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Ecommerce continues to grow as more retail channels open across Europe


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Overall ecommerce spending in Europe continued to move up and to the right in the week just ended, Signifyd’s Ecommerce Pulse data shows, despite a loosening of shelter-in-place rules that is leading to more physical retail opportunities.

Online spending in Europe for the week ending June 14 was 193% higher than it was during the first week of March, which we use as a pre-pandemic benchmark. The shift to buying online was a result of shelter-in-place orders and temporary closing of stores throughout Europe.

Now the question becomes: How much of that shift will remain in place as more non-essential stores open up and welcome foot traffic. And that traffic will be welcome, indeed. Footfall in for May was down 73.3% in the UK, according to Springboard, a firm that gathers customer-activity data.

The truth is that online sales and in-store sales don’t necessarily compete with each other. In an omnichannel world, where shoppers are free to move about as they please, the two forms of shopping can complement and accelerate each other.

And given the very different experiences brick-and-mortar stores will have to provide in order to keep their staffs and customers both healthy and at-ease, it will no doubt take some time to understand how the availability of physical retail will affect online spending.

As it is, overall ecommerce spending for the week ending June 14 finished up 19% from the previous week. Most of the retail verticals moved up or down moderately for the week. Only Auto, Parts & Tires experienced a double-digit change, exhibiting 11% growth. The category has been a sterling performer with sales now 256% higher for the most recent week than they were during the benchmark week.

Fashion, Apparel & Luggage was notable for its 6% increase in sales week-over-week after suffering two straight weeks of falling sales. The vertical now finds its sales 30% higher than they were at the beginning of March.

Electronics, which saw sales rise 4%, Home Goods & Decor, which increased 6% and Beauty & Cosmetics, up 1%, rounded out the list of categories that moved in a positive direction for the week.

On the flip side, online sales of Business Supplies and Alcohol, Tobacco & Cannabis were both down more than 20% week over week. Sales of Business Supplies have been pummeled by the pandemic, now tracking 35% below where they were on a weekly basis before the pandemic. Alcohol, Tobacco & Cannabis, on the other hand, is still seeing sales 13% higher than what the category was experiencing at the beginning of March.

Consumer Medical Supplies & Supplements was also down week over week, dropping 12%. Sales in the category remain 47% higher than they were in early March.

Mike Cassidy

Mike is lead storyteller at Signifyd. A former journalist and a retail geek, he covers ecommerce and the way technology is transforming digital commerce. Contact him at mike.cassidy@signifyd.com; follow him on Twitter at @mikecassidy.