E-commerce growth peaks in November as consumers continue to shift purchases from brick-and-mortar stores to online, driven by spending more time at home

New research data for the first half of November is added to our research, now containing responses from almost 55.000 consumers in The Netherlands, Germany and Norway over a period of eight months.

The long-term online purchase trend shows that purchases peak at an all-time high in the first half of November in all three countries. It is the first time that e-commerce purchases hit a high after the peak in April/May, which was right on the outset of the corona outbreak.

Although consumers buy more online, they do not buy more overall – it is the shift from brick-and-mortar stores to online channels that primarily drives e-commerce purchases.

During the first half of September, 40% of total consumer spend in the Netherlands was made online compared to 60% offline, and the online share by the first half of November has grown to 47% of total spend. In Germany, the online share of total consumer spend has grown from 42% to 46% during the same period, and the corresponding change in Norway is from 31% to 35%.

Data is based on consumers' estimation of how total spend during the past month was distributed in brick-and-mortar stores versus online. The measurement method used might impact the absolute level, but the relative change over time reveals a significant increase in online share.

Consumers have started spending more time at home and have increased online purchases

One of the key drivers for this development is that consumers spend more time at home, likely due to recent pandemic restrictions taken in the Netherlands, Germany and Norway during the latter part of October. Comparing the first half of September data to first half of November data, we see that the average number of hours spent out-of-home on an average weekday among consumers in the Netherlands has decreased from 5.2 hours to 4.3 hours (-20%). In Germany, the corresponding change is from 6.0 hours to 5.4 hours (-10%) and in Norway an average consumer now spends 5.9 hours out-of-home during weekdays compared to 6.3 hours two months ago (-7%).

What is next?

Black Friday and Cyber Monday are almost upon us! Stay with us as we publish country-specific outlooks on e-commerce purchases for the biggest sales of the year.