COVID-19 Impact on Ecommerce: Statistics for Online Retail in Lockdown and a Post-COVID UK

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There is no doubt that the COVID-19 outbreak and the following coronavirus lockdown has had a hugely detrimental impact on the UK economy, as well as the public lives of millions.

With a change in how we live our lives, consumers have changed.

While shopping online is certainly nothing new, many people who would not normally shop online for particular items have had their hands forced.

And some businesses which cannot operate during the lockdown have had to adapt in order to meet customer needs – whether this is selling online, offering deliveries, click and collect services, or otherwise.

Food stores saw 10.4% growth – but many offline retailers have been hit hard.

Ecommerce has been a beacon of hope for many retailers, offering a new avenue to continue operating and service customers during this crisis.

How COVID-19 has affected ecommerce

In terms of offline compared to online, it will come as no surprise that the proportion of online sales has increased significantly since the lockdown started.

Source dataset: Retail Sales Index time series (DRSI)

The Office for National Statistics found that 10.8p in every pound was spent in online-only retailing for March 2020.

In fact, online sales as a proportion of overall retail grew to a record high – 22.3% in March 2020, as you can see in the table below.

YouGov found that more people are consuming essential goods via online shopping – 16% more frequently.

When it comes to monthly growth rates for the value of online sales, department stores have seen huge growth, followed by household goods retailers.

Clothing is the only store which showed a decreased value of sales. All sectors reached the highest-recorded proportions aside from non-store retail.

Despite this, Boohoo has posted positive results selling online stating they have seen “improved year-on-year growth of group sales during April”.

Lovethesales has reported that retailers increase prices on garden essentials and outdoor furniture by 43%. Online searches for lawn mowers increased 401% in April, with barbeques demand increasing 174% month-on-month – and still, 57% YOY.

Toys and games popularity is up – with ecommerce businesses in this sector seeing a rise in revenue of 341%. The food/drink and tobacco/vaping sector ecommerce businesses saw revenue rise over 200%.

Home office equipment demand is also up 219%. The table below demonstrates the consumer demand for particular items which lend themselves to home working and living – something which may continue for quite some time.

Remote working and working from home could become the new normal once we are out of lockdown – so it’s important to look ahead.

Social distancing won’t go away, and with more people used to shopping online and having discovered what they can get online, they will continue to do so. After all, it’s much easier than heading down the shops – and will continue to be safer until we have a vaccine.

If you’re already selling online, it’s important to push on and market your business through as many means as possible.

If you aren’t selling online, but you could be, then now is the time to invest in the future of your business to adapt to a post-COVID world.

Whether you are already selling online or not, the team at Xanthos are here to help. We have been helping customers sell online and create successful ecommerce businesses since 2002. Get in touch for a chat to see how we can help you.

We are also offering a free digital marketing or ecommerce consultation to help businesses out during this time.