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Monday 18 May 2020

The Next Day of Ecommerce and the Aftermath of Coronavirus

This pandemic seems to be bringing unprecedented changes in the retails industry. We don’t seem to have seen such a hit in the retail industry since the 90’s internet bubble. And we haven’t seen the full extent of its impact yet. The entire retail sector has been shaken upside down. Some trying to rush into the online sales, whilst others are trying to maintain the status quo. Even more so, online sales have been showing high volatility as we see some sectors thriving, while others dancing towards the precipes.

The UK economy growth is projected to shrink by 35% and reach back to the pre-COVID-19 figures by the end of the year. These unexpected developments have alerted the retail world and made clear that the online presence is of utmost importance and the only way to tackle the limitations that physical shops can bring.

1. Ecommerce Craze

These unprecedented circumstances have expedited a rapid transition to online sales. Everyone seems now to be trusting the online trade and complete purchases of even the most trivial necessities. Even the less technically literate people have started to familiarise themselves resorting to something that in many cases would not trust in the past. Under normal circumstances, it can take a generation for a transition like this happen. The younger generations have been brought up with online purchases to be the norm, whereas older ones have traditionally trust issues with such rapid changes in their shopping habits. All this seems to have changed overnight.

The growing demand has forced large supermarket chains to make significant updates and further investments in their e-commerce sections in order to catch up. Government schemes have been put forward to protect the vulnerable ones by leveraging insights from big data. Home deliveries and online sales have been put to the service of the ones who in need the most.

Ecommerce sales have seen exponential growth across the globe. Online sales are expected to grow 6.54 trillion until 2023 according to the Global E-Commerce report by Emarketer in 2019. Major contributors to this growth are players like China, the US, India, South American markets, and the UK.


The economic fallout has severely impacted the global business and the ones who have responded swiftly to this challenge will survive and come out even stronger. Travel industry giants like have been crumbled by mobility and travel restrictions. As a response to this, they have developed online alternative marketing campaigns such The world will wait for us to keep their large audience engaged and give a feeling of the big come back.

The UK government has announced a stimulus package of 330 billion to support struggling businesses as well as supporting employee retention by paying 80% of the salary for those who have no work to do at this moment. 

However, even with these supportive mechanisms over 1 million businesses are expected to close by the end of the lockdown as a result of the economic slowdown of the past months. These changes will not be as drastic to all businesses and sectors as retail outlets across the board are looking to scale their ecommerce efforts sooner rather than later.

3. The Aftermath

As the lockdown is gradually easing, the economic rebound and the next day is of the utmost concern. Accurate predictions are hard to be made but there are things that we can predict to a reasonable degree.
After months of quarantine, consumers are expected to flood the streets, socialise, make more purchases, and spend more time outdoors. Businesses that managed to survive the lockdown period are likely to flourish not only because the demand will soar but also because the competition will be reduced.
In this social and economic landscape, innovation is likely to flourish. Historically, every time humanity was faced with devastating crises, people turned hardship into innovation and creativity in order to deal with the new reality. The ones who will grasp first the significance of online business and leverage the internet in a way that exceeds the peoples’ expectations, will see themselves paving the way on the next day.

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