The impact of Covid-19 on Digital Commerce: One year on

Covid-19 had a devastating impact on many industries, and the retail sector was no exception. Over a year since the pandemic first hit, Tryzens CEO, Andy Burton, and Simply Commerce CEO, Tim Roedel,  reflect on some of the biggest changes they have seen within digital commerce, the technology that has emerged as a result and provide their expert opinion on how to stay ahead in an increasingly competitive environment.

Here we capture a few of our key takeaways from this insightful report:

A sizeable shift in the retail landscape

During lockdown, all non-essential retailers were forced to shut their stores. This meant that many large-scale and independent retailers were either forced to fold their operations, go through structured CVA’s or change ownership. Several have resurfaced as pure play online retailers as more and more of their customers move online.

In the space of a few months, online retailers were stretched beyond their means. Fulfilling orders and getting stock became a challenge as many were experiencing unprecedented peak trading conditions.

But noticeable opportunities opened up for brands across different verticals, particularly those that traditionally served customers via brick and mortar retailers. Many have launched their own online stores that allowed consumers to access their products directly.

Changing shopper behaviour

Shopping patterns changed significantly as customers in lockdown had more time to spend browsing online and/or could only buy what they needed through this channel. By January 2021, the Office of National Statistics confirmed that online sales in the UK topped 35% of all sales in that month.

As digital commerce grows, and consumers are exposed to more brands online, companies have been differentiating themselves by fostering a healthy and sustainable business. Alongside the pandemic, awareness of brands and retailers’ behaviour to play their part to protect our planet and operate ethically has also hugely grown in importance.

Implementing a digital-first approach

As a result of the pandemic, many retailers have gone on to adopt a digital-first strategy. This approach goes beyond ecommerce, but also takes into account the best way to maximise customer engagement across all platforms (storefront, social, apps, marketplaces etc).

The future of post-Covid Digital Commerce

Even as the environment in which businesses operate and their shoppers continue to change, the pandemic demonstrated that the use of digital capabilities to improve customer experiences and retail agility is paramount to long-term commercial success.

For a complete breakdown of the challenges that brands face and the opportunities they can leverage, read the full report.

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Read the full report