The COVID-19 pandemic has significantly changed how people buy things today. The way that consumers shop for everything–from food to clothing to skincare products–has been affected. Online companies like Raw Gear and ESTE Medical Group have been observing these trends for some time now, and they believe that this online shift in consumer behavior has some distinct benefits.

Raw Gear & ESTE Medical Group
Raw Gear & ESTE Medical Group Raw Gear & ESTE Medical Group

About 87% of shoppers placed at least one online order for delivery between March 2020 and December 2020. That's good news for clothing brand Raw Gear, which operates completely online. People are finding that they can choose better and more diverse products if they order online rather than shopping at traditional stores. "Our general demographic is the age group of 18-30, but customers who are a little older have also found our products helpful during the pandemic when they haven't been able to shop at traditional clothing stores," said Raw Gear Founder Bradley Martyn. "We're eager to see how the movement toward online shopping can grow our business and get our message out to the masses." In addition, experts say the pandemic has accelerated the move to online shopping by about five years. That means that people are less worried about trying on clothing items before purchase and are willing to take a chance on online retailers. However, Raw Gear hasn't ruled out moving their products into offline stores. They want to start pop-up shops in malls throughout the country, even though there's been a shift to online shopping. "When people are shopping in person, they're more likely to browse," said Martyn. "They can find things they'd never seek out on their own. That's why we still think that physical retail could be a great fit for us."

Moreover, there has also been a significant change in how consumers feel about beauty products and procedures. Even though people were still seeing their friends, family, and colleagues on platforms like Zoom and FaceTime, makeup sales went down during the pandemic. However, this doesn't mean that people aren't trying to look their best. Sales of skincare products are up 234% in 2020, which means consumers are prioritizing health. "Healthy skin is beautiful skin," said Sam Cinkir, Managing Director of ESTE Medical Group. "Even if you don't plan to leave your house on a certain day, you still want your skin to look and feel great." ESTE Medical Group specializes in in-person skincare, and while they saw a slight downturn during the pandemic, people are now flocking in even more than ever. "It made sense that people moved to at-home skincare when they weren't able to leave the house," said Cinkir. "However, they've also quickly learned that you can get even better results for your acne or dry skin when you work with a professional. That's allowed us to draw in a new client base and reactivate our business post the pandemic."

Experts are still trying to figure out how the COVID-19 pandemic will affect consumer behavior in the long term. However, what we know for certain is that brands like Raw Gear and ESTE Medical Group will be there to catch on the latest trends and make sure that everyone can access their amazing products and services.