In the last 18 months, the world has been turned upside down by the coronavirus pandemic. Although some normality has resumed and lockdowns have been lifted, our habits have altered significantly.
A specific example of this is a change in consumer behaviour, with many individuals continuing to shop online, even after physical retail reopened its doors to the public. As a result, companies have adapted their strategies to cater for the increased demand for online shopping.
In 2021, the eCommerce sector is expected to boom, with traffic estimated to increase by 400 million users. If you’re considering investing in the stock market, this might have prompted you to consider buying eCommerce stocks. So, in this article, we’ll explore whether they are deemed to be a worthy investment.
The effect of COVID-19 on the industry
The government’s enforcement of lockdowns throughout 2020, and in the early months of 2021, saw non-essential shops close their doors to the public. As a result, many of these businesses created their own online shops, since government grants were an insufficient source of income.
Consumers were subsequently forced to turn to eCommerce platforms to find their favourite brands or buy any non-essential items. This saw the flow of online traffic and purchases increase, and the market’s revenues soared to $2.43 trillion in 2020 — a 25% increase on the previous year.
Although we weren’t able to go anywhere when lockdowns were put in place, it would appear that the world remained concerned about staying up-to-date with the latest trends. The fashion industry is the biggest contributor to the eCommerce industry, and it is estimated that the sector will yield $759.5 billion in revenue by the end of 2021.
A change in shopping behaviours
According to a survey conducted by MiQ, 50% of consumers in the UK plan to continue to shop online for clothing and accessories now that shops have reopened. 37% say that they will purchase beauty products online, and 35% believe that they will also turn to eCommerce shops to buy their electronics and entertainment. More people are avoiding shopping in store, to steer clear of catching coronavirus, but also because they have enjoyed the convenience of online retail and the selection that it affords them.
This has caused companies to recognise the importance of enhancing their online consumer experience to provide for the increased demand. What’s more, many small businesses have set up online shopping platforms, moving firmly into this savvy online-shopping age.
As a trader, you could take advantage of this behavioural shift by investing in the shares of an eCommerce platform that is performing well right now and here’s an example for you:
- Shopify Inc. (NYSE: SHOP)
Shopify is a bit of a newcomer in the eCommerce world, but like many new businesses, has thrived during the pandemic. The company is a Canadian-based platform that allows small businesses to list their products online. Shopify has only been trading for the last 10 years, but has amounted to 1.75 million sellers. If you’re looking to invest in a company that still has significant growing room, Shopify could be the stock for you.
In 2020, the company experienced record highs, growing by 116%, with revenue from subscriptions increasing by 41%. In February 2021, the company recorded a revenue of $977.7 million and in response to the increased demand for their services, the brand has been adding some exciting features to its platform. These have improved shipping speed and accuracy, and allowed the store to become more customer centric, introducing a mobile shopping assistant to help customers and sellers on their journey.
If you decide that eCommerce stocks like Shopify are a worthy investment for you, you could use contracts for difference (CFD), with an online CFD trading platform, to invest in eCommerce stock and speculate on price movements in the market without owning the underlying asset.
If you’re considering investing in eCommerce stock, then now could be the optimum time. The sector has boomed during the COVID-19 pandemic and continues to grow in 2021, as more individuals choose to do their shopping online.
Of course, the stock market is volatile and prices can fluctuate dramatically in a short space of time, so make sure to do your research and conduct fundamental analysis, to minimise the risk of making losses.