This is an excerpt from a Mckinsey article: The next normal arrives: Trends that will define 2021—and beyond – Jan 4 2021
Pandemic-induced changes in shopping behavior forever alter consumer businesses
Specifically, the shift to online retail is real, and much of it will stick. In the United States, the penetration of e-commerce was forecast in 2019 to reach 24 percent by 2024; by July 2020, it had hit 33 percent of total retail sales. To put it another way, the first half of 2020 saw an increase in e-commerce equivalent to that of the previous ten years. In Latin America, where the payments and delivery infrastructure isn’t as strong, e-commerce use doubled from 5 to 10 percent. In Europe, overall digital adoption is almost universal (95 percent), compared with 81 percent at the start of the pandemic. In normal times, getting to that level would have taken two to three years. Strikingly, the biggest increases came in countries that had previously been relatively cautious about shopping online. Germany, Romania, and Switzerland, for example, had the three lowest online-penetration rates prior to the COVID-19 crisis; since then, usage increased 28, 25, and 18 percentage points, respectively—more than in any other markets.
Dig a little deeper, though, and there are some cautionary notes, such as the conspicuous lack of brand loyalty among online buyers. Perhaps most telling, in a recent McKinsey survey, only 60 percent of consumer-goods companies say they are even moderately prepared to capture e-commerce-growth opportunities. As one executive told us, “when it comes to selling directly to consumers, we don’t really know where to start.” That concern is certainly valid. Direct-to-consumer selling requires the development of new skills, capabilities, and business and pricing models. But the trend is clear: many consumers are moving online. To reach them, companies have to go there, too.