With so many disruptions in our lives, it’s no surprise that the coronavirus has had a considerable impact on the economy. The overall U.S. coronavirus economic impact could be as high as $4.8 trillion, or 23% of our GDP. By comparison, during the Great Depression of 1929–1933, our economy dropped by about 30% of GDP, and over a period that was four times as long.

Coronavirus Economic Impact

Retail stands among the hardest hit industries of the past year. As people began to avoid crowds and shelter at home, few were shopping in stores for anything beyond the basic necessities. E-commerce enjoyed a considerable boost in sales, but even there, the types of products purchased made a major shift. The holiday shopping season, typically credited with keeping most brick-and-mortar stores in the black, was unable to make up for lost revenue in many cases. And, as retail is impacted, so too is the secondary market.

More Overstock to Move

As stores began to shut down in March of 2020, ordering for upcoming seasons had already been completed in many retail categories. With many stores shuttered entirely and others seeing drastically reduced foot traffic, overstock became a major problem. Even once stores reopened, nothing had returned to any semblance of normalcy adding to coronavirus’s economic impact.

The huge shift in lifestyles and differing priorities that spread across the country in the past year also had an economic impact. Consumers have changed the types of products they shop for in recent months. People are increasing spending on some categories, like household cleaners and office furniture, and decreasing on others, like cosmetics.

All of these changes in consumer behaviors have caused a major overstock problem for many retailers who cannot pivot their purchasing and stock quickly enough to keep up with unforeseen changes brought on by the pandemic.

Digital Escalation Means More Returns

At the same time, as brick-and-mortar retailers were seeing far less foot traffic, online shopping began to grow by leaps and bounds. Even consumers who were previously unlikely to shop online are beginning to move toward eCommerce. Some estimates say that the pandemic has shifted the move toward digital platforms by as much as five years, forcing even smaller shops to create a viable online presence just to survive.

The problem here is that when consumers can’t see, touch, and try on products in person, they’re far more likely to return their purchases. Market insiders have long known that an increase in online shopping leads to an increase in returns. In fact, current data tells us that about 30% of online sales get returned. That’s a lot of post-sale products for retailers to have to deal with on a regular basis. So, how can you minimize coronavirus’s economic impact on your bottom line?

Online Auctions Provide the Answer

With more goods to liquidate and the continuing shift in consumer spending, retailers are changing the way they look at overstock and returns. While a few still pile these goods into clearance bins and hope for the best, most brands need a new solution to deal with excess goods. But what is the best way to go about this?

By partnering with an established liquidation platform like B-Stock, many brands are setting themselves up for success. In fact, nine of the top 10 U.S retailers use B-Stock to offload their excess, customer returned and other liquidation inventory. Our online auction process allows you to get the best price that the market will support in an efficient system that can be custom-tailored to your brand identity. Rather than chasing resellers to negotiate deals, we bring a vast community of pre-approved business buyers to you. These buyers then compete in auctions to win the privilege of purchasing your overstock and returns. The end result is quick sales and good prices with minimal work from you.

Need help navigating the new normal in the age of coronavirus? Partner with B-Stock to make the most of your returns and overstock. Contact us today for more information on how you can set up a private marketplace for your brand or take part in our B-Stock Supply marketplace.

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