Blog and Research Digest — Week 08, 2021

Retail News and Trends

Online spending took a record 35% of January UK retail spending; total spending falls as non-essential retailers stay closed
“A year earlier, ecommerce accounted for 19.5% of retail sales – while the proportion spent via the internet reached 29.6% in December.”

Record-breaking January sees highest online retail sales since 1st lockdown
“According to the latest IMRG Capgemini Online Retail Index, online retail sales in January skyrocketed by 74 per cent year-on-year and marked the highest rate of growth since March last year”

Use of shopping apps globally grew 45% in 2020, driven by social and live streams
“Time spent globally in shopping apps outside of China grew 45% year over year in 2020, with some countries newer to the mcommerce world seeing even higher spikes: Russia grew 50%, Mexico 65%, Indonesia 85%.”

At £176.6bn, the UK is the third largest online spender globally behind China and the US…
“UK shoppers spend £176.6bn online in 2020, ranking the market third only behind China and the US. However, the country spend[s] an average of $4516 each online, way more than US shoppers ($3680) and China ($2386).”

… as China becomes first country to see ecommerce surpass 50% of retail sales
“For the first time anywhere, a majority of retail sales for an entire country will transact online. That’s according to a forecast from eMarketer that suggests that 52.1% of China’s retail will come from ecommerce in 2021, up from 44.8% last year.”

Simple experiences, good price and environmental awareness: research shows how cemented changing shopping habits have become
“More than half (54%) say the pandemic has changed their expectations of online shopping. Of this, 70% are more likely to shop elsewhere if they can’t find products quickly…”

Walmart posts ‘record’ Q4 thanks to online and holiday demand
“As the pandemic moved holiday shopping online, Walmart’s U.S. comp sales growth beat expectations at 8.6%, and e-commerce sales grew 69% year over year in the fourth quarter.”

Amazon is facing a ban in India as “shocking revelations” about its practices exposed
“In its report, based on internal Amazon documents between 2012 and 2019, Reuters accused Amazon of routinely changing its corporate structure to circumvent new regulation in the country and “test the boundaries of what is allowed by law.””

Amazon acquires small digital commerce platform to challenge Shopify
“Amazon on Tuesday confirmed that it has acquired Australian small-business platform Selz…”

Amazon is taking aim at one of its few remaining rivals
“Shopify is estimated to be the second-largest e-commerce platform in the US, behind only Amazon. The company has positioned itself as a counterbalance to Amazon’s dominance, allowing budding entrepreneurs to set up their own shops and sell to customers directly rather than having to default to putting their wares on Amazon’s massive marketplace.”

China consumer spend to double in 9 years
“China consumer spend will more than double by 2030, hitting $12.7 trillion, according to a Morgan Stanley analyst report.”

Amazon posts a ‘monster’ Q4 with pandemic still driving demand
“Amazon finished out 2020 on another blockbuster quarter, with its North American sales rising more than 40% year over year to $75.3 billion as shoppers turned to the e-commerce giant during a surge in COVID-19 and disruptions to holiday shipping”

As Bezos moves on, Amazon posts record Q4 results, but volumes are dropping in Q1-21
“However it expects volumes to drop in Q1 and Q2 2021 as the pandemic flattens and recedes.”

Amazon Without Bezos: Business as Usual?
“The end of an era, or business as usual? Whatever the future may bring, it’s hard to disagree that Jeff Bezos is stepping down as chief executive at the height of Amazon’s powers.”

Amazon settles tip-related allegations regarding delivery employees
‘”Rather than passing along 100% of customers’ tips to drivers, as it had promised to do, Amazon used the money itself,” Daniel Kaufman, acting director of the FTC Bureau of Consumer Protection, said in a statement.’

Covid lockdowns are supercharging Amazon’s international business
“For years, the company’s international expansion has lagged behind its growth in North America—that is until this most recent quarter.”

Government working on “excessive profits tax” for online retail giants
“The Downing Street policy unit is working on a one-off Covid windfall tax to be applied to firms who saw their business boom since national lockdowns in the UK began in March 2020, reported The Sunday Times, citing leaked emails.”

Online consumers not finding much joy
“The report polled 4,000 consumers across the U.S., U.K., France, Germany, Austria and Switzerland.”


What economic data tells us about the retail industry in 2020
“Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, retailers across the globe are being forced to adjust selling methods, marketing strategies, and fulfillment operations to meet the shift in consumer behaviors.”

How retailers can win big by embracing the digital consumer
“What does matter to consumers in 2020 and will in 2021 is financial security, health, safety, and — especially as working from home becomes the norm — comfort. Consumers are also more concerned, and demonstrating with their wallet, the importance of social responsibility and sustainability. Retailers who embrace these consumer trends will be the big winners in 2021.”

How One Brand Grew a Massive Audience by Building a News Site
“Now is the time for businesses to invest in publications they own and control.”