Corona pandemic causes loss of sales in e-commerce


Ecommerce Europe’s German  national association, bevh, released a press release in which it reveals that in March 2020 e-commerce turnover fell by almost 20 percent compared to the same period of the previous year.

Only those products categories that were also in strong demand in retail trade have partly seen a significant increase: food, drugstore goods, medicines and do-it-yourself and construction market supplies. This means that almost all the growth that e-commerce had achieved in January and February was wiped out.

E-commerce almost stagnated between January and March with a slight increase of 1.5 percent compared to the first quarter of 2019, which means that growth in the first quarter of this year was significantly below the strong prior-year figure of 11.2 percent. Between January and March 2020, customers purchased goods online worth EUR 16,482 million incl. VAT (Q1 2019: EUR 16,244 million incl. VAT). In the first quarter of 2020, the turnover in the product category ‘food’ grew by 28.1 percent compared to the previous year and generated online sales worth EUR 361 million incl. VAT (Q1 2019: EUR 282 million incl. VAT). In the month of March alone, the increase was at 55.8 percent. Medicines were purchased in the first quarter of 2020 worth EUR 227 million incl. VAT (first quarter 2019: EUR 171 million incl. VAT). Here, sales rose by 88.2 percent in the month of March. In absolute growth, this small product group was thus the front-runner.

In January and February, e-commerce revenues still grew by 8.8 percent to EUR 12,856 million including VAT. After years of growth, numerous product categories continued to unabatedly show a plus of 10 percent. The large categories of clothing (+9.5 percent), consumer electronics (+8.9 percent) and computer/accessories (+9.6 percent) continued to show a very dynamic development. In March, sales across all categories slumped by 18.1 percent. The clothing segment even plunged by more than 35 percent. Consumer electronics showed a minus of 20.9 percent, while computers and accessories recorded a 22.7 percent decline despite consumer spending on home office solutions.

For more information please download a PDF press release.