Marketing

Online shop sales in the corona crisis – difficult development

  • The corona pandemic is having a major impact on the online shop sales.
  • A new special evaluation by the Federal Association of E-Commerce and Mail Order e.V. (bevh) provides current figures.
  • E-commerce is an essential building block for every contemporary trading concept.

In April, German online retailers were able to make up for the drop in sales recorded in March. Overall, the Online shop sales with goods by 17.9 percent over the previous month and reached a volume of 6.82 billion euros including VAT (April 2019: 5.78 billion euros including VAT). This shows a special evaluation of the Bundesverband E-Commerce und Versandhandel e.V. (bevh) on the basis of the consumer survey “Interactive Trade in Germany”, which was carried out throughout the year.

Online shop sales
E-commerce sales in various product groups in April 2020 compared to April 2019. (Graphic: bevh)

Online shop sales: Cumulative sales trends for March and April

However, not all ranges were able to compensate for the minus recorded in March. If you add up the months of March and April, sales in the important “clothing” segment with sales of 1.75 billion euros including VAT are still 8.8 percent below the same period last year (1.92 billion euros including VAT). With shoes, the minus is even clearer at 11.3 percent. At the bottom of the range are jewelry / watches with minus 40.3 percent and car & motorcycle / accessories with minus 23.7 percent. The reluctance to buy in these categories corresponds to the general reluctance to consume in the entire retail sector and current, only needs-based purchasing.

The fact that the weak March was overcompensated by a cumulative plus of 2.3 percent in April is due in particular to the strong growth in the food categories
(+ 101 percent), medication (+ 87 percent), drugstore (+ 55 percent) and pet supplies
(+ 20 percent). In the lockdown phase, however, it was precisely these ranges that were continuously available in stationary retail.

"The enormous increases in the daily needs show above all that the consumers in Germany appreciate and use the online trade as a reliable supplier, especially in such a crisis", explains evh President Gero Furchheim. "We are proud of the performance of the employees in the industry and the delivery services with which we were able to fulfill the supply contract under challenging conditions."

Sales trends for online shops January to April

From January to April, online shop sales reached a volume of 23.3 billion euros including VAT. Despite the corona-related dent in March, industry sales are now 5.8 percent higher than in the previous year. In March 2020 alone, e-commerce had lost 18 percent compared to March 2019. In both years, Easter was in the middle of April, so there were no calendar-related special effects.

“The road to new normality is still long and the pandemic is far from over. It is now important to promote the many encouraging initiatives that make the local offer digitally tangible and connect customers with retailers in a sustainable manner. E-commerce is also more than a lifeline in the corona pandemic for retailers who are primarily stationary retailers. E-commerce is an indispensable building block for any contemporary retail concept, ”reports Gero Furchheim.

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