The impact of COVID-19 on retail has been two-fold. Not only did social distancing and store closures cause a huge decrease in revenue for brick-and-mortar retailers, but it also drove more customers to embrace e-commerce and online shopping.
Data from commerce insights shows that e-commerce revenue began surging in April, and as of July, is holding steady at just over 100% YoY increase. It's clear that, not only did retailers feel the pain of losing revenue, but they also lost a share of customers who, having been forced to embrace e-commerce, now prefer it.
Brick-and-mortar retailers, especially those who rely on their shopping mall store locations as a primary channel for customer engagement, are particularly at risk to these changes in consumer shopping trends. Forecasts in this Forbes article predict a staggering increase in mall closures over the next few years. Some even expect “roughly 33% of America’s malls to go dark” by next year.
What does this mean for retailers? Well, for omnichannel brands, the end of shopping malls is not a death sentence. E-commerce growth actually has positive implications. It means those brands will have an opportunity to engage more new customers online.