The Influence of COVID-19 on Consumer Spending by Channel

Where and how will consumers shop in the “new normal”? 

The implications of COVID-19 have accelerated e-commerce’s momentum, leaving retailers scrambling to evolve. An over-reliance on in-store foot traffic, and in some cases complete reliance, has left the traditional department stores frozen during government lockdowns and wondering how consumer shopping in-store and online will shake out in the future. As e-commerce sales have grown over the past two decades and started to own an increasingly larger portion of the top-line at brands and retailers across the industry, the old ways of creating and bringing product to market are changing.

At the heart of the e-commerce push is Amazon. Faster delivery, 1-click purchases and a never ending list of products has made Amazon a legitimate channel for brands to sell through. In 2019, e-commerce sales grew faster compared to in-store sales and accounted for 16% of the 3.7 trillion dollars of retail spend. Amazon is responsible for over a third of that 16%.

COVID-19 restrictions are forcing shoppers’ attention to e-commerce, accelerating the channel’s momentum even further and leaving brands wondering who (if at all) their wholesale partners of the future should be. As stores begin to reopen around the world, the manner and frequency with which consumers return to brick and mortar department, off-price and sporting goods stores, will hold ramifications throughout the GTM process.

Successfully identifying shifts from in-store to online and the channels these shifts funnel through will be the difference between success and failure for both brands and retailers. With these questions in mind, MakerSights engaged consumers from across the country that shop Nordstrom, Kohl’s, Dick’s Sporting Goods, TJ Maxx, Amazon and many more, to see how they’ve adapted and what to expect next.

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