This week we look at year-over-year orders growth, where the rates are not as high as revenue growth but better than AOV in the past two to four weeks. 

Impacting both orders and AOV are decreasing household incomes. Globally, unemployment in the large economies runs from 3.9% in Mexico and the United Kingdom, 4% in China, and 5.2% in Germany to 7.47% in Canada, 7.5% in Australia, about 8% in France, and 8.4% in the United States. Worst of all is India with an 11% unemployment rate, but that’s down from 23.5% earlier in Q2.

As we see in our e-commerce data this week, China (pure -79% YoY; retail -18% YoY) and India (pure -98% YoY; retail -43% YoY) are both struggling to get to 0% orders growth, and while the UK is performing well, performance in the US, Germany, and France has been far more modest. How does this impact international e-commerce?

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.

Retailers Must Transform the In-Store Experience to Merge with Online

In retail, marketers are extremely pressed to meet shifting consumer demands. One of the biggest challenges they face is compensating for the loss of in-store traffic. One possible solution for that is to invest in location-based advertising. A recent GroundTruth study found that consumers have responded well to mobile targeting.

When they received a location-based ad, 66% of shoppers bought products in-store or online from retailers with 25% more likely to make the purchase in-store right there. These shoppers tended to spend an average of 27% more in-store than those who received no mobile ad.

A McKinsey & Company study shows that retail in the United States declined 16.5% in April, and 40% of consumers switched brands or retailers depending on how frictionless it was to purchase online only, or buy online and pick up in-store.

As a result, retailers had to accelerate their e-commerce programs, essentially growing 10 years’ worth in three months. In 2019, US e-commerce penetration was 16%. By April 2020, that number had more than doubled to 33%.  

However, consumers still value an in-store visit, but they are more focused on safety (50% want brick-and-mortars to comply with safety restrictions) and convenience (59% prefer stores that aren’t crowded). As consumers tend to be more focused on getting in and out of stores these days, expect retailers to adapt further and provide easy-to-find items on the shelves and short checkout lines.

But we’ll see how the year-end holiday season affects retailers because many fear that pandemic restrictions will further hurt brands who can’t shift to digital.

Consumers Want Essential Goods and Personal Care Products During a Pandemic

A recent OnePoll survey found that more than three out of five internet users in the US said they were more apt to purchase cosmetics and other personal care products, in addition to food and beverages, during the pandemic.

This comes as great news when US retailers expect sales to fall 10.5% overall this year. Health, beauty, and personal care products are forecasted to grow 6.9%, and food and beverage sales will rise 12.5%.

There are also specific categories for retailers to focus budget and energy on. E-commerce for health, beauty, and personal care products is expected to grow 32.4% by the end of the year, and food and beverage sales are expected to grow 58.5%.

For more, see how brands like Lululemon are adapting, or why houseware products are performing well in Europe.

Data Insights for the Week

The Americas

The Americas lead the world in pure e-commerce orders growth this week with the top three all seeing over 200% growth YoY, with the Dominican Republic only 0.12% lower. The top two countries in retail e-commerce are also over 200% in orders growth, with the top four all over 100%.

Orders Increase Leaders at a Glance

Americas Orders Leaders 9 11 2020
Top 5 Orders Increase Leaders in The Americas (week beginning September 7, 2020).

Europe

Pure e-commerce orders growth is good throughout the region, though Europe’s numbers are significantly lower than the Americas. However, Europe leads in retail e-commerce orders growth with eight countries in the global top ten.

Orders Increase Leaders at a Glance

Europe Orders Leaders 9 11 2020
Top 5 Orders Increase Leaders in Europe (week beginning September 7, 2020).

Asia Pacific

Except for Thailand, Australia, and Japan, APAC pure e-commerce orders growth this week falls below 0%, putting the region behind the Americas and Europe. Retail online isn’t much better with only the top four countries over 0%.

Orders Increase Leaders at a Glance

Apac Orders Leaders 9 11 2020
Top 5 Orders Increase Leaders in the Asia-Pacific region (week beginning September 7, 2020).

Top Product Trends of This Week

Product Trend 9 11 2020
Product trends (week beginning September 7, 2020).

Key Product Trend Insights: Home improvement products top the list this week, with an incredible number of hand saws being purchased. Lawnmowers are the fastest growers over the past seven days, and though they’re slowing down, ovens are still enjoying a 125% uplift over the previous year.

Growth Rate of Online Transactions

Orders growth YoY is doing better than some expected with Europe and the Americas seeing the best growth. APAC, though, continues to struggle with China and India operating in the red.

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: Overall, the Americas are the clear leaders in orders growth, trending upward in the last few days with eight countries in the global top ten. Europe’s on a slight decline but stable for the most part with two spots in the global top ten. 

Regional Pure E Com 9 11 2020
Pure e-commerce trends by region (week beginning September 7, 2020).

