Household incomes will be put to the test next week as unemployment benefits come to an end for many countries despite new cases of COVID-19 spiking. In the United States, 1.4 million people filed for unemployment this past week, joining the 32 million Americans already receiving aid.
Globally, it’s becoming clearer that wearing a mask is the best way to not only contain the spread of the virus, but it’s how countries can avoid massive store closures. For example, Thailand is one of the best examples where 95% of the citizens have been wearing masks in public since the pandemic began. Now Thailand is one of the only countries in APAC that’s seeing e-commerce growth. Today, masks are mandatory in public in the United Kingdom, and we’re seeing a growing number of governors in the US following suit.
Welcome to the CCInsight project where we track how COVID-19 impacts consumer spending around the world. Here are some of the top e-commerce trends we’ve spotted over the past seven days.
UK Home and Leisure Products See Best Retail Growth in the Last Two Weeks
Compared to the sport-and-hobbies and fashion-and-accessories industries, the home-and-leisure retail industry in the UK has performed the best over the past two weeks.
Between July 6th and the 19th, home and leisure was averaging +200% year over year. In the same period, sport and hobbies dropped from 69% to 17%, and fashion and accessories fell from 11% to 7%.
After taking a look at the data, Alex Timlin, senior vice president of verticals at Emarsys, interpreted the trend like this: “As lockdown easing continues across the UK, consumers are perhaps hesitating to get back to normal, and instead are continuing to spend healthily on home and leisure pursuits. The next two weeks will provide interesting insight into the consumer mindset as to whether other industries will pick up.”
Sport and Hobbies Leads in US Retail
In the last two weeks, the sport-and-hobbies industry in the United States has grown much faster than fashion and accessories and home and leisure. The industry grew at an average of +200% in mid-July while the other two categories performed more than 150% below sport and hobbies.
Alex Timlin, senior vice president of verticals at Emarsys, observes: “While the epidemic in the US continues to spread, US consumer confidence remains bullish, with many retail sectors showing growth over the past two weeks. The sport and hobbies industry has shown particular growth as consumers look to make the most of the summer.”
Australian Online Retailers Gaining New Customers
In Australia — and similar to most countries — consumers who still prefer a brick-and-mortar retailer have shifted to online shopping, in many cases for the first time. For some brands, this has significantly reduced the cost of acquiring new customers.
Now brands like Kogan.com are strategizing about how to retain the 300,000 new customers they picked up from April to June. Overall, online retailers in Australia are seeing great YoY e-commerce growth ending the week with +111% revenue growth YoY, but these brands are likely going to see more growth throughout the rest of the year.
Data Insights for the Week
The top five pure players in the Americas are performing better than European and APAC counterparts. Retail online is also strong with the top three having the best revenue growth this week in the world.
Revenue Increase Leaders at a Glance
As a whole, Europe’s pure e-commerce is quite healthy this week. Out of the 30 countries we track in the region, only nine are below 0%. The same is true for retail e-commerce, which has declined overall in the last two weeks, but Europe’s still stronger than the Americas and APAC with a majority of countries experiencing positive growth.
Revenue Increase Leaders at a Glance
At the back of the pack is APAC, with pure-player revenue growth declining over the last two weeks. Retail e-commerce is a little better for most countries. Australia tops both lists here, but Thailand continues to grow revenue as well.
Revenue Increase Leaders at a Glance
Top Product Trends of This Week
Key Product Trend Insights: Fitness equipment tops the list this week with skipping rope at +1,204% YoY uplift. Office supplies and home improvement products are also seeing increases in uplift, but we are starting to see smaller increase numbers. For example, back in April and May, uplift numbers were generally over 1,000%. This week we’re seeing products like post-it notes and utility knives in the +200s.
Growth Rate of Online Transactions
E-commerce is still growing year over year, but we are potentially about to enter one of the most trying economic periods of the pandemic as unemployment benefits end in the US, and countries around the world brace for decreases in consumer spending.
Trends by Region
Pure e-commerce: Though APAC both saw a good growth bump around July 12th and 13th, pure e-commerce revenue growth YoY is strongest in the Americas, followed by a steadily climbing Europe and a faltering APAC.
