Eco decryption. No, online commerce does not benefit from the crisis

An Amazon truck in New York on March 30, 2020. (ANGELA WEISS / AFP)

You would think that the crisis would benefit online commerce because by being confined because of the Covid-19 coronavirus, we would order more on the web but it's not as simple. Indeed, Fevad, the Federation of e-commerce and distance selling has just published a survey which shows that like other businesses, online sites are affected by the epidemic.

The French are buying less in volume at the moment. Of 134 online sites that responded to the survey, two-thirds have seen a decline in activity since March 15, since the start of containment. For some, the decline is massive, since sales are halved, this is the case of online sales of clothing, shoes, cosmetics, but also household appliance equipment, we also think, reservations for travel… for them, it's free fall!

The big winner is actually food: until then, the French were still cautious to buy fruits and vegetables on the web and well this is no longer the case … And not surprisingly, we also recorded strong increases in telephony or IT, essential if you telecommute. Online orders of cultural and educational products have also exploded everything that makes it possible to take care of, do-it-yourself, or even work out at home… Even if confined, many continue a sporting activity!

Almost half of online merchant sites, however, report disruptions, which results in increased delivery times. Because there are supply problems to find the products, but also absences from the warehouses, transport and logistics difficulties. For example, in recent days, Amazon unions have stepped up to the plate to demand better safety for working employees. And the American firm had to adapt: ​​it announced that it would suspend deliveries of non-essential products.


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