By entering lockdown just a week earlier than Germany, Austrian consumers had a headstart in shifting their buying behaviour to e-commerce – a shift that translated into breakout growth compared to it’s more populous neighbour and even the similarly sized Switzerland.

However, despite the growth of e-commerce orders peaking at 150% above this point last year, Austria has since followed the initial trend of other states in Europe as lockdown restrictions are relaxed (Austria has already reopened smaller shops with more restrictions lifting imminently including restaurants to reopen mid-May): generally, the data shows that as countries lift restrictions, e-commerce growth dips – making it all the more important to quickly onboard new customers and have programs in place to retain those new customers long term.

In the next few weeks, Austria will serve as an interesting test case for whether consumer behaviour will be affected long term (in which case our data set for Austria will remain above 30% year on year growth for e-commerce orders) or whether it will return to pre-COVID-19 (around or below 30%). This could, in turn, give us an early insight into what we should expect in other European countries.