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Online Sales Shrink as Stores Reopen

29 June 2020 - 17:21 by David Aiken

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The number of sales carried out via safe shopping online across Europe in the third week of June fell by just over half, according to statistics published by Signifyd.

This drop is specifically linked with the fact that bricks and mortar stores opened their doors once more during this period, both in the UK and in other parts of the continent, meaning that consumers could buy products in person rather than ordering via the web.

Even with this rapid reduction in e-commerce spending, it is still worth noting that between the 14th and the 21st of June online sales were up by 35 per cent compared with the period just prior to the introduction of pandemic-related lockdown measures three months ago.

This creates an interesting picture of the state of the retail market at the moment, with millions of shoppers still choosing to stay home and buy online even if they do have the option of visiting bricks and mortar stores for their non-essential purchases.

Analysts looked into the kinds of product categories that were generating the most traction, with business-based items seeing a 59 per cent week-on-week sales spike as more organisations reopened their doors.

This correlated with a 13 per cent rise in spending on cosmetics, following a sluggish period of sales when people in lockdown decided not to splash out on beauty products.

Meanwhile, product categories that had been boosted by the pandemic-combating measures were negatively impacted by the reopening of stores; specifically, there was a 29 per cent decline in spending on goods for DIY and decorating.

Reports like these reveal how closely retail sector trends are tied into external forces that shape demand and drive consumer spending, with the coronavirus crisis creating an especially remarkable set of circumstances in the industry.