Lots of insightful data came out this week — and it’s not all that good. From March to April, unemployment in the G7 countries doubled from 4.6% to just over 9%. Global GDP has been recalculated with a global average of 7% below the plan at the start of the year.
The US stock exchange took a steep dive on Thursday, June 11th as some states — like Texas, Florida, Illinois, and New York — who were among the first states to reopen, are now seeing a dramatic rise in new cases of COVID-19. That scared American investors enough to drop the Dow Jones 1,861 points (just under 7%) in one day.
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 Consumer Spending on Sporting Equipment Online Reaches New Heights
Online consumer spending on sporting equipment reached its highest growth level this year as Brits finally have sports to look forward to later this summer.
With Premier League football set to restart on June 17th, test cricket set to resume on July 8th, and Premiership rugby set to start again on August 15th, consumer spending on sporting equipment grew by 94% year over year in the week leading up to May 31st — the highest growth level so far in 2020.
Among the best-selling products in the last week are boxing gloves (up 7,019% YoY), footballs (up 3,215%), trainers (up 2,280%) and sports bras (1,083%).
Online Growth Shows a New Future for Retail
CNBC recently reported the forecasting of 25,000 retail store closures this year. The article predicts that total retail sales in the US will fall more than 10% for 2020. But closures are not necessarily a death sentence for retail brands. Instead, it suggests a shift toward prioritizing online retail and e-commerce growth.
CCInsight data shows that the US is seeing tremendous growth in retail e-commerce revenue for the year. This trend shows no signs of reversing, even as stores are opening throughout the nation (though the rate may stabilize).
Store Closures for Large Global Retail Chain Signals a Growing Focus on Retail Online
Apparel retailer Zara recently announced the closure of up to 1,200 stores around the world in an effort to prioritize the brand’s online sales amid the pandemic. Although this move comes as a shock to some in the retail industry, data suggests it may be a wise one.
Revenue from retail online has been climbing steadily (save for a large spike in April) throughout Europe since the start of 2020:
Even as stores around the globe are operating at half capacity or less, too much uncertainty remains about future potential impact of a Coronavirus resurgence. As a result, Zara’s brick-and-mortar stores across Europe and Asia will continue to close (though UK locations are less likely to be affected).
Data Insights for the Week
Pure e-commerce in South America is performing far better than Europe and APAC this week, with the top 5 all over 190% revenue growth YoY. Retail online in the Americas is also leading the world this week with the top three seeing over 200% growth.
Revenue Increase Leaders at a Glance
Romania and Belarus remain the top European pure players, but we’re starting to see many other countries on the upswing, like the United Kingdom and Germany. European retail online is outperforming pure e-commerce this week with France and Spain making it into the top five.
Revenue Increase Leaders at a Glance
APAC has fared a little better this week than the past two to three weeks. Except for India, the best pure players range from 54% (Australia) down to 6% (Japan). Retail online is a little better in some cases (like Malaysia which is still seeing over 200% growth YoY), but only the top four countries have growth above 0%.
Revenue Increase Leaders at a Glance
Top Product Trends of the Week
Key Product Trend Insights: Sports and hobbies lead this week, with dart boards and frisbees at the top. Rubber bands are also up nearly 2,000% in uplift. Consumers must be bundling up a lot of things this week.
Growth Rate of Online Transactions
Revenue growth varies quite a bit, but overall, South America is enjoying the highest growth numbers this week while the rest of the world is adapting to businesses reopening, GDP reforecasts, and developing unemployment. This week we may be seeing the beginning of the steep correction many businesses have predicted we’d see.
Trends by Region
Pure e-commerce: Driven primarily by South American countries, revenue growth in the Americas is roughly 60% higher than APAC, which has been on an upward arc over the last week.
Retail online: Since the low point of June 1st, the Americas and APAC have been on the rise with the Americas 20% higher. However, all three regions have seen declines in the past week.
Trends by Country
Pure e-commerce: In the Americas, the United States is steadily getting better (up 7.31% over the last two weeks). Puerto Rico remains in the top three for the third week in a row with over 200% revenue growth YoY. This week also saw Peru rise the fastest to just under 200%, and Colombia is up 82% over the last two weeks. However, Mexico, after a surge on June 7th, has seen a 66% drop over the last two weeks as consumers purchase less.
Most of Europe’s pure players are seeing between 10% and 50% revenue growth YoY. Romania still leads the region with 161% growth YoY despite falling 12% over the last two weeks. Belarus (+27%), the UK (+10%), and Sweden (+26%) have grown modestly over the last 14 days (even as Sweden is being blocked from travel by cautious neighbors). But the best news is that Germany has reached 66% growth YoY and is in the top five revenue leaders in Europe for the first time since the pandemic began.
In APAC, India is the clear leader in pure e-commerce revenue growth with 112% growth YoY (+79% over the last two weeks). For the countries that had led in previous weeks, most are seeing declines this week, with Australia down 7%, Thailand down 2%, and Japan down 5%.
Keep an eye on New Zealand which made a 4.75% gain this week, though they are overall still under 0% growth. It’s also worth noting that China is down 80% in revenue growth YoY, and that’s despite forecasts this week that China will beat out the US in 2020 as the largest retail market for the first time ever. China will surely see phenomenal growth in pure e-commerce as well.
Retail online: This week for retail online, we’re looking at growth since January 2020. In the Americas, we have seen extreme up-and-down growth for Colombia and Canada in particular, though Colombia has gained 101% growth over the last two weeks erasing the severe decline from two weeks ago. Where Mexico has fallen in pure e-commerce, the country’s retailers remain strong and, along with Ecuador, is seeing 200% online revenue growth this week.
The standout is Peru (+200% revenue growth this week), which spent most of March and April below 0%, is growing far more rapidly at the moment than the United States, which has only seen 1% growth over the last two weeks.
In Europe, Belgium has continued to see revenue growth over 200% YoY for the last two weeks, but you can see in the chart below how long that journey has taken. On the other hand, Turkey (up 50% over the last two weeks) has spent most of the last eight weeks above 200% in revenue growth.
Perhaps the best retail online news over the last two weeks is that France (the biggest riser) and the United Kingdom (up 23% in the last 14 days) have both been on an upward trajectory with 80% revenue growth YoY and 47%, respectively.
In the chart below, you can see where APAC bottomed out from February 23rd through March 15th hovering around 0% growth. After that, you can see the rise of retail online in first Malaysia and then India, though India has lost all of its gains in the last two weeks falling 203%. Australia’s down 16% in revenue growth in the last two weeks but still seeing 71% YoY.
The emerging story here though is China, who has experienced some of the most serious growth deficits in retail online since the pandemic began. However, the country is #3 in the region this week with 64% revenue growth YoY. As mentioned earlier, this may be the beginning of what many economists believe will happen this year: For the first time in history, China will beat out the United States as the largest retail market on Earth.