April 26, 2021
Dropit's General Manager of North America, Guy Edasis, explores the growing revenue share of eCommerce, and the impact on the retail industry from fulfillment to delivery.
"eCommerce Boom". A term we’ve heard about for a long time. When Amazon first patented the 1-Click button in 1999, eCommerce was in its formative years. The idea that consumers could enter in their billing, shipping and payment information just once, and then simply click a button to buy was a game changer. eCommerce witnessed another growth spurt in the wake of the 2008 recession, and the subsequent rise of companies such as Groupon and Etsy. While eCommerce became a very dominant force in the media and on Wall Street, the numbers paint a slightly different picture. In 2020, eCommerce only representing 15% of retail sales in the US*. A significant share of spend, no doubt. Albeit less inflated than one would expect.
COVID-19 signals yet another milestone in the eCommerce evolution. The restrictions that were put into place in response to the pandemic boosted the world of eCommerce. With stores shuttered, we went online to shop. The top selling online purchases of 2020 are really no surprise: yoga mats, resistance bands, headphones and smart watches. Since 2019, eCommerce has grown by 44% year over year, and now accounts for more than 21% of retail market sales.* Consumers spent $861.12 billion online with U.S. merchants in 2020, the highest annual U.S. ecommerce growth in at least two decades!
The question for retailers and industry experts is: what’s accounting for this growth, and how will the growing market share affect the retail industry?
The first thing worth mentioning is that Amazon still accounts for nearly a third of all eCommerce in the United States*. However, it doesn't mask the fact that some dramatic changes throughout the retail industry. Pre-pandemic, many companies still referred to eCommerce as a direct competitor to the physical retail locations. While in 2020, we saw a significant shift in mentality. Those same companies understood that eCommerce is not competition but rather an enhancement and extension of their brick-and-mortar presence. Looking at this way, Target.com is not competing with the local Target store. Instead, it enables the consumer to browse and research their inventory, buy after store opening hours and increase their share of wallet. Not to mention the explosion of Curbside Pickup and Click-and-Collect. In 2020 alone, US shoppers spent $72.46 billion via click and collect, accounting for 9.1% of all eCommerce sales. In Q2 2020, Target reported an astronomical 734% increase in “Drive Up” sales, and in their March 2021 earnings call, “In-store Pickup” had increased by more than 70% for full-year 2020.*
"eCommerce is not competition but rather an enhancement and extension of their brick-and-mortar presence."
It is in understanding the changing customer journey that traditional big retailers are able to reinvent themselves, and stay ahead. For this reason, we see in the “Top 10 Retailers for 2020” some of the traditional giants, including the likes of Best Buy, Home Depot and Target, that refreshed their eCommerce strategy, and are now enjoying the results.
In the years to come, we’ll look back on the past 18 months as being pivotal for retail, and in particular, once again, for Commerce.
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