More than half of German online retailers expect negative effects of the corona crisis on their business
Most of German stationary retail has been shut down for days now. Only stores that provide vital products like supermarkets or drugstores are still open. Online retailers, on the other hand, are not directly affected by any of the government security measures. On the internet, complete product ranges are still available around the clock and people can order just like before. Or can they really?
The eCommerce business is often called the winner of the Corona crisis and one might indeed think that these are glorious times for online retail, with people locking themselves inside their own four walls, anxious to go outside. Wasn’t it one of the big advantages of online shopping that you can order whatever you want with a mouse click or a swipe from your sofa? Yes, it was. But not in times of crisis, when people worry about their jobs, their routines, their personal economic situation, and there is this general insecurity about what will happen tomorrow, next week or next month with our health, our economies and our social lives. Many have even lost their jobs or live on a reduced income. All in all, people are not in the mood to shop and purchasing power is decreasing.
The Händlerbund e.V., Germany’s trade association for online dealers, found out that – at the beginning of March, when the big outbreak in Germany was still to happen – online retailers in Germany already felt a considerable negative impact of COVID-19 on their businesses. According to the poll conducted among 412 online retailers, 70% felt affected by the corona crisis, with 55% expecting a negative impact. 45% of the interviewed online retailers expected their revenues to decline, 12% had to reduce their product range. Only 11% anticipated an increase in sales. The fact that strikes most is that one in three online retailers felt no change at all due to COVID-19 at the time of interview. It would be interesting to know if they still agreed to this statement now.
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