Inside Logistics

Global e-commerce up 81 percent over May 2019

May growth driven by sportswear and sporting goods, housewares and DIY supplies, and gaming

June 11, 2020

NAPLES, Fla. & LONDON – Global e-commerce sales continued to show strong growth in May, with certain sectors experiencing triple-digit year-on-year growth.

Overall retail transaction growth of 81 percent in May, compared to the same period last year, was primarily driven by sportswear and sporting goods (216 percent), retail specific to housewares and DIY supplies (190 percent), and gaming (84 percent), according to an analysis by ACI Worldwide of hundreds of millions of eCommerce transactions from global merchants.

The sustained increase in e-commerce transaction volumes reflects a further full month of wide-ranging Covid-19-related restrictions, with consumers opting for online and click-and-collect channels over brick and mortar stores.

However, the easing of lockdown restrictions in many countries is reflected in certain sectors that until now have experienced the biggest boost; gaming purchases were up 126 percent over the previous year in April, compared to 84 percent in May, while electronics were up only 32 percent in the past month after having been up more than 55 percent in April.

Sectors that have been most negatively impacted showed a slight recovery in May; travel was down 91 percent in April, while in May improved slightly to 73 percent lower than the same period last year.

“While many of the trends in eCommerce purchasing behavior that emerged in March and April have continued, we are starting to see the impact that the gradual easing of restrictions is having on retail activity,” said Debbie Guerra, executive vice-president, ACI Worldwide.

“People working from home are now set up, and we see spending shifting from home office supplies back toward consumer goods like sporting goods and home improvements.”

Sectors experiencing significant growth in May (compared to May 2019) included:

  • Gaming: +84 percent (+126 percent in April),
  • General retail: +190.2 percent (+209 percent in April),
  • Jewelry: +190.8 percent (+136.9 percent in April),
  • Sportswear and sporting goods: +216.3 percent (+114 percent in April)
  • Electronics: +32.2 percent (+55.5 percent in April)

Online sectors with declining transaction volumes in May (compared to May 2019) included:

  • Dating: -11 percent (-five percent in April),
  • Gift cards: -24 percent (-14 percent in April)),
  • Telco: -12 percent (-nine percent in April),
  • Ticketing: -97 percent (-99 percent in April)
  • Travel: -73 percent (-91 percent in April)

Home office items (including monitors, headsets, webcams and internet connectivity devices) accounted for 10 percent of all electronics purchases in May, down from a high of 15 percent in March and 14 percent in April.