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Note from the editor

Like so many other digital trends, e-commerce has accelerated from an emerging opportunity to a necessity due to the coronavirus pandemic. Even after shelter-in-place orders relax, consumers will likely remain wary of physical shopping, making e-commerce a key tactic marketers may adjust toward for the long haul.

Companies that were already building up their e-commerce arsenal are experiencing a windfall from the current online shopping boom. Walmart's e-commerce sales rose 74% in Q1 2020 — explosive growth mirrored in the quarterly results of rivals like Amazon.

On the platform end, Facebook and Google have quickly rolled out new e-commerce features and services for merchants, which were on the rise prior to the pandemic but have now become a central focus. For brands, these tools can help with the sometimes bumpy transition to a virtual marketplace. At the same time, standing out will become more difficult on an increasingly crowded channel, and a seamless experience will be critical to maintaining customer loyalty.

This report details what is defining the current e-commerce movement, including:

  • How major marketers like PepsiCo are designing a deeper direct-to-consumer playbook
  • New platform developments and ad formats supporting e-commerce
  • Consumer trends driving growth in mobile commerce and e-commerce
  • Where people prefer to shop digitally and why

E-commerce is a rapidly evolving space, but these stories serve as a reference point for what's becoming one of the foundational business trends of the COVID-19 era. We hope this provides some actionable takeaways.

Peter Adams Reporter

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NBCUniversal debuts shoppable e-commerce platform

Campbell tests new shoppable ads to boost e-commerce