Unemployment numbers continue to rise in the US. This week 1.5 million Americans filed for unemployment joining the 20.1 million who have already applied for unemployment benefits. The Federal Reserve anticipates the unemployment rate will end the year at over 9%, but the more immediate issue is that expanded unemployment benefits will cease at the end of July. How will that impact consumer spending in Q3 and Q4?

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.

Last Week’s Highest-Selling Products Online Show Quadruple-Digit Growth

The highest-selling products online around the world last week all showed growth in excess of 2,000%.

Skipping ropes, footballs, basketball shoes, dishwashers and dart boards made up the top five selling items last week, each with staggering growth compared to this time last year:

* Skipping ropes: 4,963%
* Footballs: 3,396%
* Basketball shoes: 3,384%
* Dishwashers: 2,868%
* Dart boards: 2,294%

With shops still closed throughout many countries the world, it’s no surprise to see growth in e-commerce — but it is surprising to see how much it has grown. Most of the best-selling products last week were low-value luxury items, and it’ll be interesting to see the continued effect of COVID-19 on e-commerce as more shops reopen. Will consumers choose online purchases over in-store?

China to Become Biggest Retail Market in the World

Analysts now predict that China will overtake the US as the largest retail market in 2020. Despite a 4% decline this year in retail sales, China’s retail market is expected to rise to over $5 trillion in sales, while the US is expected to reach $4.8 trillion by the end of the year.

Postponed Chinese New Year purchases will drive this latest rise in consumer spending. Luxury items, in particular, have been selling well since China eased restrictions. Another factor is that China’s unemployment is not as big of an issue as it is for the US.

Will French Consumers Stick with E-Commerce?

During lockdown, French consumers turned to the online world to buy products, but now that shops have reopened in France, it’s taking time to persuade French consumers to brave brick-and-mortar stores once again.

Overall, growth in online grocery sales sits at 13% YoY, but between February 24 and March 22, home delivery in France grew 74% compared with the same time last year.

One interesting point to note: In a post-pandemic world, a bigger proportion of French consumers (15%) prefer to buy online and pick up in-store than other western European countries, including Italy (14%) and Germany (9%).

Data Insights for the Week

The Americas

The top three countries in pure e-commerce (two in South America and one in the Caribbean) are all seeing over 200% growth in orders YoY. For retail online, all of the top five have growth above 100% YoY.

Orders Increase Leaders at a Glance

Top 5 Orders Leaders in The Americas (week beginning June 15, 2020).

Europe

While Romania and Belarus are still the top two European pure players, overall pure e-commerce has dropped this week. However, retail online is booming with Poland and Belgium in the lead.

Orders Increase Leaders at a Glance 

Top 5 Orders Leaders in Europe (week beginning June 15, 2020).

Asia Pacific

India leads the way in APAC pure e-commerce, quite a bit higher than the next closest countries. Unfortunately, retail online growth has dropped this week with only the top four countries seeing growth above 0%.

Orders Increase Leaders at a Glance

Top 5 Orders Leaders in the Asia-Pacific region (week beginning June 15, 2020).

Top Product Trends of This Week

Product trends (week beginning June 15, 2020).

Key Product Trend Insights: Sports and hobbies are still the highest performing products this week, with weights and motorcycle helmets seeing the swiftest rises.

Growth Rate of Online Transactions

As data has been released this week showing that GDP growth will be lower than predicted and that unemployment is increasing across the board, overall growth is down for most countries, in many cases double-digit, which is still an improvement over the previous year.

Following are the growth trends we see this week, but you can explore Regional and Countries trends in more depth.

Trends by Region

Pure e-commerce: Pure players in the Americas are still performing 60% better than Europe and APAC in terms of order growth YoY, with Europe on a downward arc at the moment.

Pure e-commerce trends by region (week beginning June 15, 2020).

Retail online: The Americas are also outperforming the rest of the world in retail e-commerce, though Europe is poised to surpass 80% growth in the last week. APAC is still seeing growth. It’s just lower than the other two regions. 

Retail online trends by region (week beginning June 15, 2020).

Trends by Country

Pure e-commerce: In the Americas, Argentina (the biggest riser this week), Chile, and Puerto Rico have over 200% growth in purchase orders while the Dominican Republic (+39% in the last four weeks) and the United States (+8% over the last four weeks) are seeing more modest yet stable growth. Two former leaders Canada (+24% this week, but down 21% over the last four weeks) and Mexico (+73% YoY, but -79% over the last four weeks) are struggling to catch up.

Pure e-commerce trends by country (the Americas) (week beginning June 15, 2020).

Overall, pure e-commerce purchase orders in Europe have declined in the past month, but Romania (+45% in the last four weeks) and Belarus (strong despite a 62% drop in the last four weeks) are still seeing over 100% growth YoY.

Russia remains steady at +61% YoY with only a 2.6 drop in the last four weeks while the United Kingdom (+39% YoY this week but down 107.5% over the last four) and Ireland (-12% YoY this week but down 197% in the last month) have fallen substantially.

One great indicator of overall European pure e-commerce is Germany with +48% order growth YoY.

Pure e-commerce trends by country (Europe) (week beginning June 15, 2020).

In APAC, India remains at the top with 113% order growth YoY, gaining +110% in the last four weeks. The next closest countries are Japan (+80% YoY this week after rising from 0%) and Australia (+58%, falling 36% in the last month). The intriguing story in the last month is China, which is -65% YoY. However, in the last four weeks, China’s pure players are only down -0.9%, suggesting the country may be crossing into positive growth next month.

Pure e-commerce trends by country (APAC) (week beginning June 15, 2020).

Retail online: Retail e-commerce in the Americas is seeing phenomenal growth even for countries who have slightly lower numbers than four weeks ago. Mexico (+200% order growth YoY) and Peru (+200% YoY and +42% in the last four weeks) just barely lead Ecuador (+197% YoY and down only 2.6% in the last month).

The US is down 6% over the last four weeks, though still seeing 110% growth YoY. Canada is also seeing 85% growth YoY, though the retail online orders are down 89% over the last four weeks. Chile, however, has fallen 249% in the last month.

Retail online trends by country (Americas) (week beginning June 15, 2020).

Retail online in Europe looks good this week with most countries gaining double-digit orders growth YoY. The top three performers, Belgium (+200% YoY, +0.14% in the last four weeks), Poland (+200% YoY, +0.75% in the last four weeks), and Spain (+199.5% YoY, +2.62% in the last four weeks), have consistently performed the best for the past month. The UK (+173% YoY) has rebounded nicely from a decline in May, gaining 115% in the same time frame. Germany (+18% YoY) and France (+27% YoY) are on the rise as well.

Retail online trends by country (Europe) (week beginning June 15, 2020).

This week in APAC, retail e-commerce is dropping across the board. In the last four weeks, Malaysia has fallen 91% in order growth, and Thailand is down 83%. Likely this means either consumers are doing a lot of in-store shopping now that lockdown has been eased, OR unemployment is taking a toll on consumer spending. But the top four countries are experiencing between 37% and 109% YoY in order growth.

Retail online trends by country (APAC) (week beginning June 15, 2020).