The outbreak of COVID-19 had a significant impact on e-commerce, with the lockdown and subsequent measures taken to control the virus forcing more consumers online. According to a study by the EAE Business School in Spain, the measures taken to control COVID-19 saw online sales jump by more than 50% in first few weeks of confinement.
Those retailers that had already invested in an omnichannel approach were well placed to benefit from the lockdown, generally recording stronger growth than those at the initial stages of development in this area. Following the outbreak of COVID-19 consumers started to shop online more frequently, partly out of necessity due to store closures, but also partly as a form of entertainment and as a distraction from the problems created by the pandemic.
While many areas of e-commerce benefited from the lockdown, this was not true for all industries. With Spain closing its borders to non-essential travel and consumers asked to limit their movements outside their homes, the country’s travel industry was dealt a heavy blow.
E-commerce is expected to see growth stabilise once Spain’s vaccination programme has been rolled out and the country transitions into a period of normalisation. However, with the country forced to introduce further lockdown measures in 2021 it may still be some time before consumers feel confident about visiting busy shopping centres again, with many likely to continue exercising social distancing.
Various Eurostat studies conducted in recent years show that the use of mobile phones in Spain is well above the EU average. Furthermore, mobile phone usage is increasing among consumers of all age groups, while mobile phone penetration among the younger population is already at 100%.
With the unstoppable shift towards an increasingly digital world, retailers and service providers will increasingly need to invest in an omnichannel approach or risk becoming irrelevant. As more consumers switch to contactless payments this presents new opportunities such as the potential for unmanned stores, or the ability to better tailor offers and promotions to the customer’s needs and desires.
If you purchase a report that is updated in the next 60 days, we will send you the new edition and data extract FREE! Home Page