Changing the world of commerce
How the pandemic has transformed the way we buy and sell
Back in 2019, a major unexpected event, known as the COVID-19 pandemic, has shaken the
entire world, dealing a massive blow to the economy. The hardships that people faced during
the pandemic changed their view on the world and forced them to adapt to the new
circumstances of social isolation.
Money was tight, people were frightened by the uncertainty and much more, the disease.
Some of them relied on prior savings, while others managed their budget as well as they could.
Grocery store shelves were quickly emptied of toilet paper and cleaning supplies as everyone
rushed to stock up in the middle of the global pandemic. As the lockdown continued, food and
cleaning supplies were increasingly hard to come by, and everyone was concerned by finding
basic food staples and necessities.
SERVICES DURING THE PANDEMIC
The biggest hit was taken by the countries that rely heavily on travel and tourism for growth, as those were the most affected sectors.
Across the globe, travelling between countries became impossible, which in 2020 caused international tourist arrivals to fall by 72.4%. Even the least affected region, Europe, still saw a 36% decline in global tourist arrivals between 2022 and 2019. The COVID-19 pandemic had such a sudden, dramatic impact on business travel, which fell by 89%.
The hotel occupancy rate in Europe in May 2020 was only 13.3%, a dramatic drop from $82.3 in May 2019.
The potential loss in hotel business sales in the U.S. was $925 billion in 2020, due to the decreasing occupancy rates.
Travel and booking plans were cancelled as borders closed up between countries. It was, without a doubt, a hard time for everyone, the uncertainty put millions of people employed in tourism and hospitality out of jobs. With all the restaurants, bars and malls closed, people turned to cooking and food delivering services as those became the only alternative.
In order to adapt to the lockdown many service providers shifted their focus towards their online presence. Moreover, the companies had to close their offices and the employees began to work remotely from the comfort of their homes.
E-COMMERCE DURING THE PANDEMIC
The recent Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has boosted the sales of the online retailers. Following the closure of many physical stores, a lot of companies moved to e-commerce as their only alternative. Reportedly, in the US, the total e-commerce revenue in 2021 was $799.5 billion and in 2022, it totaled nearly $908 billion. It’s predicted that by 2024, revenue from e-commerce will surpass in-person shopping. The largest e-commerce sectors are notably: Fashion, Electronics, Furniture, Personal Care, Food and Beverages.
Whether we are talking about selling or buying, COVID-19 opened more doors for online activity to unfold. Due to the rapid spread of the disease, automatically people become more cautious with the methods of payment when shopping, but not with what or how much to spend while doing it. In the first year of the pandemic, the e-commerce sales surged by $244.2 billion or 43%, as people opted to shop from the comfort — and safety — of their homes.
The rise in online shopping and contactless payments has provided a huge opportunity for grocers, and those numbers are expected to continue growing. Online grocery sales are predicted to top $250 billion by 2025. That's up 8% from pre-pandemic levels and accounts for 21% of total grocery sales.
As for the advantages of the e-commerce, we can easily observe that it is time-saving, it provides convenience, more products are available than on the offline market and the prices are lower.
In conclusion the pandemic greatly affected the way we buy and sell things and continues to influence the world at present. Nowadays, people still opt for online purchases, delivery services and contactless payments in stores. The companies are now open to remote work for their employees with most of them adopting a hybrid work system.