November cross-border online sales grow 88 per cent YOY as Black Friday starts early

Online retail sector affected by downturn

International online same store sales have increased by 88 per cent over the first two weeks of November, compared to 2019, as cross-border eCommerce sales remain at record levels, according to data compiled by eShopWorld (ESW).

With lockdown directives varying from market to market, the 2020 Peak Trading period continues to be marked by unparalleled uncertainty as consumers increasingly shop online out of necessity and retailers in a number of countries launch early discounting in preparation for an online only Black Friday.

The growth of cross-border eCommerce sales is in contrast to data showing that UK consumer confidence has fallen to its lowest level since May1 as coronavirus restrictions tightened across the country.  This new downturn in consumer spend highlights the need for UK brands and retailers to embrace international sales opportunities not just associated with the Golden Quarter but for long-term business performance, as many brands brace themselves for the fall out of covid and the looming impact of Brexit on trade.

ESW’s sales data reveals the top 10 markets for YOY cross-border sales growth during the first two weeks of November with Mexico, Chile and Israel recording the highest increases as the most prevalent emerging international eCommerce markets

Market YOY % cross-border sales growth

(w/c 1 Nov & w/c 8 Nov, 2020)

Mexico 376%
Chile 312%
Israel 304%
Ireland 220%
New Zealand 204%
South Africa 188%
Turkey 184%
Russian Federation 176%
Malaysia 150%
Canada 149%

Tommy Kelly, CEO of ESW, commented: “Although consumers began their peak shopping earlier this year, this data shows the typical Christmas shopping season remains as active as always. In retail, you often see numbers being driven by discount events and the data shows that in 2020 this is being doubly impacted by macro trends in consumer behaviour, along with a more protracted peak shopping season, driven by brands’ efforts to generate demand ahead of time.”

“The strength of growth across both traditional and emerging markets is a clear bellweather for UK retailers and brands weary of the effect the double blow of Brexit and the pandemic has had on business. They must consider overseas markets for growth as adopting a multinational mindset will help grow sales, reach and brand loyalty while mitigating against the potential loss of in-market sales. In 2020, our data shows the retailers who will ‘win’ – both in Peak and beyond – are those with a deep understanding of global market expectations who can leverage that insight to engage directly with shoppers in the international markets that they serve in meaningful ways to grow long-term loyalty,” he added.

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