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Ecommerce accelerates ten years in three months

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