A recently released study by United Nations shows that almost one fifth of the total retail turnover last year was accounted for online sale which was because of a boom in e-commerce due to the lockdowns imposed to prevent the spread of the Covid-19 pandemic.
According to the estimates from the UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) based on national statistical offices in major economies, about 19 per cent of the total retail sale in 2020 was accounted for by online sales compared to 16 per cent a year earlier.
The highest share of online sales to total retail sales was reported from South Korea with a 25.9 per cent jump compared to 20.8 a year ago. China recorded a 24.9 per cent share, Britain 23.3 per cent and the United States 14.0 per cent.
UNCTAD said, based on the latest estimates available, there was a 4 per cent rise in global e-commerce sales in 2019 at $26.7 trillion. That comprised of both business-to-business (B2B) and business-to-consumer (B2C) sales and was about 30 per cent of the total global economic output for the year.
The report stated that there was mixed fortunes for the leading B2C e-commerce companies during the pandemic in 2020.
There was a notable drop in business for those platform companies that offered services such as ride hailing and travel with a strong clump in their gross merchandise volume (GMV), showed data analysed from the top 13 e-commerce companies – 11 of which are from China and the United States.
“For instance, Expedia fell from 5th place in 2019 rankings to 11th in 2020, Booking Holdings from 6th to 12th and Airbnb, which launched its initial public offering in 2020, from 11th to 13th,” the report said.
In terms of GMV, China’s Alibaba was at the top of the rankings while the second spot was given to Amazon in the United States.
The report however also noted that even though there was a fall in the GMV for the services e-commerce companies, there was a 20.5 per cent rise in the total GMV for the top 13 B2C e-commerce companies to $2.9 trillion last year which was more than the 17.9 per cent growth reported by the same companies the year before.
(Adapted from EconomicTimes.com)