Coronavirus boosted online sales worldwide. The share of e-commerce in total sales rose from 16 to 19 percent last year, according to the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD).
The “amazing growth” came on the back of restrictive movement measures to contain the Coronavirus pandemic. The United Nations relies on data on e-commerce in seven major countries (Australia, Canada, China, Singapore, the United Kingdom, the United States, and South Korea). In those countries, online sales increased by 22.4 percent to 2,496 billion dollars (2,065 billion euros). A year ago there was an increase of 15.1 percent.
According to the report, the 13 largest online platforms combined achieved sales of $ 2,900 billion (2,400 billion euros), more than a fifth compared to 2019. The Chinese platform Alibaba ranks first with sales of $ 1,145 billion (948 billion euros), followed by The Amazon region of America – $ 575 billion (€ 476 billion). The climber of the year is Canadian Shopify, which has seen its sales doubled to $ 120 billion (€ 99 billion) and jumped to fifth place. Travel-targeting platforms such as Expedia, Booking, and Airbnb have seen sales fall sharply.
UNCTAD indicates that 82 per cent of e-commerce takes place through inter-company transactions. Sales to consumers represent only a small portion of online sales. In 2019, this amounted to 4.9 billion dollars (4 billion euros) of total trading volume from e-commerce 26,700 billion dollars (more than 22,000 billion euros).
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