The 2022 mantra really should be: no one knows anything.
It’s amazing that we have little understanding of how a pandemic has changed our lives and our country. It’s not clear if the US economy is booming or if a big city like New York will be hurt forever. I don’t know if a woman’s career is permanently compromised or if she has no mental health problems.
The future of our online shopping habits is another unknown.
The government recently revealed that the US e-commerce boom during a pandemic was even greater than previously believed. But in 2021, that trend began to recede a bit. Physical stores beat e-commerce last year and continue to do so this year. The trajectory of online purchases has changed from bananas to misleading bananas.
Today, business executives, retail analysts, and economists are thinking about how quickly they can move to the future, where online shopping is the primary shopping method. Will internet purchases return to something like a fairly stable growth rate for the decade to 2020? Or did the pandemic permanently supercharge our e-commerce life?
Don’t expect a definitive answer for a long time, but clues in the next few weeks from Amazon, Wal-Mart and government sales data will give us a better idea.
This is not just a geeky discussion. Our group buying behavior drives the health of trillions of dollars, millions of retail jobs, and the US economy. Uncertainty about the direction of online shopping is currently one of the biggest problems facing the technology industry and financial markets.
Eight signs that the economy is losing momentum
Expected to be worried. With sustained high inflation, rising consumer prices and declining spending, the US economy is showing clear signs of a slowdown, fueling concerns about a potential recession. Here are eight other steps to signal the previous issue:
We will try to present the shopping situation as clearly as possible.
For most of the decade to 2020, Americans were buying more and more online at a predictable pace.E-commerce sales increased by about 10-15% annually, according to the Census Bureau dataGrab a little more every year from the money Americans spend in stores.
Since then, internet shopping has become very active, with a recent revision showing an increase in online purchases of at least 50% in the first few months after the virus began to spread in the United States. Government figures.
However, last year, shopping at physical stores speeded up and online shopping declined. For many, it feels reassuring to walk around the aisles of the store again. High inflation could also encourage people to spend much of their budget on the necessities we still buy overwhelmingly in stores.
Other signs show a similar picture of meh growth in internet purchases, including data from Mastercard SpendingPulse that tracks US purchases. Indicated June e-commerce sales were up only 1.1% from the same month in 2021. Over-the-counter purchases increased by nearly 12%.
None of this is a shock. Of course, I didn’t intend to continue shopping online like in the spring of 2020. And online shopping today can be a much higher American spending than it would have been without a pandemic.
The open question is what’s happening right now. Will you return to the relatively slow and steady growth of online shopping in 2019? Or will the hermit habits learned in the early stages of the pandemic continue to influence our shopping and make this growth even faster? Or maybe even slower?
This is a big headache for those who sell things, but it’s also important for us.Amazon said that Overestimation How much an online shopping enthusiast can tolerate, and that it has spent too much on new warehouses and other things. The company has withdrawn. This is affecting the work and community of those who are withdrawing from Amazon.
And I’m sorry to raise this, but the golden age of online shoppers could be at stake.A hangover from a pandemic or other change made it More difficult and expensive For companies that sell products online to buy, ship, store, or promote their products. As online shopping becomes less rosy in the next few years, big and small merchants rethink how much money they are spending on the e-commerce features we enjoy, such as free shipping and receiving orders in stores. There is likely to be.
Understand inflation and its impact on you
If you think the past few years have been uncertain in shopping and beyond, that may be even more so.