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COVID-19 Impact on Global B2C E-Commerce and Online Payments: April 2020


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Countries Covered: Brazil, China, France, Germany, India, Italy, Russia, South Korea, Thailand, UK, USA

Pages: 68

Publication Date: 01/04/2020

Questions Covered in the report:

  • What are the main implications of the coronavirus outbreak for the global B2C E-Commerce?
  • How did COVID-19 affect online sales of groceries and FMCG in different countries worldwide?
  • How is the pandemic changing the way consumers shop?
  • What are online retailers’ expectations with regard to the impact of the coronavirus on their businesses?
  • How does the outbreak of COVID-19 influence the development of digital payment methods?

Key findings:

COVID-19 pandemic has major impact on global B2C E-Commerce

Stay at home mandates due to COVID-19 propel an increase in online shopping

As consumers in various locations around the world are encouraged or ordered to stay at home to slow the spread of the coronavirus, they are turning to online shopping to fulfill basic needs. Consumers’ shopping and payment behaviors are changing amidst the rapid spread of the virus and the lockdown orders adopted in a growing number of countries as a measure to slow the spread of COVID-19. The yStats.com report includes the observations of E-Commerce merchants on the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on their revenues and operations and their expectations of near-future consequences. The online sales of groceries, daily necessities, health products and some electronics have surged as consumers in many countries around the world choose or are required to stay at home amidst the COVID-19 outbreak. Current data included in the yStats report from China suggest that the shift to online shopping may be a permanent change of practice.

E-Commerce share of retail sales on the rise amidst the coronavirus

While the volume of fast-moving consumer goods (FMGG) has spiked globally, not all product categories are benefiting from the coronavirus concerns. The yStats.com publication cites expectations of retailers of an overall decrease in online revenues as consumers forego the purchase of higher priced luxury items as well as apparel and accessories due to uncertainty about the global economy.  Online purchases of travel arrangements and airfare have plummeted leading to lost revenue for hotels, airlines and online travel agencies. Even in areas of Asia just beginning to return to a semblance of normalcy after the worst of the COVID-19 has apparently passed, recovery of online sales as well as total retail is suppressed, with the E-Commerce share of total sales increasing.

COVID-19 drives an increase in the number online payments

While it is still early to report any long-term change in the payment preferences, one of the consequences of COVID-19 might be the reduction of the use of cash, both in-store and for payment on delivery of goods ordered online. The number of digital and contactless payments has increased as consumers avoid touching currency that could potentially carry the virus. Nevertheless, the yStats.com report points out that the surge in online transactions involving FMCG is likely to be offset by the loss of higher-ticket travel transactions, resulting in a potential fall in overall payment transaction volume. Several payments industry leaders have revised downward their revenue expectations for the first quarter of the year.

1. Management Summary

2. Global Developments

  • COVID-19 Impact on B2C E-Commerce, March 2020
  • COVID-19 Impact on Online Payment, March 2020
  • COVID-19 Impact on Online Travel, March 2020
  • COVID-19 Impact on Online Food Delivery, March 2020
  • Breakdown of Perceived Changes in Frequency of Buying Products Online That Were Normally Bought In-Store, in % of Internet Users, March 2020 vs. February 2020
  • Year-on-Year Change in Weekly E-Commerce Sales of FMCG, By Selected Countries, in %, End of February/ Early March 2020
  • Shopping Activities Done More Often Than Usual Since the Coronavirus Outbreak, in % of Consumers in Canada, the UK, and the USA, March 2020
  • Expected Change in Shopping Behavior Due to Coronavirus Outbreak According to Consumers in Canada, the UK, and the USA, in % of Consumers, March 2020

3. Asia-Pacific

3.1. Regional

  • Average Increase in Mobile Spending on Selected Products and Services, by 1st Week of Containment and 1st Week of a Lockdown Following the Outbreak of COVID-19, 2020
  • Expected Changes in Demand for Food Delivery After the Coronavirus Outbreak, in % of Consumers, By Selected Countries and Territories, March 2020

3.2. China

  • Year-on-Year Change in E-Commerce Sales and Total Retail Sales, January/February 2019 – January/February 2020
  • Year-on-Year Change in E-Commerce Sales of Food, Necessities and Clothing, January/ February 2019 – January/February 2020
  • E-Commerce Share of Total Retail Sales of Goods, in %, Jan/Feb 2019 – Jan/Feb 2020
  • Change in Consumption of Internet Users in Selected Industries, by Perceived Change During Coronavirus Outbreak and Expected Change 1 and 3 Months After, in % Compared to 2019, February 2020
  • Share of Consumers Who Said They Would Be More Willing to Buy Daily Necessities and Fresh Products Online After The Pandemic, in %, February 2020
  • Growth in Usage of Selected Online Medical Platforms, in %, December 2019 – January 2020

3.3. South Korea

  • Total E-Commerce Sales and E-Commerce Sales of Selected Categories, in KRW billion, and Year-on-Year and Month-on-Month Change, in %, January 2020

