The COVID-19 pandemic has been brutal to businesses in the United States. Over a hundred thousand companies have closed their doors for good this year after local governments imposed restrictions to control the spread of the virus that started in Wuhan, China.
Even big corporations that have made their marks in the American consciousness were not spared by the current economic and public health crisis.
There are, however, several businesses that managed to stay afloat. Those that already have a strong presence on the internet before the global crisis turned for the worse were more resilient than others.
Here is what the rest of the year will look like in terms of mobile and online sales.
Mobile Shopping Boom
The rate at which consumers are purchasing goods online through their smartphones and tablets have been growing for years. In 2020, the growth of mobile shopping (or m-commerce) was more rapid and significant.
Consumers are now able to find absolutely anything they need on the internet just by tapping on their devices. Grocery shopping, in particular, has seen a rise in popularity this year as lines grow longer and supplies become scarce in supermarkets.
With incredibly low mortgage rates across the country, property listing apps for first-time buyers have also become a necessity. Users were able to look for potential homes and learn about a property through the app. Now that it’s not safe to go around from one house to another, the software help consumers navigate the process of buying a property during the pandemic.
In 2020, the installation of apps went up by 5% on Google Play and 15% on the iOS App Store. The use of apps this year went up by 20% for both gaming and non-gaming purposes.
In addition, consumers spent over $23.4 billion through apps in the first quarter of the year alone. The trend is expected to continue well into the holiday season.
What the Rest of 2020 will Look Like for m-Commerce
With the virus far from being under control in most parts of the world, consumers will continue to rely on apps to do their shopping. Experts have estimated that, by the end of the year, mobile shopping will account for $314 billion of retail sales, a significant jump of $200 billion compared to four years ago. It will also comprise nearly half (44% to be exact) of all e-commerce sales.
Businesses can expect a spike in mobile shopping during the holiday season. Every year, there’s an increase in activity for m-commerce. The same will likely happen this year, especially because people are no longer making purchases in brick and mortar stores.
Early Shopping Holidays
Businesses can also expect a surge in orders days before the shopping holidays officially begin. Prior to the pandemic, the holiday shopping season usually starts during Black Friday in October. However, this year, deals have started to pop up in mid-October.
Many consumers are also doing their holiday shopping earlier this year. One survey found that three in 10 consumers will start making purchases in advance to avoid the holiday rush. Salesforce estimated that about $6 billion of spending, which, in a normal year would happen in November for Cyber Week, will instead be added to October.
Some Consumers to Reduce their Spending
Experts predict that, although e-commerce and m-commerce will continue to be popular during the remaining two months of 2020, not everyone will be going all-out.
Some consumers have already expressed the intention to reduce their expenses this holiday season. A report by McKinsey revealed that there will be a 25% net increase in holiday shopping intent this year.
The pandemic causing mass layoffs and financial uncertainties leads to more people wanting to stash their hard-earned money and government assistance into a savings account.
However, the majority said that they would not change their shopping habits this coming holiday season even now that the country is going through a recession. Some of them are willing to spend more this year.
Adobe, in their report, predicted that online holiday shopping will increase by 33% this year compared to last year. If lockdowns continue across the country, the increase might even reach 47%.
Moreover, daily sales online are expected to surpass $2 billion per day at the beginning of November and then $3 billion per day starting Nov. 21 to Dec. 3.
With these promising trends, online businesses and experts are hoping the economy will be revived. And retail companies are hoping to capitalize on this by offering delivery services.