E-commerce specialist Barrett Shepherd: "Online transactions have skyrocketed amidst COVID-19"

The implementation of state-wide lockdowns and mandatory social distancing norms in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic has had far-reaching effects on different sectors of the economy.

 (photo credit: BARRETT SHEPHERD)
(photo credit: BARRETT SHEPHERD)
The implementation of state-wide lockdowns and mandatory social distancing norms in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic has had far-reaching effects on different sectors of the economy. Retail is one of the many sectors that have been affected, and according to e-commerce specialist Barrett Shepherd, this period will see a shift in trends for e-commerce services across the board.
As founder of Simpl Fulfillment - an e-commerce fulfillment company in Austin, Texas, Barrett Shepherd's team helps brands outsource their shipping and helps them streamline and automate operations. With an increasing number of people choosing to self-quarantine or limit movement, there is a rapid increase in the consumption of online services and facilities. While the surge can pose challenges to supply chains, order management systems, these unusual times also hold great promise for businesses that are able to adapt to these new trends in e-commerce as people move towards the new normal. 
One of the biggest trends emerging out of these unusual times is the increased need for on-demand and to-the-door delivery services. E-commerce platforms that already have systems in place only need to scale up to meet the upsurge. With digital consumption increasing across the board, and the increasing fear of contracting the virus, shopping behaviors are shifting online from offline. 
With a business that has grown from strength to strength in the four years since its inception, Barrett Shepherd believes the key to survival for businesses is to use this downtime to tweak and modify the structure for innovative solutions to new challenges. The current health crisis has altered the way we live our lives and how consumers interact with businesses. Barrett shares, "Adaptability is the key to thrive during these confusing times and embracing digital platforms is an innovative, logical solution to a complex, unprecedented situation." It would be worthwhile for traditional brick and mortar establishments, especially to jump on the e-commerce bandwagon by partnering with third-party delivery service providers. For established brands, shifting to e-commerce ensures retention of a loyal customer base while also offering the assurance of convenient access. New businesses can benefit by tapping into the large customer base that is now shifting towards online shopping, at least for the foreseeable future. 
While movement restrictions and bans will slowly be lifted across different locations, the reality in the near future is one where scores of buyers are turning online to fulfill their varied shopping needs, thereby creating new trends and consumption patterns. For a lot of individuals, online shopping on e-commerce platforms will replace offline visits to stores for apparel, groceries, and entertainment, until the threat of the virus dissipates.