Will online shopping habits change after the pandemic passes?
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The global e-commerce giant Amazon is set to report its fourth-quarter earnings Tuesday. The company has taken its growth to a whole new level during the pandemic since all of the lockdowns and brick-and-mortar store closures and restrictions have sent millions more American consumers shopping online.
What does it mean for this e-commerce juggernaut that vaccination is proceeding and economic reopening may be on the horizon?
Market research company eMarketer projects that Amazon sold nearly half a trillion dollars worth of stuff last year. That would be 37% more than the year before.
eMarketer analyst Andrew Lipsman said Amazon’s gained market share against its brick-and-mortar-bound competitors as consumers rushed to buy online.
“The big question about some of these habits people have adopted with e-commerce is, what carries forward? The biggest category is grocery, household essentials, where Amazon’s really well positioned,” Lipsman said, with its Prime service and extensive network of fulfillment centers.
One risk going forward, said Nick Shields at Third Bridge, is that Amazon’s growing market power could turn consumers off.
“From a sort of PR and marketing standpoint, they should be worried about some of these efforts among consumers to shop at their local small businesses,” Shields said.
And, he said, once the economy reopens, some new Amazon customers could go back to shopping in person because they missed it in the pandemic.
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