Pandemic boosted e-commerce in 2020: UNCTAD

SourceKuwait Times

GENEVA: The COVID-19 pandemic provided a boost for e-commerce last year, but the digital windfall was not enjoyed equally across the board, a UN study found yesterday. “Although it will take some time to get the full picture of the impact of COVID-19 on e-commerce… a number of developments point to the strong rise in e-commerce in 2020,” said the report by the UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD).

The study crunched data from seven countries – Australia, Britain, Canada, China, Singapore, South Korea and the United States – representing some two-thirds of online trade. Online sales rose 59 percent in Australia, 46.7 percent in Britain, 32.4 percent in the United States and 14.6 percent in China.

Turnover rose by 22.4 percent last year to $2.5 trillion, having increased by some 15 percent in 2018-19, UNCTAD said. By contrast, overall retail sales declined by one percent.

“These statistics show the growing importance of online activities,” the report’s author, Torbjorn Fredriksson, more...