Revenue growth in online transactions continues to reward brands who were best prepared to lean into online sales, but it varies, depending on the local economic impact of the pandemic.

In America where we have the highest number of COVID-19 cases in the world, the number of e-commerce sales that make up total revenue has been growing steadily from 0.8% in 2000 to around 12% in 2019. As of Q2 2020, e-commerce accounts for 16.1% of sales for $212 billion.

Meanwhile, 30 to 40 million Americans face eviction in the next few months. Unemployment has slowed, but the number of jobs lost during the pandemic have yet to come back.

On the other hand, the stock market had a pretty good August (best August in 35 years in some cases) with the Nasdaq up 9.59%, Dow Jones up 7.57%, and S&P 500 up 7.01%. What does this mean for pure players and retailers around the world?

Welcome to the weekly Insights commerce roundup where we track how brands are adapting to changes in consumer shopping and spending around the world. Here are some of the top e-commerce trends we’ve spotted over the past seven days.

Retail in the UK Gets a Little Help from an Initiative

The “Eat Out to Help Out” initiative in the United Kingdom was a success. Restaurants were encouraged to give customers 50% off their meals with the government picking up the tab for the other half. Now that August and the hospitality initiative have both ended, it remains to be seen if the lift will keep going into autumn. Find out more here.

US Retailers Rethink How Big Their Stores Should Be

In the US, the shopping mall is breathing its last breath, forcing retailers to reexamine their space, from stores to offices to distribution warehouses as they try to adapt faster to economic trends. It might surprise you that the answer isn’t to abandon brick-and-mortars, but rather to strategically downsize.

Find out what Macy’s is planning to do to shift out of the mall model, taking a cue from the massive shift in consumer purchasing online.

China Continues to Surge Forward Despite Declines in Revenue

From a low of -6.8% in Q1, China’s economy grew 3.2% in the second quarter of 2020, despite China’s retailers having trouble getting back on track with positive revenue growth. This week, Insights data shows China pure e-commerce is down 33% YoY, but retail e-commerce is up 51% YoY. Perhaps Chinese retail needs to shift into digital a little more. 

Data Insights for the Week

The Americas

The top five countries in the Americas are outperforming the rest of the world this week, with Argentina and Puerto Rico at over 200% revenue growth YoY for the last 14 weeks. The rest of the region (except for Colombia) have positive growth (with five countries in the global top 10). Except for Brazil, retail online in the Americas is above 0% growth across the board with Ecuador and Mexico way ahead of the pack.

Revenue Increase Leaders at a Glance

Americas Revenue Leaders 9 04 2020
Top 5 Revenue Increase Leaders in The Americas (week beginning August 31, 2020).

Europe

In Europe, pure e-commerce revenue growth is good overall; only seven of the countries tracked by Insights are below 0% growth. Plus this week, Europe leads in retail e-commerce revenue growth overall with six countries in the global top 10.

Revenue Increase Leaders at a Glance

Europe Revenue Leaders 9 04 2020
Top 5 Revenue Increase Leaders in Europe (week beginning August 31, 2020).

Asia Pacific

APAC pure e-commerce revenue growth this week is below the Americas and Europe, despite Thailand’s excellent gains (sixth best in the world). Except for Australia and New Zealand, retail e-commerce in APAC is also overall lower than the other two regions, but the top five are above 0% YoY.

Revenue Increase Leaders at a Glance

Apac Revenue Leaders 9 04 2020
Top 5 Revenue Increase Leaders in the Asia-Pacific region (week beginning August 31, 2020).

Top Product Trends of This Week

Product Trend 9 04 2020
Product trends (week beginning August 31, 2020).

Key Product Trend Insights: Home appliances top the list once again, ranging from +787% uplift for washing machines to +102% for lawn mowers. We can expect these products to keep doing well at least into the year-end holiday season.

Growth Rate of Online Transactions

Revenue growth year-over-year looks pretty good over the past two weeks, certainly better than AOV or orders growth, but overall, the rates are getting lower for most countries.

Following are the growth trends we see this week, but you can explore Regional and Countries trends in more depth.

Trends by Region

Pure e-commerce: From August 26th to now, the Americas and Europe have been very close to each just under +45% revenue growth YoY. APAC from August 22nd to now has bottomed out, overall falling below 0%.

Regional Pure E Com 9 04 2020
Pure e-commerce trends by region (week beginning August 31, 2020).

Retail online: In the last two weeks, APAC has led in retail e-commerce, though beginning August 30th, all three regions started to slide downward. The Americas have fallen the most, to just under +30% YoY revenue growth.

Regional Retail Online 9 04 2020
Retail online trends by region (week beginning August 31, 2020).

Trends by Country

Pure e-commerce: In the Americas, only Colombia has fallen below 0% revenue growth YoY, and the top four countries have led for six weeks now. Argentina and Puerto Rico are both over 200% revenue growth YoY (tied with Belarus for #1 in the world), followed by Chile dropping 37% in the last two weeks (+163% YoY, #2 global). In the same timeframe, the Dominican Republic rose 5% (+161% YoY, #3 global), and Mexico rounds out the top five going up 64% (+142% YoY, #4 global).

