Meanwhile, new data reported by Benedict Evans shows the acceleration of previous trends brought on by the pandemic. In this case, it’s the rise of ecommerce. The UK went from 20% ecommerce penetration to over 30% in two months, and the USA from 17% to 22%.
Why? Digital sales increased while physical decreased. The outcome – ten years of growth happened in three months. And also of note – the impact is very uneven. As the article cites, normal economic shocks focus on companies with “weak management, strategy, balance sheets or strategy positioning, but here it’s much more specific: bars & restaurants and travel, obviously, but also clothes. “
Why do we care?
This is striking data that speaks to the pandemic as accelerant. The move to ecommerce isn’t a new trend… just one that’s on fire.
Here are my observations.
- That note about being uneven distribution is an important takeaway. That’s true about the pandemic in general, and it’s a word of caution to draw too many parallels to previous economic downturns. This one is different, and that is worth extra caution.
- Industry specific impact matters. I’ve been highlighting the fact that the ripple effects are still unknown, and continue to believe that. It’s not unknowable, and in a particular business or circumstance its something you can estimate for your own business or plan.
- Things aren’t “new”, they’re “Faster”. Take trends that were happening before and just accelerate them. That’s actually easier than trying to figure out a new trend – so leverage it.
Source: Benedict Evans