International online sales are predicted to increase by 120% year-on-year during October, peaking in the last weeks of the month, as consumers shop earlier for Christmas pulling sales forward and away from the traditional twin peaks of Black Friday and Cyber Monday.
According to data compiled by cross-border ecommerce facilitator, eShopWorld (ESW), post-lockdown, cross-border ecommerce sales have remained at record levels as ‘peak’ becomes a year-long event. Data from ESW, which is the largest cross-border ecommerce provider globally, suggests that unprecedented sales growth will peak at an average of 135% during the weeks commencing 18th and 25thOctober 2020.
Increased online consumer shopping activity, borne out of necessity during lockdown, has been met by retailers and brands with an acceleration of digital transformation programmes, ecommerce initiatives and global diversification, creating a push-pull dynamic that has sustained heightened cross-border sales post lockdown, which are forecast to continue throughout the remainder of the year.
Tommy Kelly, CEO of ESW, explains the findings: “Overall, cross-border ecommerce sales have seen historic growth year on year. Our forecasts for October see that same trend, accelerated by sales being pulled forward from November. In retail, you often see numbers being driven by discount events, whereas here the forecast is saying they are being pulled forward by macro trends in consumer behaviour, along with a more protracted peak shopping season, driven by brands’ efforts to generate demand.”
Kelly continues: “Covid-19 has been a real accelerator. All of the recent challenges have forced brands to rethink what retail is, and how they can more effectively blend online and offline experiences. Ecommerce has become the transactional engine driving growth for retailers. Customer behaviour is unlikely to pivot back, so to reap the benefits of this shift, retailers need to double down on their digital readiness, target non-domestic markets, and meet demand at its point of origin by offering localised shopping experiences where ecommerce customers in every geography feel as if they are receiving the same level of service and convenience they would enjoy if shopping locally.”