Growth in e-commerce (goods and services) had been accelerating throughout the review period prior to 2020, but the advent of COVID-19 saw current value sales more than double during the latter year. With retail outlets closed for an extended period and consumers spending more time at home, many of them purchased goods online for the first time.
Retail current value sales of food and drink e-commerce more than trebled during 2020, making it the best-performing industry in e-commerce, apart from ‘other’ e-commerce. Prior to the pandemic, very few local consumers shopped for groceries online, but COVID-19 made some more wary of crowded public places, while others sought to stock up on essentials due to fears of supply-chain disruption.
Such was the rate of growth in demand for e-commerce (good and services) during 2020 that players struggled to cope. Warehouse capacity, delivery networks and even IT infrastructure all came under significant strain, particularly during the early months of the pandemic.
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