Online shopping has been growing steeply across Europe with the value of ecommerce rising to 757 billion euros in 2020.
More and more customers have been turning to the internet to buy goods in recent years but the Covid-19 pandemic has sped up this increase with many bricks and mortar shops closing their doors during lockdowns. This meant that the value of ecommerce rose by 10 per cent during 2020, going from 690 billion euros in 2019 to 757 billion, according to the 2021 European Ecommerce Report.
Retailers with an internet presence saw many of their sales shift online and many branched out into ecommerce for the first time. Growth would have been higher but the pandemic also saw a sharp fall in online sales in some industries including travel and hospitality.
The furniture and homeware industry is one sector which saw a large increase in online sales with many customers being unable to visit traditional showrooms. With populations across Europe spending more time at home to try to control the spread of coronavirus, there was a growth in demand for homeware which saw more online retailers branching out into the market.
Luca Cassetti, Secretary General of Ecommerce Europe, which published the report, said:
Physical stores opened up new online sales channels, SMEs have been able to access new markets through e-commerce, and merchants have increasingly adopted omnichannel commerce solutions, such as click-and-collect, to accommodate the ever-changing health requirements and consumer needs.Luca Cassettii
The past year has exposed the importance of digital transformation. Ecommerce has proven to be exceptionally well placed to facilitate the digitalisation of retail and create a seamless shopping experience for consumers.
Consumers are likely to continue to shop online
Christian Verschueren, Director-General of EuroCommerce, said:
Consumers who were hitherto unfamiliar with buying online or on their mobile devices have become accustomed to it, and are likely to continue to use this and a mixture of channels. Before the pandemic, 70 per cent of retailers and wholesalers had no facilities for online sales, and those physical stores who did have an online presence overcame the challenges better.Christian Verschueren
But he added that it was important for governments across Europe to do what they could to support the digital transformation of the retail sector.
Substantial growth in the number of people buying furniture and homeware online has seen an increased demand for businesses like AP+ who provide third party logistics (3PL) services. Many of the retailers who are new to online sales do not have their own warehouses or distribution facilities so rely on a third party company to store stock, fulfil orders and distribute goods directly to the customer.
To find out more about the services AP+ offers and how they can help your business, get in touch now.