June 2021 COVID-19 + Ecommerce News Roundup

Ecommerce vs. in-person: Pandemic impacts in 2021

After surging nearly 34% in 2020 due to the pandemic, ecommerce retail sales are expected to grow a more modest 13.7% this year while non-ecommerce sales will see 2.2% growth. Total retail sales will reach a record $5.86 trillion this year.

Ecommerce sales are expected to see slightly higher growth in 2022 compared to 2021, with a 15% total increase in ecommerce sales expected next year.

Retail sales will remain steady at around 3.5% yearly growth until 2025, and ecommerce will eventually see slight declines in growth. By 2025, brick-and-mortar sales will experience a weak 0.9% yearly growth, with ecommerce at 13% and total retail at 3.4%.

Amazon Prime Day 2021 & the COVID-19 pandemic

Amazon Prime Day 2021 took place on Monday, June 21st and Tuesday, June 22nd, 2021.

After an unprecedented move from July to October and alongside significant supply chain strain, last year’s Amazon Prime Day delivered $10.4 billion in sales. That was up 45.2% from $7.16 billion in 2019 and a whopping 148.2% from $4.19 billion in 2018.

The pandemic potentially hindered growth last year, with Prime Day sales surging a significant 71% in 2019. Still, according to a press release from Amazon, Prime members saved more than $1.4 billion over last year’s two-day sales event.

Amazon Prime Day sales are expected to have approached a record $12 billion this year, a 19% increase over last year.

As part of the Prime Day halo effect, other major retailers will also run sales to rival Prime Day. Target Deal Days will focus on online sales and same-day fulfillment, while Walmart’s Deals for Days will feature deals in-store and online with Cyber 5-like savings.

Prime members can already shop with special discounts in categories like electronics, toys, home, and more. Amazon shoppers who buy from a small business before June 20 will also get a $10 Prime Day credit.

Amazon’s revenue increased 35% last year despite a $4 billion loss in Q2 due to the pandemic. Amazon sales surpassed $96 billion in 2020, with the ecommerce giant expanding its fulfillment by 50% in response to COVID-19.

Back-to-school ecommerce as COVID-19 subsides

Back-to-school spending reached a total of $101.6 billion in 2020, with each US household spending nearly $8001. But with economic turmoil and the ripple effects of a pandemic, will 2021 be the first year back-to-school spending declines? That’s the question on the minds of brands and retailers just like you.

In this webinar replay, join experts from ROI Revolution, Listrak, Partnerize, Yotpo for 12 strategies to navigate these unchartered waters as brands like yours approach a back-to-school shopping season like no other. In this expert video, you’ll uncover insights like:

  • Full-funnel marketing strategies to optimize your brand across paid media channels and your website.
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Don’t let the uncertainty of this year’s back-to-school shopping season hinder your brand’s success. Watch the on-demand video today.

Retail sale recovery alongside pandemic recovery

Retail sales climbed 37% year-over-year this April, a significant $53 billion increase one year after the pandemic began making its mark on ecommerce.

Myriad categories saw significant growth, with apparel topping other industries at 667% year-over-year growth. Furniture & home sales grew 208% YoY, followed by sporting goods, hobby, and bookstore sales at 163%.

Ecommerce sales rose 11.1% month-over-month in April while department stores saw 68.2% sales growth. The clothing & accessories category hit $22 billion in sales while general merchandise brought in $62 billion. Electronics & appliances sales have remained relatively steady since last summer at around $7 billion each month.

Post-COVID-19, convenience is king

78% of consumers value convenience more now than they did before the pandemic, with nearly 90% saying that they spend more when brands offer seamless & flexible payment options that speed up their decision-making.

It’s important that those experiences remain seamless across devices, too. 67% of shoppers have abandoned their carts because online checkout was too complicated. Cross-device seamless shopping is tied with a guest checkout option as shoppers’ top convenience factor, with 56% of shoppers saying they expect seamless cross-device shopping experiences.

45% of shoppers are more inspired to make a purchase by convenience than price.

Delivery is a huge consideration factor for customers, especially in an age where Amazon has made two-day shipping the expected norm. 95% of shoppers say convenient delivery is a major decision factor when they’re choosing who to buy from online.

Touchless payment continues to grow

Contactless payment methods surged last year with the pandemic and consumers’ concerns around safety. Touchless transactions like proximity mobile payment, buy now pay later, & BOPIS all surged with COVID-19 and are continuing to see growth even as the pandemic subsides.

74.4% of millennials and 64.6% of Gen X will keep using touchless payment post-pandemic. That number is largely consistent across age groups, with around two out of every three shoppers of all ages planning to continue to use touchless payment methods even after the pandemic subsides.

More shoppers have also been using their smartphone to pay for products in-store for the first time. 43.2% of smartphone users will use their mobile phone to pay for point-of-sale transactions this year, and that number will surpass 50% for the first time in 2025.