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International online sales to rocket as festive trading period is marked by “unparalleled uncertainty”

Gaelle Walker
03 November 2020

International online shopping sales are expected to soar by 56% and 70% in November and December compared to the same two months in 2019, as consumers brace for a Covid Christmas and start their festive shopping earlier.

With lockdown legislation varying from market to market, cross-border ecommerce sales have remained at record levels, new data compiled by eShopWorld (ESW) reveals.

The figures follow recent predictions indicating international online sales would increase during October, as consumers shopped earlier for Christmas pulling sales forward and away from the traditional twin peaks of Black Friday and Cyber Monday.

ESW chief executive Tommy Kelly said: “We saw a 113% year-over-year increase in same-store global online sales in October and we’re confident the end of the year will follow the same pattern.

“Although consumers began their peak shopping earlier this year, a predicted increase in sales throughout November and December suggests that the ‘typical’ Christmas shopping season will be active, as always.   

“We’ve already seen many countries enter a second phase of lockdown, so we can see that the massive shift to online shopping is here to stay,” he added.

The unprecedented growth of cross-border ecommerce sales is in contrast to figures detailed in the Confederation of British Industry’s (CBI) latest monthly distributive trades survey, which showed UK retail sales fell sharply in the year to October.

Now is the time for UK brands and retailers to embrace the cross-border opportunity as addressing this customer demand has become a business necessity,” Kelly said.

“The potential to grow sales, reach and brand loyalty is immense. Selling internationally not only means greater and more diverse audiences, but also additional opportunities to optimise marketing efforts to capitalise on multiple shopping events during the year, match seasonal inventory to local seasons, and meet market conditions on the ground, in an ever-evolving global market,” he added.

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