Covid-19 and Commerce

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The pandemic has accelerated shifts in the marketplace, particularly how we buy and sell

At the risk of overstating the obvious, during the past 13 months, the coronavirus pandemic has ignited profound changes in our lives. I never could have imagined that in such a short period of time nearly every aspect of our lives would be turned upside down — from the way we work, go to school, visit with family and friends — and, of course, shop.

Frankly, I’ve never been a compulsive shopper. I guess I never had the patience to roam through stores looking at merchandise. When I was a child, my mother and older sister would take me on epic shopping marathons, and I would tag along behind them for hours while they hunted for bargains. About all the retail therapy I needed at the age of 10, but it was nice to be invited.

But since the pandemic hit, my consumer habits have changed, mainly because I discovered e-commerce. (I know, I’m late to the party.)

It began simply enough. When just about everything was shut down in my hometown and we were instructed to stay at home, I began purchasing essentials online. I grew accustomed to placing digital orders, in part, because most retail websites made it so easy to do. Last fall, I completed all my holiday shopping with a click on my virtual cart. After that, there was no turning back. Like many people, it’s now my preferred shopping experience. 

This issue of Sleep Savvy addresses these two phenomena — e-commerce and Covid-19. Julie A. Palm provides strategies for improving your online capabilities and points out missteps to avoid. Eric Butterman shares insights from a handful of retailers who discuss how digital sales have affected their businesses. And Dave Perry reports on the findings of two surveys conducted by the Better Sleep Council, the consumer education arm of the International Sleep Products Association. Both questionnaires asked consumers how the coronavirus pandemic has influenced their mattress shopping. Spoiler alert: The larger of the two surveys found that the pandemic has increased mattress shopping, with emphasis on king-size models and sleep accessories. 

Speaking of digital, be sure to sign up for the Shop Talk by Sleep Savvy newsletter. Popping into your email inbox every Thursday, Shop Talk highlights retail news, giving you a home to learn about the latest happenings in the bedding industry. We offer practical ideas for improving your business, as well. Subscribe here.

Happy spring!