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Online trade benefits from the corona crisis

The corona crisis has given online retail in Germany a strong surge in growth. In particular, everyday goods such as groceries, pet supplies, medicines or drugstore products are bought online much more frequently than before the pandemic. That goes from one market study published on Sunday of the Federal Association of E-Commerce and Mail Order Germany (bevh).

“E-commerce has established itself sustainably as an additional supply infrastructure in the second quarter”, bevh chief executive Christoph Wenk-Fischer summarized their results. Overall, after a weak 1st quarter from April to June, e-commerce sales rose a whopping 16.5 percent year-on-year to over 20 billion euros. The demand for everyday goods rose by 51.2 percent and the online food trade even increased by almost 90 percent.

“Even after the acute phase of hamster purchases and after the end of the sharp corona-related contact restrictions, the demand for goods for everyday needs in e-commerce remained significantly higher in the second quarter of 2020, which suggests a permanently positive growth forecast for this segment,” emphasized the Association. In a recent survey by the association of around 2,500 consumers, more than half of the respondents stated that they would like to order more online in the future due to the experience of the corona crisis.

Online trade recorded strong growth not only for everyday goods, but also for household goods and equipment as well as leisure items. In the fashion trade, too, where e-commerce providers also suffered from corona-related consumer reluctance to buy in the first quarter, demand rose again significantly.

According to bevh, the pure online retailers in particular benefited from the new online boom with an increase of over 20 percent. But the online marketplaces also grew at a similar rate. Online sales by stationary retailers developed weaker. They “only” achieved growth of 4.7 percent in the second quarter. “Even if these figures are sober, many stationary retailers have started online trading for the first time in a crisis. This increases the chances that multichannel providers will make up ground in the future,” emphasized Wenk-Fischer.


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