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How COVID-19 Changed the Trajectory of eCommerce Growth on a Global Scale


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In the midst of the global pandemic, eCommerce stores had two options: either close down shop or make changes. At Pixelz, we were pleased to discover that brands and retailers across the board chose the latter.

Be sure to read our recovery outlook blog post here if you haven’t already!

Now, digital store leaders everywhere are evaluating how COVID-19 impacted eCommerce on the international stage, seeking to improve their future viability and outlook in the process.

As a leading image editing provider for some of the world’s top brands, our Pixelz team is in a unique position to leverage a global perspective to identify trends. Here’s what we discovered!

Transforming Potential into Real-World Progress

Across virtually every industry, changes happen in a series of stages.

Generally speaking, human nature is resistant to change. Although there are millions of innovators and early adopters throughout the world, the majority of people stick with what they know until significant proof-of-concept has been established.

Once the pandemic was in full swing, however, many people made changes out of necessity.

According to research from McKinsey, upwards of 75% of consumers in the US alone tried different stores during the pandemic. According to the research, eCommerce achieved 10 years of growth in a span of just 3 months.

This trend is consistent on a global scale, as eCommerce retail sales are projected to climb even higher, growing another 14.3% this year alone according to ROI Revolution.

Although worldwide trends were already heading toward increased eCommerce growth, COVID-19 accelerated this trend in an unimaginably short period of time.

Breaking Through Forecasts and Trends

Looking back on data from 2015 onward, eCommerce was following a predictable growth trajectory when compared to traditional brick-and-mortar stores. According to eMarketer, non-eCommerce stores were steadily growing at around 2% each year, while eCommerce stayed consistent at around 15%.

Triggered by an influx of first-time eCommerce shoppers, these predictable growth patterns were quickly disrupted by COVID-19. As a result, non-eCommerce sales plummeted to -3.2% while eCommerce doubled, rising to over 32%.

We project that eCommerce will continue to see high growth levels, meaning increased competition within the digital space. In turn, image editing services like Pixelz are expected to grow in demand as digital retailers seek to gain an edge in the market.

New Norms for Time Spent Online

According to ROI Revolution, consumers increased the amount of time they spend online by 1 hour throughout 2020. In turn, a ripple effect was seen throughout eCommerce including:

  • Increased familiarity - With more time to spend online, consumers who are generally unfamiliar with online shopping were able to spend more time navigating the eCommerce landscape. As a result, familiarity and trust toward digital shopping increased.
  • Product discovery - As shoppers browsed, they were exposed to eCommerce opportunities that they may not have been aware of, such as at-home meal or grocery delivery services.
  • Needs assessments - With product outages in stores, consumers looked elsewhere to find household staples. Instead of visiting brick-and-mortar stores, many consumers chose to spend their time shopping online.

By evaluating not only why consumers were spending more time online but also where they were spending time, valuable insight can be drawn for the future of eCommerce.

The Growing Importance of Image Editing Services

eCommerce growth and demand for image editing services have risen as a direct result of COVID-19.

To keep up with day-to-day orders while staying competitive, retailers across the board are opting for professional background removal, photo retouching, product color matching and more from online providers such as Pixelz.

By leveraging external vendors, business leaders, eCommerce managers, and digital store owners put themselves in a better position to save time while improving the outlook of their store.

If you would like to make the most out of the ongoing shift to eCommerce, consider signing up for a 14-day free trial of Pixelz today! In turn, you’ll improve your flexibility and competitive edge as you continue to navigate the ever-growing eCommerce industry.