While e-commerce in the B2C world still seems like a small part of the total market, the reality is that consumers have been spending 60% of their time – or more – doing online research before committing to a purchase decision for years. B2B has followed suit, and driven by the shelter-in-place rules that have grounded workforces, has witnessed a significant increase in demand for growth in e-commerce options. The difference is that while consumers still like to go to stores and malls, B2B buyers have learned that they can accomplish more without in-person sales calls and presentations. Their interest in e-commerce is likely to continue to grow.
A Little E-Commerce Has Big Ripples
Online shopping is not as big a deal as you think, and it’s a much bigger deal than you think. In the “meh” camp: While for some it can feel like e-commerce is the only commerce, Americans still buy about 85 percent of our stuff in person. And our internet shopping over recent years has been a contributing factor to a record number of store closings every year and other retail pain—but it hasn’t been the cause. What’s remarkable, though, is the profound effect from the relatively small amount of digital shopping. Online shopping has changed our behavior, reordered the nature of work and challenged the functioning of our neighborhoods and cities. If that has been the impact when online shopping is 15 percent of what we buy, what happens if the pandemic permanently kicks that share to one quarter or more?