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Fulfillment Companies Expect eCommerce Boom To Stay Even As Consumers Return To Stores

Logistics providers are expecting a continuation of the eCommerce boom even as the pandemic seems to be ending, The Wall Street Journal (WSJ) reported.

Logistics operators have said they don’t plan to scale back on their investments or their positive outlooks regarding eCommerce, according to WSJ.

“There may be some adjustment, but overall … that leap we took from the pandemic is here to stay,” said Kraig Foreman, president of eCommerce for DHL Supply Chain North America, a unit of Deutsche Post AG, per WSJ.

eCommerce sales saw a 42 percent year-over-year rise in 2020, hitting $813 billion, WSJ reported.

With that expansion has come a shift in the sector, with millions of dollars now going toward supply chain technology as well as companies like Shopify, Radial and ShipBob, which offer services to help meet online shopping demand. However, that growth seems to be tapering off in favor of a return of in-person shopping now compared to last year, with restaurants reopening and stores lifting lockdown restrictions, according to WSJ.

eCommerce sales accounted for 13.6 percent in the first quarter, which was the same amount as from holiday shopping from the fourth quarter last year. But it was also a drop from the 15.7 percent quarterly high from retail sales in the second quarter of 2020, WSJ reported.

With the changing stakes, companies that had benefited from consumers’ shifts to eCommerce because of the pandemic are now trying to figure out what they can expect moving forward, according to WSJ.

A survey from late March and early April found that one-third of U.S. shoppers are planning to keep shopping online for clothes. And 25 percent of them will keep ordering groceries online, WSJ reported.

PYMNTS called eCommerce a “double-edged sword” because of the higher revenues for those companies seeing more online orders, but also the greater operating costs needed to meet the skewed expectations spawning from Amazon and other new large players in the field.

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