How Covid Impacted Amazon and All Online Shopping

Mish

Online shopping surged at the start of the Covid pandemic and still remains far above the previous trend.

Retail Sales Trends 2017-Present

Covid gave a boost to online shopping. 

The lead chart excludes things one does not normally buy online like restaurants, gasoline, grocery stores, and autos. 

While one can purchase a car online, it is picked up at the dealer and a dealer books the sale. 

Of the remaining retail sales, nonstore retailers account for 31% of all retail sales.

Retail Sales Trends 1992-Present

Nonstore Retail Sales as Percent of Advance Retail Sales 2020-10

Covid did not change the trend towards online shopping but it did accelerate the trend, and there is no going back.

Amazon Black Friday Week

Amazon Black Friday Week starts Friday, November 20. You can ask “Alexa, what are my deals?” Amazon says tens of thousands of deals are coming. 

Every online retailer will have to do the same to compete.

Question of the Day

When does Black Friday Month start? 

Department Stores Clobbered

Advance Retail Sales Select Categories 2020-10

Online sales pressure department stores more and more. Most will struggle to survive. 

Five Related Articles 

  1. Retail Sales: What's Hot? What's Not? What's Next?
  2. 24 States Reach Their Highest Level of Covid Hospitalizations
  3. Ohio Gov. Restricts Weddings, Threatens to Close Businesses
  4. Utah Governor Mandates Masks and Restricts Gatherings
  5. The Death of a Mall in Stages

Congress is still bickering over a Covid package so a lot more pain is in store for those who don't have a job or are about to lose one.

The trend towards online shopping will accelerate.

More layoffs in the hospitality and restaurant sector are coming. Mom and pop retail stores won't make it. And more malls will die. 

Mish

Comments (30)
No. 1-12
PecuniaNonOlet
PecuniaNonOlet

Amazon announced it is in the prescription business, I will be dropping more coin with them as I hate driving to cvs to pick up my pills. No, cvs wont deliver my pills by mail for some reason but Amazon did right away...guess who gets my business.

Mish
Mish

Editor

Because of Denial of Service Attacks I am the only one who can post on the sidebar

Eddie_T
Eddie_T

I’m definitely buying more things online.....so many things are hard to even find these days in a brick and mortar store.....but my buying is more on the eclectic side anyway.

Not a problem with most things...but I will miss being able to try on clothes and shoes when the stores are all gone...not that I buy many of either one at my age.....

AussiePete
AussiePete

Just a philosophical comment on the Covid economic impact - if the global economy has been a Ponzi scheme based on exponentially increasing debt/credit, its collapse is inevitable, and the sooner the better. The reason why Bernie Madoff-type Ponzi schemes are illegal despite some people getting rich from them, is that more people lose than benefit, and the longer they continue, the more people lose. For every Baby Boomer selling his house and stocks and retiring with unearned and undeserved wealth, there are Millennials and gen Zers who are lining up to take on a lifetime of debt slavery to buy those assets at inflated prices.

Covid 19 will do a great job of saving the large numbers of future generations from this debt slavery and the bankruptcy that follows

davebarnes2
davebarnes2

"While one can purchase a car online, it is picked up at the dealer and a dealer books the sale. "
Only true for NEW cars. Used cars and Carvana. Delivered to the street in front of your house.

In pre-Covid times we bought a lot from Jeff Bezos because of selection, ease of buying, quick delivery. Amazon Prime delivers to our house at least twice a week. Now, we just buy more. Item price is NOT a factor in our purchase decisions.

At age 72/63, we are avoiding most in-store shopping. Groceries are curbside pickup. Gasoline is...oh, wait...we don't buy much of that anymore. My wife now buys 99% of her clothes online, but because she is now unemployed, a lot fewer items.

We do patronize tiny, local, independent merchants for meat, seafood, cheese, bread, sausage, wine. They are all practicing good hygiene. Not worried.

We have increased our online buying directly from manufacturers. Most offer free shipping.

Realist
Realist

Retail has been slowly moving online for two decades. It is accelerating now, largely due to the pandemic. It will never move back to where it was, though certainly there will be some recovery of restaurants, entertainment and travel.

However, the overall economy is not going to recover until everyone is vaccinated and the Pandemic is behind us. Overall retail strength requires people to have both confidence and jobs.

Trump is crowing as if he created the vaccines that are coming out. Yet he is doing everything possible to delay their distribution by delaying the transition. You can't make this stuff up.

ToInfinityandBeyond
ToInfinityandBeyond

I have a very difficult time reconciling the fact that online sales are still elevated yet there are still millions unemployed. Is it due to the unemployed still having money left over from the overly generous unemployment benefits this past summer? Is it because folks aren’t paying rents or mortgages? Is it because folks have additional spending money because they are working from home and saving on commuting costs and Starbucks coffee and buying lunch every day? Something does not add up. Why the need for additional stimulus when folks are making Bezos even richer? Maybe I am missing something here.

mrutkaus
mrutkaus

I think there is a lot of car buying online and having it delivered; I did that last October, bought online from MD and cheerfully delivered to me in VA. Easiest most pleasant car purchase ever!

Greenmountain
Greenmountain

Interesting you took grocery out of the on-line bucket. Increasingly that is also moving on-line. Again Amazon pushing this through its Whole Food line. Other chains may follow.

frozeninthenorth
frozeninthenorth

Internet shopping was always going to become the big winner for commodity stuff; a lot of foodstuff will now be sold by the internet. My 84-year-old dad now uses Amazon all the time, the last time my parents went shopping for food was nearly 8 months ago -- that generation is the shift, the young still go out in the mall, as do the poor (especially since malls are air-conditioned) but the rest -- they are moving away from main street!

SarwarPedawi
SarwarPedawi

The hit has been inevitable but on the flipside this will increase competition. We at Sarwar Pedawi Tech have also seen a dip in one of our online businesses but are positive that things will improve.


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