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What does Corona mean for the development of e-commerce?

37 percent said stores no longer carry the item they want on
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The Corona crisis is causing rapid and far-reaching changes in almost all industries. This also applies to the area of e-commerce. In contrast to many other industries, a positive effect can be seen here for some factors. But how exactly does the Corona pandemic affect the e-commerce sector? 

E-commerce experiences upswing

The German E-Commerce and Distance Selling Trade Association (BEVH) published interesting figures regarding the year 2020 at the end of January. According to these figures, the contribution of e-commerce in Germany - which was marked by the Corona crisis - increased significantly with regard to the supply of the population. Gross sales amounted to 83.3 billion euros - in 2019, it was still 72.6 billion euros. Despite a small dip in the first quarter of 2020, sales thus increased by a whopping 14.6 percent compared to the previous year. Overall, more than one in eight euros of Germans' household spending was spent in the area of e-commerce. 

E-commerce demand for food, drugstore products and medicines rose particularly sharply. The demand for medical products is of course understandable, but with an increase of around 90 percent, it is nevertheless impressive. Below is a list of the individual areas that experienced a noticeable upswing in e-commerce during the Corona pandemic in 2020. The respective increase is indicated in percent. 

The comparison: Before and during Corona

It also gets interesting when you look at how people changed their sales behavior during the Corona Crisis. How many people changed their online shopping? 

AfterPay" has found an answer to this question in representative surveys. The knowledge platform specializing in e-commerce development surveyed people in several European countries - surveys were also conducted in Germany. 58 percent of those surveyed stated that they had not changed their online shopping behavior following the emergence of the pandemic. 

An extremely interesting figure for the e-commerce sector: 25 percent of Germans stated in the survey that they make more online purchases than they did before the pandemic. 17 percent tended to buy less online after March 2020 than before. 

The survey also asked people to give reasons why they were making more online purchases. 50 percent gave an obvious reason: Stores had to close. However, the trend towards more e-commerce continued even when stores were allowed to reopen. 47 percent of respondents said they still relied more on online purchases because of this, as they wanted to avoid contact with people. 45 percent said it was simply more convenient. 37 percent said that stores were out of stock of the item they wanted and 27 percent said that they were not allowed to leave their homes. 

How could e-commerce develop?

The upswing in e-commerce during the Corona pandemic is obvious. However, the question is whether this will continue in the coming years. A question that is of utmost importance in the industry - which is why a number of studies are looking into it. 

Statista has drawn up a forecast based on surveys, trends and calculations. According to this, the number of e-commerce users in Germany in 2024 will be 71.7 million - almost 90 percent of the entire population. 

Anyone who looks at the changes of the last few years will come to the conclusion that this prediction is anything but far-fetched. Whether it comes true or not, one thing is certain: the Corona crisis has given the already omnipresent positive trend in e-commerce another boost.

Sources:

https://www.bevh.org/presse/pressemitteilungen/details/e-commerce-beschleunigt-wachstum-deutlich-auf-mehr-als-83-mrd-euro-warenumsatz-in-2020-bevh-forde.html

https://de.statista.com/infografik/22198/entwicklung-des-e-commerce-umsatzes-in-deutschland/

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