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UK ecommerce boom during Covid-19 economic crisis

By Chris Dawson April 17, 2020 - 2:32 pm

We have seen a UK ecommerce boom with some retailers seeing their highest levels of growth since the beginning of the Covid-19 crisis, driven in part by sales in the fashion industry according to Emarsys.

UK ecommerce boom since January 2020

Amid concerns from the Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) that the UK economy is likely to shrink by 35% this spring and 13% for 2020 as a whole, ecommerce is showing battling resilience against the overall declining economic trend, growing at 83% year on year in the last two weeks — the highest growth since the outbreak of coronavirus.

UK ecommerce boom last 14 days

A large part of ecommerce’s most recent success is down to resilient consumer spending within the fashion industry, which grew by 86% year on year over the past two weeks — with footwear products seeing significant growth.

UK ecommerce boom fashion last 14 days

These online trends were identified by Covid-19 Commerce Insight, a joint project between leading customer engagement platform provider Emarsys and data analytics provider GoodData showing the impact the impact of Covid-19 on consumer confidence.

“We all saw the worrying news from both the OBR and the IMF about the economic impact coronavirus is having on national and global economies.

Ecommerce is now more important than it has ever been — both from a business point of view to mitigate cashflow issues and from a consumer point of view to get access to goods and services. The more businesses now look to bolster ecommerce, the more we can offset what is a terrible situation.”
– Alex Timlin, senior vice president of verticals, Emarsys

The tool used by Emarsys to identify these trends draws on more than a billion engagements and 400 million transactions in 120 countries, providing a global and regional picture of ecommerce activity and trends — a key indicator of overall economic conditions in these unprecedented times.

Key insights from Covid-19 Commerce Insight include how the pandemic is affecting the number of online consumer transactions, order numbers, the average order value, types of items purchased and more — in any industry and region in the world — in context of the extraordinary measures taken by governments globally.

  • LEE PEARCE
    6 months ago

    Once restrictions start to ease and High Street Retail starts to open, there will of course be some casualties and so:

    Stock will present to the buying public at knock down prices due to closing down sales.
    Some retailers who owe money to suppliers may let them know to pick up their stock before they close to offset their account.
    Stock will be snapped up at pennies for the pound from receivers
    Suppliers may need to offer deals to shift some of their stock for cash flow reasons or space needed for new stock coming in.

    Then there is the question of will buyers flock back to the High Street:

    I think there will be an obvious surge initially as people want to get out of the house, however there will be people that do not usually buy online and now had to and discover how easy it is and may not return to the High Street.

  • Jim
    6 months ago

    May be a boom in certain sectors
    Though very soon any money folks have will be reserved for food or household bills
    Also as most of the world is shut down
    Where to you get stock from?
    Existing supply will just circulate in ever decreasing circles

  • Jim
    6 months ago

    People will evaluate value or need very differently in the future
    Cant see an airport executive lounge
    Pass subscription being of much good in the for seeable future

  • Lee
    6 months ago

    All my suppliers are now back in operation, albeit not at the pre-Covid19 capacity as safe working practices are put in place.

    They supply both the High Street & online, so they will not have as many retailers to ship to.

    One supplier has ceased to offer the normal credit terms and insists on payment up front.

    Overall, the supply chain should work at a slower pace so as to ensure safe working practices, it will only be the end customer wanting to know why their item has not arrived the next day.

    Its a good job the marketplaces do not measure us on customer perception of delivery times!!

    Oh Wait!!!

  • SAM
    6 months ago

    I think it is obvious that e commerce will have a Boom right now as people have little choice and are bored out their brains. I have just switched back on my store after a month and sold a lot.
    Supermarkets were having a boom due to all the panic buyers but that lasted about a week, now if anything apart from online things are back to normal all be it less as people are now watching the pockets.
    I also think things will change we will probably tax the influx of Cheap Chinese goods into the country now much like the US to help pay for all this. Also the likes of Amazon and eBay will no longer be able to profit and pay no tax enough is enough.
    Millions will be out of work, and employers will abuse that with more zero hours and poorer working conditions as people will be desperate.

    However I do not think normal service certainly what is has been for the last 10 years will resume as people have had enough of it now.

  • trumpton
    6 months ago

    Im on a Facebook group with RM Posties. They cant handle the surge in parcels, with far fewer staff.

    stuff that I sent early last week tracked, still hasn’t registered on RM Tracking. Customers too stupid to work out what’s creating the delays. Lots of refunds.

    Not like ebay gives a monkey..

    • 6 months ago

      Royal Mail is one of many businesses that recruit casual staff for the busy periods, like in the run up to Xmas.

      If they’re currently experiencing a busy period and it looks like it’s going to continue, then they should be taking on casuals in response. Plenty of people out there wanting jobs and putting things through letterboxes is basically a paperboy round for grown ups. Anyone fit enough can do it.

  • Nick
    6 months ago

    All booms are short lived, and I can’t help feeling this “boom” will be followed by a very long slump.

    An unprecedented shrinking of disposable income, and a re-evaluation of material desirability, will mean that the smart money will be on stock that has functionality and longevity, rather than today’s transient stuff upon which so many sellers currently depend.

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