Retail news is filled with reports of a huge surge in online orders since the majority of Europe went into lockdown. Both in the essential and non-essential goods sectors, consumers have been forced to go digital. But how does this compare with the usual sales peaks we experience throughout the year?
We compared coronavirus sales volumes across several industries with sales during planned peak periods. The industries we looked at were: books, electronics & IT, discount stores, grocery stores and furniture. We compared coronavirus sales with Black Friday, Christmas, Easter and Valentine’s Day in 2019 to see which event saw the bigger uplift. Here’s what we found:
One of the biggest gifting events of the year is no match for e-commerce during coronavirus. In the books sector, we saw an increase of 7.25 percent during coronavirus compared to Valentine’s Day 2019. Electronics & IT has seen a massive 88.49 percent increase during the crisis and discount stores also saw an increase of 41.43 percent. Unsurprisingly, grocery stores reported a 72.43 percent increase during coronavirus compared to Valentine’s Day, and furniture a 32.62 percent rise.
A similar picture is seen when you compare Easter 2019 with e-commerce during coronavirus. The books sector saw a 12.33 percent increase during coronavirus compared to Easter 2019 and the electronics & IT sector saw an incredible 138.05 percent increase during the crisis. For discount stores, this increase was 55.91 percent and for grocery stores it was 86 percent. Finally, the furniture sector saw a volume increase of 60.14 percent during coronavirus when compared with Easter 2019.
Black Friday has firmly cemented itself as the biggest shopping event of the year, alongside Christmas. But how does package volume during Black Friday 2019 compare with coronavirus? Book sales were much higher during Black Friday than coronavirus, with a 57.72 percent increase. Discount stores also saw higher sales during Black Friday, with a 5.48 percent increase. Parcel volume for electronics & IT was significantly higher during coronavirus, which reported a 78.41 percent increase compared to Black Friday 2019. In addition, grocery sales increased 65.92 percent during coronavirus and furniture 7.33 percent.
The lead up to Christmas is the most profitable time of the year for many retailers. Orders shoot up as households across the country purchase gifts online. Is this increase in sales a match for e-commerce during coronavirus though? Apparently not!
Christmas wins in the books category, with 62.25 percent more parcels than coronavirus. However, for the remaining categories, coronavirus trumps Christmas. Electronics & IT saw 17.28 percent more parcels during coronavirus and discount stores are up 7.97 percent in comparison. Grocery stores during coronavirus saw a 19.46 percent increase and furniture a 2.1 percent rise compared to Christmas 2019.
Read more about how parcelLab can help you manage this unplanned peak here.