E-commerce: the winners and losers of the Covid-19 crisis

Not all e-commerce companies have benefited from the health crisis. This is the finding of the Cnuced (United Nations Conference on Trade and Development) which, in a report published on Monday, May 3, observed that the sector recorded a “spectacular increase” in the context of restrictions on movement, while the pandemic brought down the whole part of the economy. But negative effects on carpooling and travel services have nevertheless been noticed, the institution added, based on statistics from seven countries (Australia, Canada, China, South Korea, Singapore, United Kingdom and United States). States) accounting for nearly two-thirds of online business-to-consumer sales (known as B2C).

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The growth of e-commerce has multiplied by 2

Data for these countries shows online retail sales grew 22.4% last year to $ 2.495 billion, after growing 15.1% between 2018-2019. “Between 2018 and 2019, the share of online retail sales increased by 1.7 percentage points, while between 2019 and 2020 it increased by 3.6 percentage points. This increase is more than twice as fast,” he said. report author Torbjorn Fredriksson told AFP.

The developments however varied depending on the country, with a jump in online retail sales of 59% in Australia, 46.7% in the United Kingdom and 32.4% in the United States, against +14.6% in China. Unctad does not yet have global data for 2020, but the studies suggest strong growth in e-commerce from other regions, Fredriksson explained. For example, he said, Latin American e-commerce giant Mercado Libre “saw an average increase of 40% in searches per user across all its Latin American businesses between the end of February and the end of May. “2020. And Jumia, the sector giant in Africa, recorded an increase of more than 50% in the volume of transactions in the first six months of 2020, compared to the same period in 2019, l ‘experts quoted.

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Alibaba keeps the lead

In 2019, global statistics show that global e-commerce sales jumped to nearly $ 26.7 trillion, up 4% from 2018. This figure includes business-to-business (B2B) sales, which represent in the majority (82%) of e-commerce, and business-to-consumer (B2C), and equivalent to 30% of global gross domestic product (GDP) that year, according to the report.

“These statistics show the growing importance of online activities. They also emphasize the need for countries, especially developing countries, to have such information as they rebuild their economies in during the Covid pandemic. -19, “Shamika Sirimanne, director of technology and logistics at UNCTAD, said in a statement.

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But data for the top 13 e-commerce companies, 10 of which are from China and the United States, shows that the pandemic has caused “a dramatic reversal of the situation for platforms that offer of services such as carpooling and trips ”, also said Cnuced.

Companies operating in these sectors have seen a sharp decline in total merchandise volume and a corresponding decline in the global B2C company ranking. For example, Expedia moved from 5th place in 2019 to 11th in 2020, Booking Holdings from 6th to 12th, and Airbnb, which went public in 2020, from 11th to 12th. -13 places. The first four in the ranking, however, remained unchanged, with Alibaba, Amazon, JD.com and Pinduoduo in order.

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Despite the reduction in gross merchandise volume (GMV) of service companies, the total GCV of the top 13 B2C e-commerce companies increased by 20.5% in 2020, more than 2019 (17.9%). The gains were particularly significant for Shopify and Walmart, Cnuced said.

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