Coronavirus is expected to have added £5.3 billion to the UK’s ecommerce sector by the end of the year, with Amazon poised to benefit the most.
Online sales in 2020 are now expected to grow 19 per cent year-on-year, up from pre-pandemic estimates of 11 per cent, rising from a total of £66.3 billion in 2019 to £78.9 billion this year.
New research from Edge Retail Insight also suggested that Amazon was set to take the lion’s share of this boost in online traffic, seeing an extra £2 billion in sales in the UK this year.
This is set to see its estimated sales rise from £29.1 billion prior to the outbreak to £31.1 billion.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has almost certainly had a lasting impact on the retail sector, reshaping consumer shopping habits, and the priorities for retailers and brands,” Edge by Ascential’s senior director of product and content Xian Wang said.
“Most prominently, we’re seeing a significant shift to online, as consumers have become reliant on this, following the swathe of store closures globally. This will no doubt lead strong ecommerce players, such as Amazon, to benefit from this greatly.”
According to the research supermarkets, discounters and health retailers are also set to see significant boosts from the pandemic.
Supermarket growth estimates have jumped from -0.8 pre-pandemic to 3.3 per cent, accounting for £82.7 billion in sales.
Meanwhile pharmacies and health retailers are set to see growth of four per cent this year, up from previous estimates of -4.6 per cent accounting for £13.8 billion in sales.