TMCnet Feature
August 18, 2020

State of eCommerce in COVID-19

Covid-19 has been drastically tearing apart economic conditions of all dominant countries. People are stuck at home, shops closed, malls closed, so are the everyday-go-to grocery stores. How about online shopping? How has e-commerce been keeping up with the crisis and pandemic? A major significant change we’ve noticed is that the way people handle this time of loneliness and confusion is in substantial improvements in their shopping habits suddenly. From buying in huge amounts to shopping online, customers are changing what they purchase, where, as well as how.



When COVID-19 news first broke and after the World Health Organization formally confirmed a pandemic, people replied by stockpiling up. They purchased basic supplies such as hand sanitizers and masks, and basic household products such as cereal and toilet roll. Soon, online sellers failed to keep up with order, and supply market manipulation became prevalent.

As per the Administration of T.I.E, South Korea has seen a sharp growth in online sales recently in the past four months. The Ministry of Trade concludes this is because of the increasing number of people being locked up in their houses due to the COVID-19 outbreak. Concerns over coming into contact with COVID-19 and the state's strict social distancing regulations have been denoted as the prime reasons behind the sudden turnover to online shopping purchases. Many local Korean shops thus, are also trying to take advantage of this uprise and advertising their products online for a living. People in this pandemic are buying everything from online for the last three months or so. From every day-Korean soaps, shampoos, groceries, accessories, kid's stationeries, and other Korean gifts - the only go to option is seeking online.

Total sales from fewer than 30 registered distributors around the country, particularly foreign firms outside of online shopping, rose to 10.6 trillion won in February, a growth of 9.1 percent than the same month one year ago in 2019. This was attributed to a rise in their retail growth of 34.3 percent following a 7.5 per cent decrease in offline sales.

Digital shopping in South Korea surged 38.9 per cent in March, while transactions in brick and mortar stores dropped 19 per cent. The two fastest rising segments were grocery and sanitation supplies, which grew 85% and 67% alike. The increase in online shopping has also grown to include affordable goods such as home appliances, books and sports and recreational items.

In comparison, Covid-19 negatively affected off-line trade, with sales crashing dramatically. Sales of retail clothing plunged 48.1 per cent. However, sales of healthy produce in local shops rose by 10 per cent as more people preferred home-cooked meals.

Last but not least, online shopping in this pandemic is much safer indeed. It's doubtful that the virus would live initially when your item was packaged up to the time you got your order on your particular product. Yet shipping conditions also make the coronavirus a tough setting, so it isn't probable either that you'll be subjected to the virus through the shipment itself.



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