Consumer spending on international e-commerce grew around 25-30 per cent year-over-year from March 2020 through February 2021 during the pandemic, Mastercard said in a recent report.
Nearly everything from groceries to gardening supplies was purchased online as Covid-19 kept consumers at home around the world, it said.
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“For retailers, restaurants and other businesses, large and small, being able to sell online provided a much-needed lifeline as in-person consumer spending was disrupted. This amounted to an additional $900 billion being spent in retail online around the world in 2020.”
In other words, e-commerce made up roughly $1 out of every $5 spent on retail, up from about $1 out of every $7 spent in 2019, according to the report.
Roughly, 20-30 per cent of the Covid-related shift to digital is expected to be permanent globally, it added.
The report said essential retail sectors, which had the smallest digital share before the crisis, saw some of the biggest gains.
“With new consumer habits forming and given the low pre-Covid user base, we anticipate 70-80 per cent of the grocery e-commerce surge to stick around for good.”