New consumer data for the second half of September has been added to our research. This means our research now contains responses from almost 45.000 consumers in The Netherlands, Germany and Norway over a period of 7 months. From a high-level perspective, long-term online purchase trends show the same development patterns across all three countries. After online purchases bottomed out during the summer vacation period, we now see a dramatic growth in online purchases from the second half of August. However, the trends do show differences in magnitude between countries.
In The Netherlands, e-commerce purchases hold up fairly well up until a significant August decline, but recover strongly during September to +25% growth compared to mid-March. In Germany, e-commerce peaks in May. After that we see a gradual decline in number of online purchases, even reaching mid-March (pre-corona) levels in August. But since then, German e-commerce growth returns and now indicates +23% in the second half of September. Finally, in Norway, online purchases are up +32% compared to mid-March; online purchases are back at the same level as during the second half of April, when we saw the biggest peak in purchases thus far.
As for product categories, Fashion/Cosmetics is the key product category for overall e-commerce performance since mid-March: growth numbers are consequently above average. Although being a smaller sector in terms of number of purchases, Household/Home Improvement also drivee up overall online purchases, but it has been affected by summer seasonality.
Food/Health Products is a key sector driving up e-commerce purchases in mid-March, but reverts to ’normal’ development at the turn of May. It performs below par during September. Media/Electronics and Sports/Craft/Play develop at a similar pattern and at an average pace throughout the pandemic. Travel/Tickets is hit hard following mid-March, but starts a gradual journey to recovery at the second half of May. By the end of September it reaches around half of its pre-corona volumes.
Coming up soon is a deep dive into Fashion, with a special focus on how consumers will shop in the biggest category in e-commerce during peak season.