in the online grocery market during the early February period.

This growth can be capitalized by online grocery businesses by employing people part-time and enforcing strict hygienic standards

3. Rise in the Innovative Spirit Amid the Crisis

Though tougher times lie ahead, all things are not dark and murky. These difficulties have ignited the innovative spark in every business and forced them to come up with clever solutions to daily problems. Companies are openly trying out robots, drones, and automation technology to deliver products prioritizing customer safety. Negatively impacted travel companies constantly reinventing themselves through creativity will survive this pandemic by staying relevant to consumers. Businesses that find a way to work through this pandemic while ensuring customer safety will flourish even in a tanking economy.


“We Become Wiser By Adversity; Prosperity Destroys Our Appreciation Of The Right.”— Lucius Annaeus Seneca

Though difficult, staying calm during a crisis is immensely rewarding. Coronavirus has shocked the world and caused extreme damage to lives and livelihoods. Addressing the glaring issues affecting the healthcare industry has become every country’s priority. For other businesses, in addition to sustaining sales, firm heads also need to ensure their employees are safe and healthy. This crisis has also irreversibly changed the way businesses operate and compete. Businesses that adapt with time and optimize their process will surge ahead and have great success.

Article by
Andrea Martinez

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