Retail online: APAC retail has fared better than pure play (with only Australia in the global top ten), though falling along with Europe (with eight countries in the global top ten) in the last few days. The Americas (with five countries in the global top ten) ended up beating the other two regions by the end of the week, but that was after coming up over 50% since September 2nd.

Regional Retail Online 9 11 2020
Retail online trends by region (week beginning September 7, 2020).

H3: Trends by Country

Pure e-commerce: In the Americas, this is the first time since the pandemic that all the countries we track have been above 0% orders growth YoY, though for Canada and Colombia it’s just barely positive.

Argentina and Puerto Rico have been over 200% for the last two months, but Chile rose 51% in the last four weeks to catch back up to these two countries. The three lead the world as #1 in the global top ten.

Just behind these countries, the Dominican Republic rose 57% in the last month (+199.88% YoY and #2 in the world). In the same time frame, Brazil shot up an amazing 120% to reach +139% orders growth YoY and is #4 in the world.  

Not to be overshadowed by the top five over the last month, Mexico rose 79% (+137% YoY, #5 in the world), Jamaica came up 48% (+67%, #8 in the world), and despite falling 13%, the US finished at #9 in the world for +48% YoY.

Countries Americas Pure E Com 9 11 2020
Pure e-commerce trends by country (the Americas) (week beginning September 7, 2020).

In Europe, pure players have struggled over the last month, and though much of the region is seeing positive orders growth, most of the countries fall in the middle ground in terms of growth rates. 

Belarus tops the region with 44% growth in the last month to finish at +85% YoY and #6 in the world. In the same time, Sweden fell 28% (+48% YoY, #10 in the world), Portugal rose 27% (+41% YoY), Belgium fell 13% (+37% YoY), and Poland fell 2% (+31% YoY).

Looking at the biggest economies in Europe over the last four weeks, the UK fell 11% (+9.7% YoY), France fell 23% (+10.1%), and Germany fell 10% (+29% YoY).

Countries Europe Pure E Com 9 11 2020
Pure e-commerce trends by country (Europe) (week beginning September 7, 2020).

Behind Europe and the Americas, APAC’s pure players continue to suffer, though the top three countries are in the black. In the last four weeks, Thailand declined 10% to finish at +139% YoY and #3 in the world, which is no small feat.

But it’s isolated with #2 in the region Australia (+71% YoY, # 7 in the world) 68% below Thailand. This is followed by a second gap (60%) between Australia and #3 in the region Japan (+11% YoY).

The rest of the countries are trying to dig themselves out of a hole. The brightest news here is that Taiwan grew 62% in the last month, though still at -6% orders growth YoY. In the same time, New Zealand fell 12% (-42% YoY), China fell 16% (-79% YoY), and India only fell 0.17% to end at -98% YoY.

Countries Apac Pure E Com 9 11 2020
Pure e-commerce trends by country (APAC) (week beginning September 7, 2020).

Retail online: In the Americas, the top two countries are also in a five-way tie for #1 in the world. Ecuador has led with over 200% orders growth YoY for the last two months, joined now by Mexico which rose 29% in the last four weeks.

In the same time, Peru rose 10% (+178% YoY, #2 in the world), Canada gained an incredible 78% (+115% YoY, #4 in the world), Colombia fell 63% (+78% YoY, #9 in the world), and the United States gained 19% to end at +72% YoY.

Countries Americas Retail Online 9 11 2020
Retail online trends by country (the Americas) (week beginning September 7, 2020).

Europe’s orders growth from retail e-commerce leads the globe this week with 17 of the 31 countries we track in the region seeing more than 25% YoY increases. The top three countries Belgium, Poland, and the United Kingdom have over 200% growth and are tied for #1 in the world.

But the good news doesn’t end there. In the last four weeks, Spain rose 11% (+125% YoY, #3 in the world), Italy came up 24% (+104% YoY, #5 in the world), Finland fell 12% (+103% YoY, #6 in the world), Russia gained 30% (+95% YoY, #7 in the world), and Austria regained 37% of lost ground to finish at +72% YoY and #10 in the world.

Other countries who also grew orders in the last four weeks include the Netherlands (up 30%, +64% YoY), Latvia (up 49%, +45% YoY), Slovakia (up 51%, +42% YoY), and Croatia with a whopping 108% rise to finish at +42% orders growth YoY.

Countries Europe Retail Online 9 11 2020
Retail online trends by country (Europe) (week beginning September 7, 2020).

Orders growth in APAC retail online is the lowest of the three regions where only Australia, who has led in orders growth for the last two months, placed #8 in the world after falling 22% to +84% YoY.

In the last month, the other countries above 0% YoY growth are New Zealand (up 33%, +64% YoY), South Korea (up 34%, +51% YoY), and Japan (down 21%, +5% YoY).

Among the rest of the countries over the last four weeks, Taiwan rose 19% (-5% YoY), China rose 25% (-18% YoY), and India came up 16% (-43% YoY).

Countries Apac Retail Online 9 11 2020
Retail online trends by country (APAC) (week beginning September 7, 2020).