September 2021 COVID-19 + Ecommerce News Roundup

How COVID-19 has transformed the furniture & home goods industry

The home goods and furniture industry has seen massive growth over the past year, due in part to the COVID-19 pandemic and stay-at-home mandates. With people spending more time inside their homes over the past year, redecorating and remodeling became common among many consumers.

Home furnishing ecommerce reached $92.32 billion in sales last year. Pre-pandemic, online home furnishing sales were only expected to hit $76.8 billion.

Home furnishings sales were $15.5 billion higher than pre-pandemic estimates projected, despite massive supply chain strain and a sharp decline in foot traffic.

Furniture and homeware ecommerce revenue grew by 14.5% to approach $53 million in 2020 – an unprecedented $6.6 million increase year-over-year. Growth is expected to continue steadily until around 2023 before plateauing somewhat in the low $60 million range.

Home décor has also seen massive growth as consumers have been on the lookout for ways to spruce up their living space. This year, we’ll see the home décor industry reach a record $182 billion. The home décor market is expected to be valued at $202 billion by 2024, a 20% increase from 2019.

In 2020, consumers spent $115 billion on furniture & bedding, adding up to a modest 0.6% YoY growth. In 2021, however, furniture & bedding sales are forecasted to hit nearly $120 billion, a more significant 5% YoY growth.

Business being good isn’t always a good thing. Shipping, inventory, and fulfillment are the basic underpinnings of a business that must work flawlessly for marketing & advertising to be worth it – and they are all in flux right now.

We keep this blog post updated with the information you need to stay in the loop with the supply chain crisis. Read the latest news today & bookmark this article for easy access to stay informed!

How B2Bs have changed their digital ad strategy in light of COVID-19

US digital ad spend for B2B grew 32.5% last year, nearly 10% more than previous estimates. 24.9% growth is expected this year, a significant increase over the 10.9% growth estimate from August 2020.

B2B digital ad spend for 2021 is expected to be 20% higher than previous estimates.

Last year’s hefty increase boiled down to $2.13 billion growth, with digital ad spending for B2B reaching $8.68 billion in 2020. This year, B2B digital ad spend is expected to climb to $10.84. By 2023, it’s expected that B2B brands and retailers will spend upwards of $14.5 billion dollars on digital ads.

It’s not a simple task to forecast what the future of digital will look like when so many factors are up in the air, but it’s predicted that B2B digital ad spend will continue growing year-over-year for the foreseeable future, though the growth rate will be significantly slower than it’s been in past years.

Online spending continues to bounce back

With consumers remaining strong in their online habits, Shopify’s gross merchandise volume (GMV) surged 40% in Q2 2021. Facebook and Google channels drove growth several times that of online stores.

Shopify’s total revenue grew 57% year-over-year in Q2 2021, with Shopify’s merchants generating an additional $1.1 billion.

This suggests that consumer spending, especially on discretionary items, is on the rise after dropping over 50% last year at the height of the pandemic. Consumers’ rising comfortability with spending is also indicated by Q2 numbers from Mastercard, Citibank, and Visa, which all saw card spending grow significantly last quarter.

COVID-19’s impacts on the apparel industry

Every industry has undoubtedly been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic – but the apparel and retail industry has felt some of the biggest shockwaves. There’s no denying that this industry saw significant losses in 2020, but the opportunity for apparel and retail brands to innovate and become a consumer favorite has never been higher.

The global apparel market was still worth a whopping $1.5 trillion in 2020 and is expected to grow to $2.25 trillion by 2025 and $3.3 trillion by 2030. However, the fashion category as a whole saw some steep declines in 2020, with the global fashion industry’s profit expected to have fallen 93% in 2020 after rising 4% in 2019.

Digital was crucial to apparel’s survival last year. Overall digital sales are expected to grow 20% in 2021, and online was an extremely profitable channel for apparel brands last year. US ecommerce apparel sales are expected to approach $100 billion in 2021 after hitting $91.7 billion in 2020. That’s almost double the growth that was seen from 2019 to 2020, with the pandemic posing a roadblock to this industry last year.

How online ratings & reviews have soared year-over-year

Online ratings and reviews soared during the core pandemic months of 2020, with volume growing 40-80%.

Products in the arts and entertainment category saw the greatest growth at nearly 200%, followed closely by food, beverages, and tobacco at closer to 180%. The health and beauty category followed next at around 80% yearly growth.

Ratings grew 87% year-over-year in December 2020 in light of the holiday season and the pandemic. Consumers were shopping in-person significantly less due to health concerns as well as store closures, and shoppers relied even more on reviews to make the right purchase decision.

October is when shoppers begin planning their holiday hauls and researching the right business to buy from, so it’s a good idea to make sure your reviews strategy is in place by then. Additionally, customers leave far more reviews beginning in November and through the new year. Taking time to respond with solutions to issues shows potential customers that your business cares about its customers.

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