Affected by COVID-19, e-commerce has replaced purchases in stores. Currently, billions of people around the world are still constrained by confinement. During the coronavirus pandemic, billions of people work from home, and e-commerce flourished globally.

Country-wise date on Surge in Online Sales

According to online data given from Emarsys (marketing platform) and GoodData (analytics platform), in the two weeks from March 22 to April 4, online orders for online retailers in North America increased by 52% year-on-year. Revenues from Canadian online retailers rise by 30% year-on-year.

U.S. online orders increased by 56%

The data shows that in the two-week period from March 22 to April 4, the number of online orders from major retailers in the United States and Canada increased by 56% year-on-year. Compared with the same period last year, online sales in the region increased by 43% during this period.

While customers are hoarding necessities, the revenue of online grocery stores has soared. According to data given from Brick Meets Click (a food marketing and sales consulting firm), online grocery sales in the United States increased by 233% in March. At the same time, research from Symphony RetailAI shows that some grocery retailers' online traffic increased by more than 300%, but offline in-store traffic decreased by 45%.

Earlier this month, Adobe Analytics reported that the average daily online sales in the United States increased by 25% from March 13 to 15, compared with March 1 to 11. Compared with the average daily sales from March 1 to 11, the average daily sales of American online groceries increased by 100% from March 13 to 15.

The online order growth rate in the Asia Pacific reaches 78%

Between March 22 and April 4, only online retailers' transaction volume in the Asia Pacific (APAC) increased by 23% year-on-year.

According to data from Emarsys / GoodData tracker, in the two-week period from March 22 to April 4, online orders from major retailers in the Asia Pacific region increased by 82% year-on-year. During this period, online sales in the region increased by 22% compared with the same period last year.

Canada's food and catering category is growing fastest online

Data from Absolunet Inc. (market research company) shows that from March 11 to March 29, online sales in Canada increased by 99% compared with the previous 19 days (February 20 to March 10). Among all the categories, food and Food and beverage grew the fastest, with online sales up 194% year-on-year.

In these 19 days, the online sales of home appliances, electronics, building materials, and self-service products grew significantly, reaching 161%, followed by food and catering. During this period, online furniture and home decoration sales increased by 106%, online sports goods sales increased by 105%, and online clothing sales increased by 21%.

Online orders in Western and Central Europe are also proliferating

Between March 22 and April 4, online orders from online retailers increased by 44% in Western and Central Europe. According to data from Emarsys / GoodData, among the main entities, online orders in Europe increased by 71% year-on-year in the two weeks from March 22 to April 4, and sales compared with the same period last year have an increase of 31%.

The data of the research institute also includes the order data of the following countries:

In France, sales of online retailers alone increased by 24%, while online sales of entities increased by 62%, while orders increased by 49% and 18%, respectively.

In Germany, sales of online retailers alone increased by 45%, while online sales of entities increased by 42%, while orders increased by 58% and 69%, respectively.

In Italy, sales of online retailers alone increased by 43%, while online sales of entities increased by 71%, while orders increased by 66% and 79%, respectively.

In Sweden, sales of online retailers alone increased by 37%, while online sales of entities increased by 52%, while orders increased by 27% and 25%, respectively.

UK online supermarket sales surge of 221%

Data from Contentsquare (analysis company) shows that from March 28 to April 3, the transaction volume of the British supermarket website surged by 221%, though the overall traffic increased by 36%.

The study also found that the cosmetic industry has boomed, with transactions on the website this week increasing by 53% from the previous week, and an increase of 156% compared to the average level before the outbreak. British consumers who buy sports equipment are making a comeback, and this week's transaction volume has increased by 34%, which has led the country's domestic orders to increase by 68%.

Report-Nielsen showed that in the four weeks ending March 21, 20% of British households were shopping online, which means that 600,000 new households are shopping online compared to the same period last year. Nielsen said that during this period, the British family also ordered 1.2 million groceries online.

Amazon's key data exposed, the list of skyrocketing products

Amazon, as the largest e-commerce platform, naturally became the first choice for many consumers during the epidemic.

According to data from SimilarWeb Inc.(a traffic data source), from March 5 to March 31, the total daily visits to Amazon website increased by 9.4%(6.5 million visits) from the beginning to the end of the month, reaching 75.51 million visits. During the same period in 2019, traffic remained stable at 69 million visits.

According to data from Feedvisor (market technology supplier), product sales by category show clear winners and losers. In the week of March 16, compared with the week of January 6, sales of Amazon shopping supplies increased by 103%, sales of beauty and personal care products increased by 47%, and sales of clothing dropped by 28%.

Compared to March 9, online grocery stores have grown faster (up 85% from the week of January 6), while apparel sales have declined less (16%) over the same period.

According to data given from MarketplacePulse (research company) that tracks market data, most of the top 50 searched terms on the Amazon website fall into the category of household products / personal care, such as toilet paper, hand sanitizer, and Clorox wipes. Some other terms have appeared, including products that consumers may be looking for to kill their time at home, such as puzzles, Nintendo switches, and resistance bands.

Daven Brodess, a co-founder and managing partner of DTC Retail (a consulting firm that helps retailers and brands sell on Amazon), advises sellers to evaluate advertising spend and promotions. Broads said: "If your inventory is limited and starts to go down, it may be worthwhile to suspend any promotional plans you provide, close or reduce advertising expenditures, and focus on the profitability of your existing inventory." If supply is not an issue, it may be an opportunity for sellers to increase advertising expenditures to gain market share.

