The Effect of COVID-19 on the Current State of Ecommerce

As consumers continue to practice social distancing procedures amid the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, there has been a rise in e-commerce. This involves the sale of goods and services that requires secure online payment systems in place to protect customer information and increase customer satisfaction. 

In terms of the most popular types of products and services, a survey conducted by Bizrate Insights and presented by eMarketer indicated that 56% of U.S. digital buyers purchased clothing, shoes, and accessories in February alone. While pharmacy, health, and beauty supplies reached 38% in the same month, household supplies were at 30%.

However, this is not to say that grocery shopping does not take up a significant portion of online sales. The survey found that food and beverages reached 27% in February and increased to 36% of digital buyers in April 2020. 

Another study, this time conducted by CivicScience, reached a similar conclusion when it comes to the growing trend of grocery shopping. The research found that during the first week of March, 11% of U.S. adults shopped online for groceries more. The following weeks saw an increase to 16%, 30%, and 37% respectively. 

Walmart, which offers an online grocery shopping service, informed customers that it is “experiencing a much higher than normal volume of online grocery orders and time slot availability may be limited,” referring to when individuals can make their orders. These time slots pertain to both Canada and U.S. locations. The company has also implemented contact-free pickup and touch-free delivery measures to aid in health and safety procedures amid COVID-19.

Individuals who have an Amazon Prime account were also taken into account by Bizrate Insights and Red Points to get a better idea of current online purchasing behaviours. While Bizrate Insights noted that the majority of Amazon Prime members who bought items online between February and April were interested in clothes, shoes, and accessories, 46.4% of respondents from the Red Points survey bought products from the same category. 

With the increase in e-commerce activity, Amazon itself informed its customers that it is “increasing [the] capacity for grocery delivery from Amazon Fresh and Whole Foods Market as quickly as possible.” In addition, the company is focusing on high-priority items when it comes to its delivery services, ensuring that shoppers receive essential items such as medical supplies and household staples. 

“Our teams are working to ensure availability of these products, and continue to bring on additional capacity to deliver customer orders,” Amazon noted. “We’re continuing to ship all available [selections] in our inventory, but some products may currently take longer to ship.”

To help with the delivery process, the company advised online shoppers to select delivery addresses that are not for buildings, such as schools, that may be closed due to COVID-19. 

Similar to retail giants, merchants and their e-commerce stores are facing unprecedented traffic and interest in online shopping at this time. In order for merchants to succeed when it comes to sales and customer satisfaction, secure payment methods must be chosen. 

Merchant Broker is ready to help businesses achieve more through our solutions that prioritize the customer experience. As a global leader in brokering merchant accounts and a trusted resource for payment card acceptance, we are here to deliver a personalized approach that will add value to businesses and save time. 

To reach an expert at Merchant Broker, email


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