The coronavirus pandemic has changed countless things globally. Many countries and states have been forced to implement lockdowns and travel restrictions in a bid to control the spread of the virus. The closure of bars, restaurants, gyms and movie theatres has taken a toll on most people.

With the majority of people working from home, it has been deemed easy to order essentials online and get them delivered right to people’s homes, leading to a surge in online shopping. Unlike other economic sectors that have performed poorly from the onset of the pandemic, the online space has been a winner.

Even with online shopping, some shoppers are concerned about the safety of online shopping given that orders are processed in a short time. Previous research has shown that the coronavirus can survive on the surfaces of some materials even for three days. Despite this, most buyers still prefer to shop online with many already stockpiling for Christmas underway.

But what does the future hold? As retailers look to become more efficient by jumping into the online trend, the success will be determined by organizational agility. The online shopping space is, however, here to stay. To maximize this, businesses ought to adapt and shift their e-commerce strategies to suit the consumer’s needs.

In the UK, retailers in various sectors including essential goods, food and beverage, textile and clothing have seen a boom in online sales. In this article, we will list a few businesses that have seen a boom in their products and services during this crisis.


Tesco was named the Brand of the year winner at the 2020 Marketing Week Masters awards. The company has been able to respond to consumer demands amid the pandemic by shifting its operations online. The retailer of clothing, books, petrol, furniture, software and toys just to name a few has performed exceptionally well during the pandemic. This can be attributed to online operations and deliveries.

While fewer people shop in-store, the sales have remained high, with online shopping taking the highest share. Grocery home shopping has had a dramatic increase, forcing the company to double the delivery and collect slots.

The first step Tesco took at the onset of the virus was to ensure its non-food ranges were not affected. This also entailed setting up a crisis response group. The company has fundamentally changed how it operates, beginning in the stores whereby social distancing is enhanced and protective kits for the staff provided.

Although it has now stabilized, Tesco experienced panic shopping at the onset of the pandemic. Now, shortages are a thing of the past. To help cope with the demand for online shopping, the company resulted in hiring an additional 47,000 staff.

Newbie deals

With the pandemic, many consumers have leaned into subscription-based products. This is across all industries, with the most common being food, beverage, education and entertainment. has seen an increase in recipe boxes, wine deliveries, multivitamins, baking subscription boxes, spice kits and even pets’ essentials subscription boxes.

To suit consumer’s needs, many subscription boxes are innovative. There is also a wide variety available to care for all persons.

Newbie deals stay at home collection has helped control the spread of the virus by preventing regular visits to the store and also providing essential entertainment services.


A shift to online shopping saw the sales in Asda double in the past quarter. The giant retailer registered 3.5% sales with net sales up to 2.7%. As shoppers stocked up in preparation for lockdown, the chain’s average basket value increased to 6.9%.

In response to this, Asda increased its delivery capacity to 65%. The acceleration in the online capacity enabled the company to meet levels anticipated to be achieved in eight years. This was however achieved in a few weeks.

This came after the advice to stay at home during the nationwide lockdown. Click and collect sales also increased. All these changes can be attributed to changes in consumer behaviour.

The company also looks to partner with UberEats in 25 more stores as it looks to take advantage of the demand for grocery deliveries.

Even as Asda unveils new strategies and initiatives, a balance between self-preservation and investment is vital for survival.

While most players in the retail market are thriving amid the crisis, others are struggling. For instance, despite significant investment from John Lewis in the past, the company is on track to make its first annual loss since it was launched. To try and counter this, the business confirmed that eight stores would not reopen after the lockdown in a major strategic business review.

Changes in consumer behaviour accelerated by the virus can be blamed for the low profits. While the sales on John Lewis website have contributed to 60% of the sales up from 30% before the pandemic, departmental stores have performed poorly. They are now worth £500m less than before. This means that for the first time, workers will not receive an annual bonus as the chain tries to survive.