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

The Corona outbreak will speed up the shift from physical retail to e-commerce, which is now happening at a faster pace than previous forecasts.

The share of consumers that do more than half of their total purchases online has increased with up to 80 percent in Europe since the outbreak and six out of ten consumers say that they will continue to buy as much online as they do today after the pandemic has passed.

Buying behaviour online

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

During initial lockdown, consumers focus has been on the main essentials, but this report also indicates that all the major e-commerce categories will bounce back to even higher levels once the epidemic has passed. And when they do, it’s essential that brand owners have measures in place to meet demand.

Groceries are the biggest online boom identified so far and expected to continue to be purchased online by many consumers. We also find categories as Sports & Fashion, Health & Beauty, Home & Interior and Consumer Electronics expected to come back strongly Online in 2020, with a higher share of Retail sales through Online than ever seen before.

Will you shop online in 2020

Beyond shopping, we naturally see people spending more time online. Even for those who haven’t gone through with a purchase, they have certainly spent more time comparing products and doing their research before making a buying decision. This means your products are now constantly in the limelight, scrutinised by the eyes of potential buyers and casual shoppers.

2020 is not lost. Right now, there’s huge potential for brand owners to increase their online sales. This report tells us that the change in consumer behaviour 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 that up to 40 percent of items can be wrongly listed or out-of-stock at an online retailer, and that was before the massive shift we have experienced now. It’s difficult to even 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 May. 11, 2020
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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