Twenty-five years ago, digital commerce was an interesting quirk, but not really important in the larger picture of commerce. However, as each year has passed, the relevance of digital commerce has consistently grown. The heartbeat of the price-selection-convenience-experience mantra has increased the relevance and significance of digital commerce.

Over the 2019 holiday season, we were in awe of the significance of digital commerce and then as we welcomed 2020, a new word entered our vocabulary: coronavirus. The word coronavirus and the realities of “COVID-19” and “stay at home” have propelled digital commerce from a significant portion of commerce to a necessity of life. In fact, right now, as we approach the end of Q1 2020, digital commerce has changed the definitions of price, selection, convenience, experience and the essence of shopping. Stores are closing and digital commerce has changed our lives.

Many grasp that digital commerce has gone from an insignificant quirk to the “straw that stirs the drink.” But what many do not get is that once COVID-19 is in our rear-view mirror, the new norm will never look like the old normal of just a few months ago. The role of digital commerce during the “stay at home” mandate of COVID-19 will not dissipate and return to “business as usual.” The role of digital commerce—particularly as it relates to grocery—has forever been changed and not only will it not spring back to the past, but it will accelerate digital commerce to new levels for all merchandise. We will get past COVID-19, but the approach to how we shop will not be about the past, but about the present and the future. All companies must respond to the elevation of digital commerce and not just recover from COVID-19, but realize it is a whole new ball game.

This is part of our new blog series on the impacts of COVID-19. Be sure to check back daily for each installment. Tomorrow we will be looking at COVID-19 and the supply chain. Learn more about the impacts in the related articles below or visit our newsroom to stay up to date on our latest news.

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Jim Tompkins
Jim Tompkins

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