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How has COVID-19 affected eCommerce?

December 16, 2020
Ecommerce
The Global State of eCommerce

Since 2014, total sales in eCommerce in retail have been consistently rising and shows an average growth rate of over 20%. This year, before the Coronavirus pandemic, 2020 sales were expected to exceed 4 trillion US dollars and to rise to 4.878 trillion US dollars in 2021.

The UK is the third largest eCommerce industry in the world, and on its own is expected to surpass the £200billion mark this year. The most popular goods are that are purchased online in the UK. UK Shoppers spent an average of £1250 per person in 2019, and online retail accounted for 20% of total retail sales. 87% of individuals in the UK have made online purchases in 2020, and the number one leading consumer motivation for online shopping was price comparison. A third of British people order online once a week or more.

Clothes or sports goods are number one (60 percent), followed by household items (49 percent), holiday accommodation (44 percent) and travel arrangements (43 percent).

How has COVID-19 Impacted this?

This growth has accelerated during the COVID-19 pandemic.

In April alone, the rise of eCommerce in the United States grew from 16%, below the global average of 20%,to 33%. This more than doubled the previous rates of eCommerce uptake in the retail space, and led to the equivalent of 10 years acceleration and growth in a 3 month period.

Black Friday and Cyber Monday increased package deliveries by as much as 140% in November as shoppers remained indoors during the second UK lockdown. In the US, customers spent US$9 billion Black Friday, up 21.6% on a year ago. Smartphones continued to account for an increasing proportion of online sales, with this year’s $3.6 billion up 25.3%, while alternative deliveries — a sign of thee-commerce space maturing — also continued to grow, with in-store and curbside pickup up 52% on 2019.

On a global scale, while retail eCommerce sales made up around 20% of total retail sales in 2019, that’s jumped to 27.5%. Online grocery sales in October of this year increased by 39%, in comparison to a 9% increase that October 2019 faced.

While this rate will most likely slow, it’s clear to see where the future of shopping lies.

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