Sucharita Kodali, VP, Principal Analyst and Mary Pilecki, VP, Research Director

Show Notes:

The coronavirus pandemic has turned some businesses on their heads, but it has also accelerated some long-term business trends. In this episode of What It Means, Vice Presidents Sucharita Kodali and Mary Pilecki identify which trends in B2C have been affected most and how they’ve impacted the market overall.

Perhaps the one B2C trend that has accelerated most during the pandemic has been “try before you buy.” Companies like Rent the Runway and “bed in the box” merchants have seen increased interest this year as consumers buying from home seek out new, low-risk e-commerce models.

In addition, Kodali points out that marketplaces have expanded into new sectors and streamlined consumer purchasing in ways that will last long beyond 2020. But while marketplaces have been seen as a great equalizer and an effective way to let buyers validate products and services, an increase in fraud and the “gaming” of buying patterns has eroded some trust in the model in recent months.

Kodali says the number of values-based consumers has also increased in 2020, as consumer power and social activism continue to merge. Retailers have innovated by finding better ways to monetize their website traffic, generating revenue more like media firms than retailers. This is particularly effective, says Kodali, because buyers who have navigated online to a retail website have a higher propensity to buy.