After years of robust growth, e-commerce adoption was pushed to entirely new heights during the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020. Consumers under stay-at-home orders largely shifted their spending behaviour online, while businesses scrambled to accommodate an immense surge in remote e-commerce demand.
Driven by a collective aversion to physical contact at the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic, contactless payments received a major boost in 2020, both in terms of consumer demand and merchant adoption. Major retailers were quick to expand and advertise digital wallet acceptance, with many EMV chip card readers able to accept proximity payments.
The rise of e-commerce has encompassed most consumer age demographics. For younger generations such as gen z and millennials, who tend to freely adopt e-commerce in its various forms, this was a natural shift that did not require major adjustments to their normal spending behaviour.
The widespread adoption of e-commerce during the pandemic will continue to grow, even as consumers return to in-person shopping. The value that consumers see in online grocery services like delivery and kerbside pickup is evident in the popularity of such programmes.
As one of the industries hit the hardest by consumer behavioural shifts during the pandemic, travel is poised for a big comeback. Following comprehensive vaccine distribution, a pent-up leisure travel boom is on the cards for the second half of 2021 and this is likely to continue into 2022.
Like retail stores, consumer foodservice outlets across the US have been subject to severe capacity restrictions, if not full shutdowns, since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. Those able to remain open have seen sharp declines in patronage, with consumers steering clear of indoor public spaces.
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