Surge in the proportion of online non-food sales amidst Covid-19

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Newly published figures by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) have shown rises in the proportion of online sales for March-2020. This is of little surprise as the UK officially went into lockdown on the 23rd March while many individuals were already practicing social distancing measures in advance. The lockdown resulted in the closure of all non-essential retail stores, whilst warehouses have managed to keep trading, albeit with additional precautions and lower volumes than previously.

The shift to online is more pronounced for (predominantly) non-food retailers, where the proportion of online sales topped 21.6% in Mar-2020, up from 15.1% in Feb-2020 and up from 14.7% year-on-year. The closure of the high street will have pushed sales to online platforms that have been able to remain open.

The shift to online is more pronounced for (predominantly) non-food retailers, where the proportion of online sales topped 21.6% in Mar-2020, up from 15.1% in Feb-2020 and up from 14.7% year-on-year. The closure of the high street will have pushed sales to online platforms that have been able to remain open.

Chart showing proportion of internet sales as a percentage of total for non-food retailers

There has been a small rise in the proportion of online sales for (predominantly) food retailers. Figures for Mar-2020 hit 5.8%, up from 5.6% the previous month and up from 5.4% the previous year. The ability of grocery stores to stay open during the coronavirus epidemic to ‘keep the nation fed’ has likely prevented a steeper rise for the month of March. Potential online sales will also have been lost as grocery retailers have looked to scale their operations to cope with the surges in demand as consumers do their best to self-isolate.

Chart showing proportion of internet sales as a percentage of total for food retailers

The April-2020 data will be very interesting when it is released as it will show the full impact of lockdown. Follow our LinkedIn page to be updated as soon as the data is available.

This shows the importance and competitive advantage of having an online offering, as backed up by the Primark announcement of lost sales for this period. To find out more about how BoxLogic can support your warehouse and logistics operations through and after COVID-19, visit our website or get in touch with one of our consultants by emailing enquiries@box-logic.co.uk.

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