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4 Lessons that Accelerated Ecommerce Growth During the Pandemic

The COVID-19 pandemic brought disruption to every aspect of our day-to-day lives, from the way we work to the way we live to the way we feel. We’ve all adapted to a “new normal” more times in the past two years than we expected to in our lifetimes.


The way we work and interact with each other is undoubtedly forever changed, but one constant has emerged. Regardless of industry or vertical, the world is simply more digital.

A Period of Unprecedented Growth

While industries around the globe contracted amid COVID lockdowns and restrictions, the ecommerce world saw unprecedented growth during the pandemic

2018 2020
$468.1 billion $644.4 billion
2022 2024
$875.2 billion
$1.151 trillion

Retail ecommerce revenue in the US

A US Department of Commerce Retail Indicator Division released in February 2022 indicates that ecommerce sales in the US climbed 14.2% from the previous year and jumped 50.5% from 2019

Double-digit increases for online retailers were unsurprising when the pandemic first took hold in 2020. But why are they persisting even now, as restrictions ease? Because the pandemic merely accelerated a trend already in motion — the adoption of a digital-first strategy among retailers.

Ecommerce Growth During Pandemic for the CPG Industry

The Consumer Packaged Goods industry, which already had sophisticated electronic B2B and supply chain integrations in place, took steps during the pandemic to strengthen their online data exchange and third-party ecommerce marketplace presences, allowing them to profit by delivering the right products at the right time to their consumers. 

But as demand for ecommerce rises, customers are also expecting more from brands vying for their loyalty. 

The pandemic forced consumers to rethink their lives as well as the way they wanted to shop. Companies that saw growth over the past two years are those who took steps to improve the shopping experience. Convenience, product availability and a personalized shopping experience have emerged as top ecommerce priorities, followed by concerns about sustainability and environmental impact. 

At the same time ecommerce customer loyalty has declined, with 75% of shoppers saying they switched brands or retail outlets during the pandemic. As retailers become more and more a part of consumers’ day-to-day lives, there are still lessons to be learned from pandemic experiences. How can the post pandemic retailers leverage digital technology to take advantage of current opportunities?

1. Real-Time OMS-ERP Integration Improves the Shopper Experience

Sales order management is a series of interconnected touch points and stakeholders, all of whom must work together to ensure shoppers can order — and receive — the right products at the right time. A growing number of B2B and B2C companies are transitioning to integrated, responsive order management systems to keep pace with the evolution of the ecommerce world.

The adoption of an Order Management System (OMS) can:

Dramatically reduce out-of-stock inventory Help ensure prompt order delivery
Improve ecommerce platform usability Help grow brand reputation and revenue

Of course, to realize these benefits, tight integration of the OMS with the Enterprise Resource Planning platform is critical. Real-time (or as close as possible) OMS-ERP integration can help CPG companies survive and thrive in an increasingly competitive post pandemic digital market. A number of enterprise companies are turning to e-commerce integration platforms for their business growth needs and OMS management.

2. Centralized Inventory Management Helps Increase Sales

The early days of the pandemic saw retailers flooded with waves of panicked customers clearing out stocks of basic supplies like toilet paper, cleaning supplies, hand sanitizer and bottled water. Scarcity drove consumers to online platforms to seek out supplies. And while at first, shoppers focused on large retailers like Amazon and Kroger, the traffic eventually reached any and all smaller platforms with available inventory.

An increased reliance on ecommerce growth during the pandemic created an environment offering a full 360-degree customer view as digital brands aligned with customer data. The ultimate result? Businesses with inventory managed centrally across digital marketing channels, fulfillment centers and retail stores were able to sell more, demonstrating the need for CPG companies to take control of sales processes and own the entire customer flow, whether B2B, B2B2C or B2C.

3. Effective Data Integration Supports Shipping and Delivery Services

Accurate shipping forecasts and delivery scheduling from both local and remote distribution centers are dependent on sound data integration across your systems. When orders are placed, you must be able to:

  • Verify product availability in real time
  • Segregate quantities for fulfillment
  • Trigger the logistics delivery process
  • Inform the buyer when goods will ship and be received

This is true end-to-end integration. But in the real world, this process touches several systems (both internal and external) that must all exchange data effectively. Here’s an  example of all the points at which data integration influences successful shipping and delivery services:

Address enrichment and validation Warehouse management
Order pickup and handling Carrier ordering and scheduling
  Delivery Tracking  

4. Remote and Real-Time Production Data Supports Increased Demand

As demand for ecommerce surges, so does the need for complete access to remote inventory data, which in turn affects ERP production forecasts. The ability to view goods in fulfillment centers managed by third-party distributors gives manufacturers much-needed visibility into the supply chain and POS activity, facilitating the transfer of inventory to more efficient models.

This granular product-level visibility enables ERP systems to accurately set production forecasts and lower the risk of shortages and sell-outs.

Leverage Current Opportunities with Digibee

CPG manufacturers that added omnichannel sales practices to leverage ecommerce growth during COVID have gained a competitive advantage in the post pandemic retail world. To maintain this advantage, these organizations must keep their data houses in order, orchestrating internal and external data systems in order to meet the continually evolving demands of consumers.

Digibee’s enterprise integration platform-as-a-service (eiPaaS), an expert ecommerce integration platform, can help your company accelerate the adoption of a digital-first strategy. 


Your data, fully integrated, in under three weeks. Experience firsthand the power of Digibee, enabling complex integrations across critical systems quickly and securely. Sign up for a proof of concept using data you provide. Or we can take you through our interactive demo.

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