The coronavirus crisis has changed nearly everything — how we work, how we spend our free time, and how we shop. Mandated store closures, capacity restrictions, social distancing have led to a drastic shift in consumer behavior. As foot traffic has largely vanished for both non-essential and essential businesses, loyal shoppers and retailers have shifted their attention to online shopping for everything from groceries to clothes and gifts to wine and liquor. To get a sense of exactly how COVID-19 is impacting retail and online sales for ShopKeep businesses, we compared pre-pandemic shopping patterns with those from mid-March to mid-April. Here’s what we found.
While non-essential retail businesses of all sizes have been forced to reduce their hours or close entirely, grocery stores, pharmacies, and other essential businesses have been hit with shortages due to panic buying. Demand for certain essential items such as hand sanitizer, toilet paper, and bleach has skyrocketed. According to our internal data, COVID-19 and supply chain disruptions aren’t the only thing consumers are looking to protect themselves from.
As a result of the changing retail landscape, businesses have been pivoting to an eCommerce-only or omnichannel strategy. On March 19th, one week after the WHO officially classified COVID-19 as a pandemic, ShopKeep made eCommerce and Online Ordering free for all customers through June 2020. Since then, ShopKeep’s eCommerce and Online Ordering capabilities have experienced huge boosts in adoption rates and sales generated. Online orders and eCommerce revenue for ShopKeep stores are up over 100% for nearly every retail and foodservice category. Food delivery and grocery retailers saw the highest percentage jumps from pre-COVID online orders. The sharpest increases in demand from bakeries and drinking establishments suggest a desire to indulge while social distancing.
How Will COVID-19 Impact Retail and Online Sales in the Future?
In such a rapidly changing economic landscape, it’s difficult to make any solid predictions. However, most experts agree that although retail stores will eventually reopen, many consumer shopping habits from the global pandemic are expected to carry over. Features like eCommerce as well as curbside pickup and delivery will continue to shift from “nice to haves” to “necessities” for retail and foodservice businesses. Screen guards, face masks, visible sanitation, temperature checks, and strict occupancy limits are all part of the new retail safety playbook. Contactless payment options such as Apple Pay, PayPal, and invoicing have seen tremendous adoption rates, as 87% of consumers are wary to use cash and traditional credit card reader keypads.
In anticipation of these trends, we’ve slashed the price of our contactless credit card reader, released a new online invoicing feature, and we’re continuing to make vast improvements to its eCommerce software.
SEE ALSO: COVID-19 ShopKeep Service Updates