Retail online: APAC ends this week as the leader, though much of this can be attributed to Australia’s outstanding performance in the last two weeks. The Americas are on a downward slope at the moment as consumers have to tighten their belts for the beginning of August. Though well below the other two regions this week, Europe has the steadiest growth track of all.
Trends by Country
Pure e-commerce: Though half the countries in the Americas have seen revenue declines in the last two weeks ranging from -1.3% (Canada) to -53% (Chile), the top two, Argentina and Puerto Rico, have led the region for over eight weeks now with over 200% revenue growth YoY.
The star this week is the Dominican Republic with +133% YoY, rising +74% in the last two weeks and completely erasing the steep losses four weeks ago. Among the other countries in the region who have grown revenue in the last two weeks, the US finishes the week strong with +104% (+15% in the last two weeks), followed by Jamaica with +44% (+9% in the last two weeks), Mexico with +22% YoY (+6% in the last two weeks), and Brazil, who despite ending the week at -12% YoY, has gained 35% in the last two weeks.
Pure e-commerce in Europe is performing well this week. The top two countries have been on top for more than a month with Belarus at +112% revenue growth YoY (+3% in the last two weeks) and Sweden at +83% YoY (-17% in the last two weeks).
In terms of the fastest revenue growers in the last two weeks, Ukraine has made the largest gains with +110% (after a 103% drop in late June) to finish the week at +74% YoY. The other countries with strong growth in the last two weeks are Switzerland (+63%), France (+49%), Croatia (+40%), Norway (+38%), and Romania (+35%).
The United Kingdom is also steady at +47% YoY with only a +0.11% increase in the last two weeks. Germany’s at +42% YoY, despite a 27% drop in the last two weeks.
Pure e-commerce revenue growth in APAC is down, though there are countries who are seeing growth. Australia sits on top with +99% revenue growth YoY (+23% in the last two weeks), followed by Thailand with +87% YoY (+64% in the last two weeks), Japan with +36% (-25% in the last two weeks), and the Philippines with -0.79% (+39% in the last two weeks).
As one of the countries most impacted by new COVID-19 cases, India has plunged -180% in the last two weeks to end at -96% YoY. Faring a little better is China, still down -65% YoY but up 17% in the last two weeks.
Retail online: In the Americas, Ecuador is the only country in the region seeing +200% revenue growth YoY, a growth rate that the country has had for the last two months. Though Mexico and Peru have slipped below +200%, they’re still seeing triple-digit revenue growth with Mexico at +179% (-21% in the last two weeks) and Peru at +174% (-26% in the last two weeks).
The United States is the only other country in the region this week who has made gains with +84% YoY and +35% in the last two weeks. Most of the other countries in the Americas are taking hits to revenue with Canada down 46% in the last two weeks to finish at +39% YoY, Brazil down 8% to finish at -47% YoY, and Colombia which fell the farthest, down 273% to finish at -86% YoY.
This week, analysts have revised their forecast for retail e-commerce in Europe, and for once, the change is positive. Western Europe is expected to rise +16.9%, nearly double the pre-pandemic forecast of 8.8%.
We already see this trend in the CCInsight data for Europe’s online retailers. Turkey gained +13% in the last two weeks to once again achieve +200% revenue growth YoY, which is 108% greater than the United Kingdom who sits in second place with a steady +92% revenue growth YoY.
In the last two weeks, several countries are seeing great revenue growth, including France at +79% YoY (+53%, the biggest increase in retail online over the last two weeks), Portugal at +9% (+31% in the last two weeks), Romania at +6% (+25% in the last two weeks), Ireland at +25% (+24% in the last two weeks), and Croatia at +42% (+21% in the last two weeks).
Even though the top five online retailers in APAC this week are seeing positive revenue growth, it runs the gamut from Australia on top with +115% YoY (+35% in the last two weeks) down to China with +0.38% YoY (+29% in the last two weeks). In between these two countries are New Zealand with +69% (-25% in the last two weeks), India with +34% (+96.66%, the fastest riser in the last two weeks), and Thailand with +15% (-17% in the last two weeks).