As we make the slow and steady return to normality, we are seeing retailers open up their doors to a relieved public. But how will this impact online retail and ecommerce stores? Figures from March 2021 regarding retail and online retail sales data show what may well be to come.
Retail sales volumes recovered in March, increasing 5.4% compared to the previous month. This corresponds with the fact that lockdown measures are being lifted carefully. Sales actually increased 1.6% when compared to February 2020 before the pandemic began.
Non-food store monthly growth increased significantly, with clothing stores seeing a growth of 17.5% and other non-food stores seeing a growth of 13.4%. Food stores had a monthly growth of 2.5% in March.
However, despite good results for March, retail sales in the 3 months up to March 2021 saw retail sales volume drop 5.8% compared to the previous period.
The proportion people spent online fell to 34.7% in March, which was previously 36.2% in February.
When compared to the previous year however, it is much higher than the 23.1% figure in March 2020.
When it comes to online retail, things look a little different.
Online spending increased in the month of March – increasing 0.6% when compared to the previous month.
Textile, clothing and footwear stores had strong growth of 10.9% – the biggest monthly growth in the sector since back in June 2020. This is likely due to the fact that people are re-emerging from lockdown to see people and wanted to refresh their outfits.
Despite this, the proportion of online spending did decrease to 34.7% from 36.2% in February. But this is largely down to the fact that the high street opening up offers a new opportunity to get out and about and buy things you may not necessarily order online, or simply viewing going to the shops as a new novelty.
This still bodes very well for ecommerce and online retail. We will continue to see higher-than-expected adoption of online buying and selling for the foreseeable future, but it is likely our behaviour has changed due to the pandemic and extended lockdowns.