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While the market has made quite an amazing rally over the last few weeks, we are not out of the woods yet.
Corporate earnings are still in process discussing the COVID-19 impact on every call, businesses are still closed, and most people are still working from home.
Outside of Georgia, most states are not even thinking about opening back up, and when they do, it will be a slow start.
But regardless of where the market goes from here, there is one type of business I can always count on: e-commerce.
E-commerce has been a savior for me over the years, and with a little over 224 million Americans having bought an item online in 2019, there's a good chance it's been a benefit to you as well.
And that's especially true in today's world.
For example, when I could not get hand sanitizer at my local CVS, I went online. When I could not get to the grocery store, I went online. I can't even count the number of orders I've put in on Amazon this month from toys for the kids to groceries and other everyday products.
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I'm also sure I'm not the only one; Amazon had to delay Prime-member deliveries at one point and tried to stick to delivering essential items only.
In short, e-commerce is saving the day and giving people the ability to stay in their homes.
This is why I am looking to invest in this unstoppable trend with this backdoor play…
The Unstoppable E-Commerce Trend over the Years
Since 2000, this industry has yet to see a downturn, even during the 2001 and 2008 recessions. That is not something you can say for most industries after the dot-com bubble and the financial crises.
In the fourth quarter of 2019, e-commerce retail sales as a percent of total sales were 11.4%, or roughly $600, billion in 2019. This is up 14.9% from 2018. This is a huge industry, and it's only set to capture more of the multitrillion-dollar retail sales market. In fact, eMarketer estimates that e-commerce could reach 16% of retail sales by 2023, a number that will most likely end up much higher, given the estimate was produced last year.
What is happening now is a complete transformation.
Stay-at-home orders across the country have created a once-in-a-lifetime catalyst for the industry. With many retail stores closed, people are spending more time and money online to get the goods they need.
The great part about this is that people are realizing that it is actually more convenient to buy online – not just because of the coronavirus, but even if we weren't quarantined.
Take for example Chewy Inc. (NYSE: CHWY), an online retailer of pet food and other pet-related products. There is a reason its stock is up almost 100% since March. It's easier to have that 20-pound bag of dog food delivered to your door than to go to the store and have to haul it to the car from the store and to your home from your car.
When people know what they want, there is no reason to go into the store. These are trends that are not going to stop when everyone goes back to work and will help to push e-commerce to all-new levels.
Just look at a few examples from the last few months of what this growth looks like:
- Best Buy C Inc. (NYSE: BBY) domestic online sales are up over 250%.
- NIKE Inc.'s (NYSE: NKE) digital sales grew 36% in its latest quarter.
- Target Corp. (NYSE: TGT) sees e-commerce revenue growth of 100% in March and almost 275% in April.
- com Inc. (NASDAQ: AMZN) and Walmart Inc. (NYSE: WMT) are hitting all-time highs as the largest online sources for goods.
But those are all companies everyone knows. The information I just put up is well-known; but what isn't so well-known is the backdoor play on Amazon's tremendous growth in this megatrend.
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About the Author
Alex Kagin is the Director of Technology Investing Research at Money Map Press. He has spent the last decade working in equity research, most recently with Energy Capital Research Group (ECRG), where he led technology stock research along with working as part of a team developing a customizable financial data platform for securities analysis.
Prior to joining ECRG, Alex spent 8 years at DeMatteo Research, a boutique primary research firm and broker-dealer servicing the institutional investment community. He managed the Tech, Media, and Telecom vertical where he spent time connecting with hundreds of tech executives and hedge funds to get the pulse of the market.
Alex has a B.S. in Economics from American University and previously held Series 7 and 63 security licenses.