The rest of the region’s also doing well. In the last two weeks, Peru rose 35% (+137% YoY, # 5 global), Brazil came up 26% (+57% YoY), the US fell 3% (+38% YoY), and Canada climbed up 9% (+15% YoY).

Countries Americas Pure E Com 9 04 2020
Pure e-commerce trends by country (the Americas) (week beginning August 31, 2020).

Pure play revenue growth in Europe has been excellent for most of the region, with only seven countries under 0% growth. The greatest disparity is at the top of the list with Belarus rising 179% in the last two weeks to finish at over 200% YoY and tied for #1 in the world with Puerto Rico and Argentina. At #7 in the world, Sweden rose 24% to finish at +106% YoY, 94% below Belarus and 40% above #3 in the region, the Czech Republic (up 7% to finish at +66% YoY).

Growth extends out throughout most of Europe. In the last two weeks, Norway rose 20% (+64% YoY), Lithuania is up 39% (+63% YoY), Portugal climbed 31% (+52% YoY), the United Kingdom rose 8% (+41% YoY), and Germany is up 10% (+30% YoY).

Maybe the best news in the region is that a number of countries have made great revenue gains in the last 14 days, though their YoY rates aren’t all positive. Slovenia rose 49% (-19% YoY), Slovakia rose 46% (-8% YoY), Croatia is up 45% (+42% YoY), the Netherlands rose 44% (+35% YoY), Greece came up 36% (-14% YoY), and Belgium rose 32% (+28% YoY).

Countries Europe Pure E Com 9 04 2020
Pure e-commerce trends by country (Europe) (week beginning August 31, 2020).

With revenue growth rates way below Europe and the Americas, APAC’s pure players are struggling, with only the top three countries above 0% YoY despite overall positive gains in the last two weeks. At #6 in the world, Thailand gained 70%, the most in the last two weeks, to lead the region with +127% YoY. In the same time, Japan climbed up one spot with +47% (+84% YoY, #8 global), Australia rose 5% (+75% YoY, #9 global), New Zealand rose 4% (-8% YoY), and Taiwan fell 43% to end at -12% YoY.

The other APAC powerhouse economies are seeing declines in YoY revenue, with China rising +16% in the last two weeks to finish at -33% YoY and India falling only 0.35% to remain at the bottom with -98% YoY.

Countries Apac Pure E Com 9 04 2020
Pure e-commerce trends by country (APAC) (week beginning August 31, 2020).

Retail online: In the Americas, the top three countries are the only in the region who have substantial YoY revenue growth this week. However, except for Brazil (-42% YoY) and Colombia (falling 194% in the last two weeks, -55% YoY), retailers have seen incremental gains.

Leading for 14 weeks in the region and tied for #1 in the world with Belgium, Ecuador remains above 200% in revenue growth YoY with Mexico close behind at +199.94% YoY, after rising 5% in the last two weeks to finish at #2 in the world.

But there is over a 100% growth gap between Mexico and the rest of the region. At #8 in the world, Peru gained 27% in the last two weeks to reach +91% revenue growth YoY, followed by the US falling 29% (+40% YoY) and Canada falling 35% (+31%). 

Countries Americas Retail Online 9 04 2020
Retail online trends by country (the Americas) (week beginning August 31, 2020).

With six countries in the global top 10 and only seven countries under 0% YoY growth, revenue growth from retail e-commerce in Europe has overall performed better than the Americas or APAC. Tied with Ecuador for #1 in the world with over 200% growth YoY, Belgium gained 69% over the last two weeks to take the #1 spot in the region.

In the same time, Poland gained 33% (+157% YoY, #3 global), Finland rose 22% (+112% YoY, #4 global), Turkey fell 76% (+99% YoY, #7 global), the United Kingdom fell 24% (+83% YoY, #9 global), and Austria rose 11% (+67%, #10 in the world).

There’s been a lot of great growth throughout the region in the last two weeks: the Netherlands rose +56% (+58% YoY), Germany rose 19% (+55% YoY), Switzerland held steady, down 0.18% (+50% YoY), Serbia rose 20% (+46% YoY), and Italy rose 2% (+45% YoY).

Two of the biggest turnarounds this week are Estonia who grew 93% in the last two weeks to finish at +35%YoY, and Greece had the biggest gain in the region, up 116% to finish at +33% YoY. 

Countries Europe Retail Online 9 04 2020
Retail online trends by country (Europe) (week beginning August 31, 2020).

Revenue growth in APAC retail online is better than pure e-commerce in the region, although three of the top five countries two weeks ago have fallen off the list.

The region is dominated this week by the only two APAC countries in the global top 10: Australia rose 15% in the last two weeks to barely take the #1 regional spot (+104.37% YoY, #5 global), and New Zealand fell 58% to finish at 104.26% YoY (#6 global).

With the single highest two-week gain in the region, China rose 66% (+51% YoY), followed by South Korea (up 30%, +21% YoY) and Taiwan (up 23%, +14% YoY).

Countries Apac Retail Online 9 04 2020
Retail online trends by country (APAC) (week beginning August 31, 2020).