Covid-19 to add £5.3bn to UK e-commerce in 2020

The surge in online shopping caused by the Covid-19 pandemic is expected to add £5.3bn to UK e-commerce sales this year, to reach a total of £78.9bn.

This is according to analysts at Edge Retail Insight, the global trend forecasting arm of retail insights firm Edge by Ascential, which have updated all pre-existing forecasts to account for the significant long-term impact of Covid-19 on consumer shopping behaviours and preferences.

According to the firm, Amazon is expected to benefit the most from this surge in demand for online retail, adding an extra £2bn in UK sales, totalling £31.1bn by the end of 2020, up from analysts’ initial £29.1bn prediction prior to the pandemic.

Tesco is also expected to generate the most revenue in 2020, with forecasted gross sales rising by an extra £1.7bn to reach a total of £61.1bn, up from forecasts of £59.4bn prior to the pandemic. This is followed by Sainsbury’s, which will add an extra £0.6bn in sales to reach £31bn (from £30bn) by the end of 2020.

Duncan Painter, CEO of Ascential, said: “Covid-19 has greatly accelerated the general shift to digital commerce and it is vital that business leaders have market leading insights at their fingertips to inform decision-making at this crucial time. It is only through identifying what consumers want and harnessing the entire ecosystem to address these needs that brands can achieve relevance, impact and importantly, growth.

“As a crucial partner to retail clients during these trying times, our expert analysts at Edge by Ascential Retail Insight, one of the four pillars of the Edge by Ascential product suite, have their finger on the pulse and have rapidly updated all forecasts to account for the economic disruption we are witnessing, giving decision-makers the information they need to get on the road to recovery.”

Xian Wang, senior director of Product and Content at Edge by Ascential, said: “The COVID-19 pandemic has almost certainly had a lasting impact on the retail sector, reshaping consumer shopping habits, and the priorities for retailers and brands.

“Most prominently, we’re seeing a significant shift to online, as consumers have become reliant on this, following the swathe of store closures globally. This will no doubt lead strong ecommerce players, such as Amazon, to benefit from this greatly.”

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