Also, Brodess said that during this time, merchants must be particularly light and tolerant when serving customers. Brodess said: "Many people are blocked or off-the-clock, so returning to the post office to return products can be cumbersome and even dangerous. Under appropriate circumstances, buyers appreciate and provide a refund without returning the product to help your brand stand out."

At present, Amazon sellers face a difficult obstacle to shipping. Many experts suggest that sellers should look for other options, such as working with third-party logistics companies to store inventory. When Amazon allows all sellers to ship to the FBA warehouse again, the seller can happily ship!

Independent e-commerce platform sales also burst

As a result of consumers' enthusiasm for shopping, sales of the independent platforms have exploded.

Shopify said that in the last two weeks of March, the number of new global online stores on its platform has increased by 20% every week. Also, from January 1 to March 30, Shopify merchants created more than 27,000 discount codes related to or referring to COVID-19.

The data shows that in the week of March 2, the sales of food, beverages, and tobacco of Shopify merchants increased by 14% year-on-year; in the week of March 9, the sales of these merchants continued to increase by 46%. Weekly sales increased by 4%.

In the week of March 9, Shopify clothing and accessories sales fell by 11%, and the week of March 16 fell by another 16%, but in the week of March 23, this category began to rise again by 21%.

Specifically, toilet paper, water filters, and infant formula are the most popular products. At the same time, as the demand for essentials such as toilet paper in supermarkets has decreased, sales of substitutes are also increasing.

Shopify said that also in March, sales of "home office" products such as computer accessories or office equipment, as well as fitness products (fitness equipment, adjustable dumbbells, resistance bands) and entertainment products (video games, painted suits, game tents) all start to increase. Other popular product categories include greeting cards and novelty gifts, which showed that people are looking for different ways to stay in touch during this time.

According to Shopify, as of March 30, the number of merchants who install local delivery and in-store pickup applications in the Shopify app store has increased. The number of downloads of these apps has increased by 800% per week during the last two weeks of March.

Retail advertising spending surges

In the week of March 16, Shopify merchants increased their advertisement approximating to the 2019 holiday. Shopify said: "This may be because the physical merchants are moving online, and the existing online merchants are trying to increase sales."

During the epidemic, e-commerce seemed to be a bright spot in the retail industry. 50% of retailers expect that during the crisis, e-commerce would do slightly better than other businesses, and 20% of retailers expect e-commerce to do better.

However, when it comes to investment, businessmen are cautious. According to research by Forrester and Narvar, 15% of businessmen plan to suspend all capital investment due to the crisis, 28% plan to suspend some investments, and another 28% are considering suspending investment.

The survey found that the largest percentage of retailers (40%) believe that retailers and shoppers ’activities will return to normal within 1-3 months, 35% think it is 3-6 months, and 15% think it is 6-12 months.

In addition, there is some data to share:

·  23% of retailers plan to hire or transfer resources to e-commerce

·  40% lift the return policy

·  42% suspend in-store pickup and in-store return

·  28% experience delays in performance

·  53% of delayed users notify shoppers via SMS or email

·  28% of retailers’ layoff

About one-third (32%) of retailers have encountered challenges in the staffing of distribution centers because workers take sick leave or cannot work. 77% of people are changing marketing activities based on the reflection of current customers’ sentiment.

Consumer perspective: Many netizens want to retaliate, but ...

From the interview with consumers, we can also draw an important conclusion: many netizens want to retaliate after the epidemic, but they now have many concerns.

A survey showed that about 15% of the respondents planned to purchase after the outbreak ends in their country; 14% said they would do so once the affected number began to decrease in their country; 7% planned to purchase after the global outbreak.

Another survey of 5,000 consumers found that 31% of consumers are extremely concerned about the economic consequences of coronavirus, and 25% of consumers are very worried about this.

In addition, 17% of shoppers plan to increase online shopping in the next 90 days, and 11% plan to increase online shopping substantially.

12% of shoppers said that in the next 90 days, their reliance on delivery services into platforms like Amazon will increase moderately, and 6% said they will increase significantly.

An increase of 500,000 bad reviews in January, Australian sellers suffer

The vigorous development of online business also means that bad reviews are coming.

Marketplace Pulse analyzes millions of product reviews from 8 million sellers. Since early March, the percentage of Amazon sellers ’product reviews have been steadily declining.

The largest decline was in Australia, where only 78% of seller reviews were positive in March, while last year ’s favorable review rate was nearly 90%.

Even in Japan, where there are particularly few negative reviews, the rate of product negative reviews last month rose from more than 2% to nearly 9%.

In the United States, only 92% of customers comment positive reviews in March, which is lower than 95% on March last year, and the worst result from the past three years. It is expected that this percentage will drop to 90% by the end of the following April.

Summing up these bad reviews, it can be found that consumers mainly expressed their dissatisfaction in terms of excessive prices, poor quality, false publicity, unilateral cancellation of orders by sellers, and failure to receive orders for a long time.

Overall, last month, worldwide Amazon sellers received nearly half a million negative reviews. Since not all shoppers would leave negative reviews, Marketplace Pulse speculates that a few real dissatisfied consumers may be more than double.