‘Ecommerce is lifeline for physical retail’

‘Ecommerce is lifeline for physical retail’

Ecommerce has become a lifeline for many physical retailers in Europe that had to close their doors during the lockdowns. Now these brick-and-mortar businesses can continue their activities during the lockdown.

With a second lockdown hitting many countries in Europe at the end of 2020, Ecommerce Europe conducted a new survey to show the impact of the lockdown and the ongoing coronavirus pandemic on ecommerce in Europe.

Fragmentation regarding rules for click-and-collect

The survey was addressed to ecommerce associations across Europe and was eventually answered by 19 of them. One of the main issues they have encountered is the fragmentation across Europe regarding the classification of essential stores and regarding the rules for click-and-collect delivery solutions. This had led to legal uncertainty for both retailers and consumers.

Are/were brick-and-mortar shops still allowed to be open?  
Yes: Switzerland, Spain, Finland, Norway, Portugal, Romania, Sweden
Yes, but only if they sell essential products: Belgium, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Germany, Denmark, Greece, Italy, Poland
Yes, but only if they sell essential products and if they close non-essential product areas: Austria, France, Ireland
No: The Netherlands

Positive perception for ecommerce sector

Almost all respondents say there’s a positive public, as well as a political perception for the ecommerce sector. “While in some countries there have been objections raised about ecommerce’s negative effect on local brick-and-mortar shops, the survey results demonstrate that ecommerce has become a lifeline for many traditional (brick-and-mortar) businesses that had to close, allowing them to continue their activities during the lockdown thanks to the Internet.”

Some sectors saw huge decreases in ecommerce sales during the lockdown.

The public opinion seems to be that ecommerce is booming due to the lockdown restriction. But while many sectors have seen increased sales, there’s also a huge segment that saw its ecommerce sales decrease. For instance, travel and online ticket sales saw their revenue decrease by 40 to 70 percent.

Respondents are hopeful for the future

Most respondents are hopeful for the future and think there will be continuous growth for ecommerce in Europe, an industry that’s becoming increasingly omnichannel.

Ecommerce in Europe becomes increasingly omnichannel.

The impact of the closure of brick-and-mortar shops on online shops


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