The acceleration of e-commerce around the world in 2020 was hard to ignore as consumers often shopped online out of necessity, and as a result brands were forced to change their strategies quickly. From consumer behavior to demand forecasting to retention, the events of the last year have changed or accelerated almost every aspect of online retailing.
We’ve collected a selection of statistics to try to illustrate how the pandemic affected and continues to affect the e-commerce industry as of April 2020. However, remember that the world of online shopping continues to evolve and this is likely to continue throughout 2021.
Ecommerce and the pandemic – what do they say in numbers?
Worldwide internet sales grew 74% year-on-year in January 2021, what is the highest rate of growth since the start of the first lockdown in March 2020?
Typically, internet sales in January are quite restrained as consumers are recovering from the pre-Christmas shopping frenzy that occurs in November and December. However, the announcement of a lockdown for the new year resulted in record sales growth, also performing well above the average.
Omnichannel sellers were the biggest winners in January, posting 99.8% annual sales growth for their online channels compared to their online-only counterparts, which saw a smaller (but impressive) increase of 31.2%. Meanwhile, mobile e-commerce sales increased by 169.1%.
The data shows that many categories benefited from increased online purchases during the month, including health and beauty, where sales increased 102% year-on-year, and alcohol (105% year-on-year). Sales of electrical appliances remained very strong – an increase of 206% – and there was even encouraging news for apparel retailers as apparel sales grew by 22%. You can also see an increased interest in offers such as the store with decorations for Communion, which is associated with the hope that this year these celebrations will take place relatively normally.
With little sign of lifting lockdown restrictions in the coming 0 weeks it is possible that this trend will continue and possibly hit even higher record proportions of online sales. Since the beginning of the pandemic, 46% of Polish consumers have bought a product online – these are those who previously only bought in a stationary store.
As a wave of new consumers have adapted to online shopping over the past year, the study attempts to determine to what extent these changes will persist in the next year and beyond. Many consumers surveyed said they expect to continue their new e-commerce habits in the future – another positive outlook for e-commerce. In addition, the data show a positive correlation between people who believe that their online shopping behavior will become permanent and the amount of money they are willing to spend on products.