Online shopping will continue to have a big share of total retail sales post Covid-19

Online shopping will never be the same. And the Corona outbreak is speeding up the shift from physical retail to e-commerce, which is now happening faster than previous forecasts. 

The share of consumers who make about half of their total purchases online has increased by 80 percent in Europe since the outbreak. Six out of ten consumers say that they will continue to buy as much online as they do today after the pandemic has passed.

How the Corona outbreak is influencing online shopping

Buying behaviour online

These are a few of the findings from a new report by Kantar commissioned by us at Detail Online, interviewing over 3000 shoppers in Europe’s biggest e-commerce markets, the UK, Germany, and France, during the last week of March 2020.

During the initial lockdown, most consumers focused on the main essentials. Still, this report also shows that all the major e-commerce categories will bounce back to even higher levels once the epidemic has passed. And when they do, brand owners must have measures in place to meet demand.

Groceries are the biggest online boom identified so far, and we expect consumers to continue to buy online. We also expected categories like Sports & Fashion, Health & Beauty, Home & Interior, and Consumer Electronics to bounce back powerfully online in 2020. With a higher share of Retail sales Online than ever seen before.

Online shopping

Consumer shopping behavior

Beyond shopping, we see people spending more time online. Even those who haven’t gone through with a purchase have indeed compared products and research before buying. This means your products are always in the limelight, scrutinized by the eyes of potential buyers and casual shoppers.

We didn’t lose 2020. Right now, there’s enormous potential for brand owners to increase their online sales. This report tells us that the change in consumer behavior that many expected to take three to four years may happen in just a few months.

To be part of this rapid movement, you need to ensure you control your products online as you would in bricks-and-mortar. One example is how about 40 percent of some items are out of stock or listed in the wrong categories at an online retailer. And this was before the massive shift we have experienced now. It’s difficult to imagine how those numbers are now, given the present pressure on online retailers.

“Are my products visible when consumers search for them at online retailers?” is a question all sales and marketing teams at consumer brands should ask themselves right now.

Originally published Apr. 15, 2020, updated Feb. 06, 2021
Joakim Gavelin
Joakim Gavelin
CEO, Detail Online

Joakim has spent 25 years in merchandising and conducting audits in physical stores, and for the last 5 years he has been applying the same principles online. The tactics include promotion, presentation, visibility, stock situation, position on shelf, share of shelf etc., which all affect conversion in e-commerce.

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