Header Entwicklungen im E-Commerce in Q3 2020

This is how eCommerce developed in the last quarter of 2020

Stationary trade is still struggling with the negative effects of the Corona pandemic. Ecommerce, on the other hand, is the clear winner of the recent months. The dynamic industry has grown strongly and it currently looks as if there is no end in sight.

But how did buyer behavior change with the start of Covid-19? To better understand the customer, Nosto analyzed 500 eCommerce websites between March 1 and August 1, 2020 compared to the same period last year.

The analysis looks at trends and developments in the six sectors Fashion & Accessories, DIY & Garden, Beauty & Wellness, Sports & Outdoor, Pet Supplies and Food & Beverages.  Special attention was paid to the KPIs traffic, sales, conversion rate and average order value. In our blog post we briefly present the most interesting results.

These are the most relevant findings in the areas of sales, traffic, conversion rate and average order value

eCommerce turnover

eCommerce sales increased dramatically in May and June 2020. This resulted in an increase in sales of 20 percent from day zero of the period under review. At the same time, however, there was a large drop in sales in stationary trade.


The traffic on the examined websites increased many times over in spring, then normalized and was as high in August as in the 2019 observation period.

Conversion rate

Conversion in online retailing increased by six percent compared to the previous year. This may be due to increased buyer interest or to the optimization of conversion rates by retailers.

Average order value

During the 140-day period, the average order value increased by one percent. However, the value decreased in comparison to the previous year and, with the exception of a few days, remained zero to three percent below the value of the previous year. The minus is most likely due to the economically uncertain situation, which is why buyers only make purchases that are really necessary for them.

This is how the individual industries perform in the eCommerce comparison

At the end of the study period, all industries had increased traffic compared to 2019 – with the exception of beauty and wellness. Initially, the number of visitors rose strongly in all sectors. The biggest increase was in food and beverages, the second biggest increase was in pet supplies. But then, after diligently ordering from home in the first weeks of March, traffic began to decline at different rates in all six sectors.

Food and beverages

Food is the only industry whose sales have a similar value from the beginning to the end of the observation period. With a five percent increase in visits, a two percent increase in sales, a nine percent conversion rate, and a one percent decrease in average order value, selling food on the Internet still seems to have its difficulties.

Sports and outdoor

The sports and outdoor sector seems to have been spared the effects of the lockdown in both the short and long term. During the entire 140 days, it recorded a one percent increase in traffic, eight percent in sales, one percent in conversion rate and four percent in average order value.

DIY and garden

DIY and gardening is the only sector whose average order value increased at the end of the period under review. Apparently, DIY and gardening are benefiting greatly from the shutdown. And the reason is obvious: since buyers spend more time in their apartments and houses, they should be as comfortable and cosy as possible. This has led to Germans becoming true DIY enthusiasts. Traffic increased by 24 percent, sales by 42 percent, the conversion rate by five percent and the average order value by six percent.

Fashion and accessories

With traffic up 15 percent, sales up 18 percent and conversion up 12 percent, online retail in fashion and accessories has grown as fast as it usually does over a 12-month period – and twice as fast. But even if the figures indicate a positive trend, it will not be enough to counteract the negative effects of the weeks-long closure of the stationary trade.

Beauty and wellness

With an 11 percent drop in traffic, 20 percent in sales, five percent in conversion and a two percent increase in the average order value, online trade in the beauty and wellness sector is one of the most severely affected industries that is struggling with losses. Just at the beginning of the observation, the industry recorded a strong increase in the four KPIs. At the end of the observation period, however, the values fall and settle down to the figures from the previous year. This may possibly be a sign that the industry is not experiencing lasting negative effects of the shutdown.

Pet supplies

With a 36 percent increase in traffic, a 30 percent increase in sales, a 31 percent increase in conversion and an average order value that has dropped by two percent during the period under review, pet supplies during the shutdown are one of the fastest growing industries. For example, the conversion rate grew more strongly than in any other industry studied. Due to the large number of new providers entering the eCommerce market in recent months, it is highly likely that pet supplies will go online more and more – accelerated by the shutdown.

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