How Ecommerce Will Grow After the Pandemic

Breanna De Vera

Breanna de Vera is dot.LA's editorial intern. She is currently a senior at the University of Southern California, studying journalism and English literature. She previously reported for the campus publications The Daily Trojan and Annenberg Media.

How Ecommerce Will Grow After the Pandemic
Photo by Justin Lim on Unsplash

The pandemic may have accelerated consumers' shift online, but don't expect Americans to forgo theaters permanently for streaming or stop shopping at the grocery store. Concerts and conferences will eventually come back, but the post-pandemic future will likely be very different.

Those are some of the insights from Atom Tickets co-founder Matthew Bakal and Greycroft's Elaine Russell, who spoke in a dot.LA Summit panel moderated by KPMG audit partner Charity Manley on Wednesday. Atom Tickets is a digital movie ticketing service and Greycroft is a venture firm which focuses, in part, on retail.

Though many are staying home, Americans are still spending money, Russell said, and ecommerce is doing much better than many predicted.

"We went through an acceleration during this pandemic that we thought would take five to 10 years," she added. "And we just achieved that digital acceleration over the last nine months. And I think it's only going to continue."

The turn to ecommerce was a trend long in the making, one that is reflected in the decline of shoppers flocking to malls and stores on Black Friday in recent years and the increased numbers of online purchases on Cyber Monday.

"Black Friday will not be what it used to be. Cyber Monday is where it will be at," she said. "We've already seen that trend over the past few years."

One of the most dramatic shifts online has been in the grocery industry. Pre-pandemic, about 2% to 3% of all sales were made online through apps like Instacart or grocers' own apps and websites.

"Right now, it's closer to 10 to 15%. We think that in the next five years, that'll increase to 20-plus percent of all grocery spending," she said.

In both the event and retail spaces, Bakal and Russell believe consumers will emerge from the pandemic used a hybrid shopping experience. People will prefer shopping at brick-and-mortar stores or seeing events in person. They'll rely on ecommerce for convenience, they predicted.

"Post pandemic, [people] will go back to some sort of mixed behavior where they will go to the grocery store for some things, but a lot of other things and their traditional sort of staples, they'll buy online, and have delivered," said Bakal.

Movie theaters have slowly opened in many parts of the country and people are returning to the cinema, but the movies haven't followed. Still, Bakal is optimistic.

People are "going to movies, going to restaurants in the country at a lower, but a growing rate," he said. "So for us, it's been about shrinking down to the right size, and focusing on the future to make sure that we're here at the other end of this."

While streaming will still be a big part of people's lives, Bakal believes people will still go to the theatre or drive-in — another form of movie-viewing that has surged during the pandemic — for an in-person experience.

"I think movie theaters, movies will be back earlier than concerts and live sporting events, perhaps because it's just the amount of people in the crowd control," said Bakal. "The planning it takes to deal with those types of venues is different and takes a little more lead time."

In many ways, theaters are facing the same dilemma that restaurants are, as would-be diners begin creating their own traditions at home. That doesn't mean there isn't a space for dine-in restaurants, it means there is an opening for creating new versions of that.

"There is a shift towards these home-cooked meals and towards family and health and all these different markets," said Russell, adding they "kind of roll up in the same thesis — that there's a lot of room for innovation around this, a lot in this space and a lot of opportunity."

Subscribe to our newsletter to catch every headline.


Genies Wants To Help Creators Build ‘Avatar Ecosystems’

Christian Hetrick

Christian Hetrick is dot.LA's Entertainment Tech Reporter. He was formerly a business reporter for the Philadelphia Inquirer and reported on New Jersey politics for the Observer and the Press of Atlantic City.

Genies Wants To Help Creators Build ‘Avatar Ecosystems’

When avatar startup Genies raised $150 million in April, the company released an unusual message to the public: “Farewell.”

The Marina del Rey-based unicorn, which makes cartoon-like avatars for celebrities and aims to “build an avatar for every single person on Earth,” didn’t go under. Rather, Genies announced it would stay quiet for a while to focus on building avatar-creation products.

Genies representatives told dot.LA that the firm is now seeking more creators to try its creation tools for 3D avatars, digital fashion items and virtual experiences. On Thursday, the startup launched a three-week program called DIY Collective, which will mentor and financially support up-and-coming creatives.

Read moreShow less

Here's What To Expect At LA Tech Week

Christian Hetrick

Christian Hetrick is dot.LA's Entertainment Tech Reporter. He was formerly a business reporter for the Philadelphia Inquirer and reported on New Jersey politics for the Observer and the Press of Atlantic City.

Here's What To Expect At LA Tech Week

LA Tech Week—a weeklong showcase of the region’s growing startup ecosystem—is coming this August.

The seven-day series of events, from Aug. 15 through Aug. 21, is a chance for the Los Angeles startup community to network, share insights and pitch themselves to investors. It comes a year after hundreds of people gathered for a similar event that allowed the L.A. tech community—often in the shadow of Silicon Valley—to flex its muscles.

From fireside chats with prominent founders to a panel on aerospace, here are some highlights from the roughly 30 events happening during LA Tech Week, including one hosted by dot.LA.

Read moreShow less

Behind Her Empire: AAVRANI Co-Founder Rooshy Roy On Redefining Success and Embracing Identity

Yasmin Nouri

Yasmin is the host of the "Behind Her Empire" podcast, focused on highlighting self-made women leaders and entrepreneurs and how they tackle their career, money, family and life.

Each episode covers their unique hero's journey and what it really takes to build an empire with key lessons learned along the way. The goal of the series is to empower you to see what's possible & inspire you to create financial freedom in your own life.

AAVRANI Co-Founder Rooshy Roy
Photo courtesy of AAVRANI

Growing up in the suburbs of Detroit, Rooshy Roy said, as the only Indian girl in school, she spent a lot of time feeling like an outsider and like she wasn’t meeting others’ expectations of “how an Indian girl should behave.”

Flash forward 20 years, and the differences Roy was once ashamed of are now the inspiration for her skincare company.

Read moreShow less