Online sales figures rise as pandemic changes how public shop

Justin Lawrence
July 15 2020, 20.00

The online shopping industry has seen a sharp increase in sales in the past three months as the Coronavirus pandemic forces the public to re-think their shopping habits.

A stock image of a laptop with three little brown cardboard boxes with shopping trollies on the keyboard next to a credit card.
CLICK, CLICK, CLICK: Many people have taken to online shopping during the lockdown

We have continued to see the surge to prominence by companies such as eBay and Amazon, as well as Uber – all of which have a strong online presence.

Internet sales accounted for 32.8% of total retail sales in May 2020, compared to just 2.8% in November 2006, according to statistics provided by the Office for National Statistics.

Online sales percentage of total retail sales in the past 10 years

The key to the online revolution boils down to one word – convenience.

At the touch of a button consumers have unlimited access to whatever item they want, without having to leave their homes.

The Coronavirus pandemic has intensified this demand for online shopping, as fear of catching the virus has gripped many of us, who choose to not be in close proximity with others.

While many companies have gone bust and shut-up shop, we have seen the titans of the e-commerce world, such as Amazon boss Jeff Bezos, thrive.

Inditex, the owners of retail giant Zara, said its online sales rose by 95% in April 2020 alone.

In addition, the firm said they will be shutting a 1,000 of its physical stores in the next three years.

In recent weeks, delivery company DPD announced they will be hiring 7,500 new staff to help cope with the increasing demand of home deliveries, which have skyrocketed during the pandemic.

A stock image of a hand holding an iPhone doing a food shop online. You can see a blurred laptop and coffee cup on a wooden table in the background.
HOME FROM HOME: Many people are enjoying the convenience of home deliveries

Despite this growing trend, some shoppers said they still preferred to shop in-store.

Maria Adams, a resident close to Westfield Stratford City shopping centre, said: “I will still be going to the stores to shop, I like trying things on before buying, I can never seem to get it right online.”

Another resident Dean Anderson said: “I have been shopping online during the pandemic, but to be honest, I miss the hustle and bustle of the shopping centres, the vibrant atmosphere and interacting with others.

“It’s a vibe that cannot be replaced online.”

Related Articles