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Store Closures Crashed Retail but Online Sales and BOPIS Are Flourishing

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In previous posts (Your Small Business in the COVID-19 Crisis: Psychlinks Web Services Can Help, Canada’s e-commerce moment is now: Good information from Google), I have pointed out how taking your brick-and-mortar retail business online can help save your business even as the COVID-19 crisis threatens more small businesses with bankruptcy.

This recent article from Search Engine Land provides further evidence of how having an online presence and ecommerce can save your business.

Black Friday in April: e-commerce is booming according to three reports
Greg Sterling, Search Engine Land
May 12, 2020

Retail sales were down 8.7% in March, the steepest decline ever recorded. However in April, e-commerce enjoyed unprecedented growth, aided in part by government stimulus payments. And over the past past week, data released by Adobe, Shopify and PayPal reflect the scale of e-commerce gains and even “Black Friday” level traffic and transactions.

Double and triple-digit digital sales growth. Adobe’s new “Digital Economy Index” released earlier today found that e-commerce grew sequentially by 49% (which is huge) and individual categories experienced even higher growth. For example, electronics sales were up 58% and daily online grocery sales were up 110%. The data come from “trillions of transactions, tens of millions of products, and thousands of retailers.”

Adobe also said that buy-online-pick-up-in-store (BOPIS) orders were up more than 200% year over year in April. This hybrid transaction form, with an online purchase and offline fulfillment is a metaphor for the more digitally integrated future of retail.

Buy Online Pick Up In StoreSource: Adobe (May 2020)

Adobe also said that prices remained in check or deflated except in two categories: electronics, whose deflationary slide halted in April and online grocery, which saw price increases. By contrast, online clothing prices experienced “the largest April price decrease in years.”

In its first quarter of 2020 earnings report, e-commerce platform Shopify beat analysts’ expectations and announced annual revenue growth of 47% and gross merchandise volume increases (value of sales through the platform) of 46%, while in-store transactions fell 71% because of store closures. Shopify enables e-commerce for both small businesses and larger enterprises. ….

Online spending is a significant bright spot for merchants, brands and the marketers that serve them. As states and stores open up, consumer reaction will be uneven and may be tempered by fear of infection. However, digital commerce is 100% safe, and the buying behaviors that have become established in the past two months are unlikely to go away. In many categories for the foreseeable future, then, consumers are likely to prefer online transactions and BOPIS to in-store visits.

Read more…

Psychlinks Web Services can help with special pricing and discounts for small businesses during and following this crisis.

See Your Small Business in the COVID-19 Crisis: Psychlinks Web Services Can Help for details.

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