The impact of coronavirus on global eCommerce, in the largest study to date (We Are Social)

The Covid-19 pandemic has impacted so much on almost every aspect of our lives that it has managed to change the world dramatically in just a few months. These changes that have occurred during the first three months of 2020 are also evident in the digital behaviors of users around the world, especially when millions of people have had to resort to different devices connected to the Internet to help them deal with their daily lives under a scenario of blockage that we have never experienced before.

For this reason We Are Social has launched a special edition of its Digital 2020 report with global statistics from April 2020, exploring the unprecedented digital trends during the quarantine, and including what is the impact of the coronavirus in the global eCommerce.

Blake Wisz
Photo: Blake Wisz

Impact of coronavirus on global eCommerce   

47% of the world’s Internet users spend more of their time shopping online. The percentage of Internet users in each age group who spent more time shopping at eCommerce worldwide during the last few weeks is divided into:

  • 46% of internet users between 16 and 24 years old
  • 53% of users between 25 and 34 years old
  • 50% of Internet users between 35 and 44 years old
  • 42% of users between 45 and 54 years old
  • 32% of Internet users aged 55 to 64.

In general, men have increased their time spent shopping online the most: 55% of men versus 50% of women in the 25-34 age group, while the only age range in which women spend more time shopping online than men is from 55 to 64 (33% women versus 30% men).

25% of Spanish Internet users spend more time shopping online

The impact of the coronavirus on eCommerce worldwide is undeniable. However, there are substantial differences in the increase of time spent shopping online in Spain compared to the rest of the world.

The country that has presented a greater impact on eCommerce has been China, where 67% of Internet users say they spend more time shopping online. It is followed by Singapore (46%), United States (41%), Brazil (39%) and United Kingdom (37%).

In the case of Spain, the percentage of Internet users who claim to spend more time shopping online is 25%, above France (24%), Philippines (23%) and New Zealand (25%).

Online shopping interests by categories

Within this momentum that eCommerce has gained worldwide, there are certain categories of products that are the most requested by Internet users.

  • 33% of global online consumers say they have bought more food, followed by household products (29%), personal hygiene (27%) and fashion (19%).
  • Other categories that have also managed to increase their sales are entertainment products (17%), cosmetics and beauty products (15%), chocolate (12%) and sweets or gifts for yourself (9.9%), as well as home and garden (9.7%).
  • Sales of alcoholic beverages (9.6%), furniture (7.7%) gifts for others (5.1%) have also increased over the past few weeks, and surprisingly so has the holiday category (3.6%).

Coronavirus in eCommerce: changes in web traffic

Online supermarkets are the big winners in terms of number of visits: their web traffic has increased by an incredible 251%. In a distant second place, eCommerce technology sales (retail tech) have seen their web traffic grow by 78%, followed by average (56%) and telecom (29%).

Among the product categories that have seen their traffic fall are jewelry and watches (-7%), luxury goods (-28%) and tourism (-72%).

There are also significant changes in the number of transactions in the different eCommerce categories during the pandemic: DIY furniture and products have gained 120% in their transactions.

Internet users around the world want to maintain their health and fitness, so the sports equipment category also increased its transactions by 77%, almost as much as online supermarkets (76%) and cosmetics (70%).

The big losers of online transactions during the quarantine are: tourism (-92%), jewelry and watches (-20%) and luxury goods (-15%).

To access the report: click here

Author: Susana Galeano, Marketing 4 Ecommerce