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Ecommerce trends: The rise of the ‘new consumer’ post pandemic

Updated: Apr 18, 2023

Ecommerce has seen 10 years’ worth of growth in just three months as a direct result of the pandemic. A new report defines the ‘New Consumer’ and highlights why communication is key for peak success.

Ecommerce trends: The rise of the ‘new consumer’ post pandemic

The pandemic has turned people’s lives upside down worldwide and Christmas 2019 feels like a distant, foreign memory. But what impact will Covid-19 have on this year’s peak sales season?

Operations Experience firm parcelLab, has reviewed recent studies and statistics that point to this year’s peak being the most digital ever. They identify who the ‘New Consumer’ is and what they expect when shopping online during Black Friday and Christmas 2020 in their latest report ‘Peak 2020: Meet the ‘New Consumer’.

The New Consumer has become more domestic

The New Consumer spends most of their time at home – it has become the hub of the ‘New Normal’. They work, relax and socialise at home. Whether, it’s virtual fitness classes, theatre performance, online wine seminars or zoom birthday parties, almost every aspect of the New Consumer’s life has moved online this year. In just three months, Zoom gained 190 million daily users and Netflix subscriber numbers grew by 16 million in five months.

As a result, this New Consumer has invested heavily in making this space comfortable – we saw this from the vast increase in sales of furniture and DIY at the beginning of the pandemic. But it’s not just homeware that the New Consumer is purchasing.

One in five consumers report that they have bought more online since the pandemic began and intend to continue doing so in the future. Hello Fresh generated one million new customers in the first quarter alone and reported record sales growth of 40 to 50 percent compared to the previous year. And online retail in the US generated the same growth rates in three months that the industry predicted in 10 years.

There’s no doubt in anyone’s mind that this peak season will see record online sales. But how successful will Black Friday and Christmas sales actually be? A look back at the year 2019 shows that, according to figures from parcelLab, parcel volume in the electronics sector increased by 186 percent during Christmas 2019 compared to the rest of the year. In the beauty and food retail sector, the number of parcels dispatched rose by 62 percent. But these records were still broken during lockdown in March and April 2020. Compared to November and December 2019, parcel volume in the electronics sector rose by another 17.25 percent and by 19.46 percent in the beauty and food industry.

Peak is starting earlier this year

With Amazon Prime Day falling in October rather than July, this was seen as the unofficial kick-off for peak 2020. In fact, many retailers are encouraging their customers to start their Christmas shopping earlier in order to avoid spikes around Black Friday and the week before Christmas that their socially distanced warehouses and busy carriers cannot cope with. According to a study by Deloitte, more than half of British consumers plan to buy the majority of their gifts as early as November. However, twelve percent are prepared to take the risk and purchase gifts in the week before Christmas.

Communication is key for success

The report features key tips for retailers to succeed this peak and also advice from parcelLab on how to reclaim post-sales communication and speak to customers at the exact moment they desire information.

Commenting on the report, Dora Birna, Director of Marketing and Growth at parcelLab said: “This year’s peak will be the most interesting one we’ve ever had. Whilst the high street may not see usual levels, online orders are predicted to surge even further. 2020 has been an unpredictable year for retailers. Peak is a prime opportunity for them to acquire and engage new customers and turn them into brand advocates who purchase from them time and time again. In order to do this, they need to invest in their customer experience online, from checkout right through to returns.”


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