Manal Haddad

The Effect of COVID-19 on Online Shopping

COVID-19, popularly known as the coronavirus, is a global pandemic that is changing and redefining the world as we know it. While this unforeseen event has already had certain implications for businesses, it is believed that its actual effects will be seen in the near future.

The landscape of the entire business world is changing as people around the globe are being encouraged to stay put in their homes. All public places such as malls, bars, cinemas, and even restaurants have been placed under lockdown, and people are being discouraged from attending public places.

One of the biggest effects of this pandemic is reflected in online shopping. As more and more shops are closing down, and people are being placed in isolation, buying behaviors are also experiencing a massive transformation.

Here is how COVID-19 is affecting online shopping.

Demand for Necessities

As people are quarantined in their homes, it is safe to assume that there has been a considerable increase in the demand for necessities mainly through online sources. In most countries, only supermarkets, convenience stores, and medical shops are allowed to remain open. Even if you are allowed to go to these places, social distancing is highly encouraged.

However, since people are scared, they avoid going out altogether and choose to order the necessities through eCommerce websites. Individuals are stocking up on certain mandatory household items, specifically sanitary products such as toilet rolls, hand washes, soaps, etc.

Demand for Luxury goods

While e-commerce companies supplying household and essential items are considerably benefiting, the demand for online luxury items is significantly declining. With the entire world shutting down, it is no surprise that unemployment rates are increasing as companies can barely breakeven. Hence, people are either trying to save their dwindling resources or spending them to make ends meet. Therefore, the demand for luxury goods, such as mobile phones, designer clothes, shoes, bags, etc., is experiencing a major decline.


A huge chunk of retailers and shop owners are closing their businesses temporarily and are adopting and encouraging online shopping. However, not all businesses are benefiting from this massive change—some are still struggling to manage their operations.

All in all, we can conclude that the websites offering basic necessities are experiencing more traffic and conversions, while websites offering luxury goods might be receiving ample traffic but little to no conversions. However, even the online household items sector is facing the challenge of catering to this intense increase in demand.

To say that we are living in an unprecedented time feels like an understatement. This pandemic has taken the entire world by storm, affecting everyone’s lives enormously. Until this blows over, we can’t really know for sure what the outcome for businesses will be like. But considering the changes in consumer behavior and online shopping, the outcome doesn’t look pleasant.

Until then, practice social distancing, wash your hands, and stay safe!

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