The article assessed the development potential of e-commerce, considering virtualisation as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. The achievement of the assumed goal was made possible by the use of strategic analysis methods. The following groups of factors were used in the identification of factors influencing the conditions for running a business: social, legal, ethical, economic, political and technological (according to the SLEPT concept). Subsequently, two methods of strategic analysis were applied independently of each other – Porter’s Five Forces and TOWS/SWOT, considering the perspective of both the consumer and the entrepreneur. The final stage of the study was to compare the results obtained with the use of both methods. The results of Porter’s Five Forces analysis showed that the e-commerce sector is a restrainedly unattractive area with more negative than positive external factors. However, the TOWS/SWOT analysis showed that the strengths and opportunities of the environment are so strong that, in order to develop the e-commerce sector even further, an aggressive strategy (maxi-maxi) should be implemented. The impact of the pandemic on e-commerce was enormously significant, as both lockdown and fear of contagion led consumers to choose the Internet as their preferred purchasing location. Thus, the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic not only expanded the current e-commerce market segments, but also created new ones. The research combined theoretical and practical aspects; therefore, the results of the study can serve as a benchmark for further scientific research, especially at the micro level, which would explain the behaviour of individual consumers when choosing the Internet as a place to shop, as well as how entrepreneurs adapt to the realities of the pandemic.
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