E-commerce provided a lifeline for retailers during the COVID-19 pandemic as consumers shopped online for nearly everything, from groceries to gardening supplies.
According to Mastercard’s Recovery Insights: Commerce E-volution, online pandemic spending amounted to an additional $900 billion being spent in retail online around the world in 2020. Put another way: In 2020, e-commerce made up roughly $1 out of every $5 spent on retail, up from about $1 out of every $7 spent in 2019.
Approximately 20% to 30% of the COVID-related shift to digital globally is expected to be permanent, according to the Mastercard study. And the shift is expected to be even higher for essential retailers.
“Essential retail sectors, which had the smallest digital share before the crisis, saw some of the biggest gains as consumers adapted,” stated the report. “With new consumer habits forming and given the low pre-COVID user base, we anticipate 70-80% of the grocery e-commerce surge to stick around for good.”
In the United States, the pandemic accelerated the shift to electronic payments — even in stores. According to Mastercard’s analysis, non-cash payments at stores and restaurants jumped by an additional 2.5 percentage points beyond the ongoing trend, accelerating the shift from cash to electronic payments by a full year. Other trends from the Mastercard study are below… Chain Store Age