The Czech Republic has witnessed a sharp year-on-year increase in online sales in 2020 as coronavirus changed the course of shopping globally, a study by the Association for Electronic Commerce (APEK) has revealed.
In April, online sales increased 40% year-on-year and gradually stabilised at 25% in June, data showed.
APEK expects this trend to continue in the second half of the year and has projected around 25% full-year growth in e-commerce in the country.
In terms of turnover, it will amount to approximately CZK 15 billion (€570 million) more than originally estimated.
'A Very Successful Year'
APEK's executive director, Jan Vetyška, commented, “E-shops and e-commerce as a whole have experienced and are experiencing a very successful year, although in a context that is by no means positive.
"Czech online stores [...] have managed to brilliantly supply households and companies with all demanded goods. During the emergency, the Czechs thus found an even stronger relationship with online shopping.”
E-commerce is expected to grow reasonably in the second half of 2020 despite the prediction of a downturn in the economy as Czechs will continue to opt for online channels over brick-and-mortar retail, the study noted.
Vetyška explained, “E-shops offer fast, convenient and safe access to all goods. During the emergency, even those who were afraid of online shopping found that this was a very reliable way to buy products. This includes the most basic ones, such as food or drugstore goods.
The pandemic has also encouraged hesitant traders, who have so far preferred traditional sales channels, to explore online sales.
In the event of a second wave of coronavirus, the Christmas season could be replaced or extended all through the autumn months, the report noted.
Vetyška added that the “exceptional results” achieved by the e-commerce channel in the first half, especially in April, are unlikely to be repeated but online sales will continue to grow for the rest of the year.
APEK also highlighted that the second half will see a great challenge in the planning and preparing of stocks by retailers.
“Sellers have to calculate with the risk that production or part of the supply chain may be disrupted again. That is why they now have to prepare very well so that they can offer their customers enough goods and at the same time avoid other risks,” Vetyška said.
© 2020 European Supermarket Magazine – your source for the latest retail news. Article by Dayeeta Das. Click subscribe to sign up to ESM: The European Supermarket Magazine.