3.4. India

  • Top Three Digital Payment Channels by Year-on-Year Growth During Coronavirus Outbreak, in %, February/March 2020

3.5. Thailand

  • Online Food Delivery Sales Projection, by Pre-Pandemic (2019 Forecast) and Post-Pandemic (2020 Forecast), March 2020
  • Share of Food Delivery App Users Who Use These Services Due To Fear of COVID-19, in %, by Generation, March 2020

4. Europe

4.1. Regional

  • Current Effects of Coronavirus Pandemic on E-Commerce Businesses According to E-Commerce Associations and Industry Participants, March 2020
  • Growth in Traffic to Education Information and Family & Youth Education Websites and Apps During the Lockdown, by Germany, France, Italy, Spain and the UK, in %, March 16-22 Compared to December 30, 2019 – January 5, 2020

4.2. UK

  • Breakdown of Perceived Change in Online Shopping for Selected Categories Due to COVID-19, in % of Adults, March 11 and March 25, 2020
  • Consumer Expectations Regarding Their Shopping Behavior After COVID-19 Is Over, in %, March 2020
  • Expected B2C E-Commerce Share of Retail Sales During Peak COVID-19 Pandemic Period, in %, Compared to Normal, March 2020

4.3. Germany

  • Share of E-Commerce Merchants Who Have Felt the Impact of COVID-19, in %, March 2020
  • Current Effects of COVID-19 on E-Commerce Merchants, in % of E-Commerce Merchants Who Felt The Impact of COVID-19, March 2020
  • Expected Effects of COVID-19 on E-Commerce Merchants, in % of E-Commerce Merchants, March 2020

4.4. France

  • Share of E-Commerce Websites in France Remaining Open Amidst Coronavirus Outbreak, in %, March 2020
  • Share of E-Commerce Websites With Increased or Decreased Sales Due to COVID-19, in %, March 2020
  • Share of E-Commerce Websites Reporting Delivery Delays Due to COVID-19, in %, March 2020
  • Year-on-Year Change in Weekly Sales of FMCG, by Selected Channels, in %, February 24 – March 1, March 2 – 8, March 9 – 15 (Before Confinement Due To COVID-19), 2020

4.5. Italy

  • Year-on-Year Change in FMCG Sales, by E-Commerce & Offline, Week 1 – Week 12 of 2020
  • Consumer Expectations Concerning Spending on Selected Categories One Month Following the Coronavirus Lockdown, in % of Consumers, March 2020

4.6. Russia

  • Year-on-Year Change in Weekly E-Commerce Volume Sales of FMCG, by Categories of FMCG, in %, Calendar Weeks 6-11 in 2020

5.North America

5.1. USA

  • Changes in Shopping Behavior Due to Coronavirus, By Shopping Actions, in % of Consumers, March 2020
  • Breakdown of Expected Effect of The Coronavirus on E-Commerce Businesses, in % of E-Commerce Retailers, March 2020
  • Top Expectations and Actions Taken by E-Commerce Retailers Due to Coronavirus, in % of E-Commerce Retailers, March 2020
  • Expected Change in Preference for Food Services Due to COVID-19 Outbreak, in % of Consumers, Week Ending March 6 & Week Ending March 13, 2020
  • Breakdown of Changes in Online Food Shopping Behaviors Due to Coronavirus Pandemic, in % of Grocery Shoppers, March 2020
  • Change in Number of Downloads of Selected Grocery Delivery Apps, in %, Mid-March 2020 Compared to February 2020
  • Year-on-Year Change in Average Weekly Web Traffic to Grocery Delivery & Food Delivery Websites, in %, Q1 2020
  • Year-on-Year Change in Average Weekly Web Traffic to Travel Websites, by Online Travel, Hotels & Accommodation Services, and Airlines, in %, Q1 2020
  • Perceived Importance of the Contactless Feature in Credit Cards, in % of Consumers, by Pre COVID-19 and on March 3, 2020

6. Latin America

6.1. Brazil

  • Year-on-Year Change in Number and Value of E-Commerce Purchases, by Selected Categories, in %, February/March 2020
  • Year-on-Year Change in E-Commerce Sales of Selected Health & Hygiene Product Categories, in %, February & March 2020

7. Middle East and Africa

7.1. Regional

  • Share of Internet Users Who Have Food or Groceries Delivered to Their Homes More Frequently Due to COVID-19 Outbreak, by Selected Countries in MENA, March 2020
  • Alibaba Group Holding Inc
  • Amazon.com Inc
  • Booking Holdings
  • Expedia Group
  • Flipkart Online Services Pvt. Ltd.
  • Instacart Inc.
  • MasterCard Inc.
  • Meituan Dianping
  • PayPal Holdings Inc
  • Qunar.com Inc.
  • Skrill Ltd.
  • Square Inc
  • Trip.com Inc
  • Trivago NV
  • Uber Technologies Inc.
  • Visa Inc.
  • Walmart Inc.

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