International online sales grow as festive sales pulled forward

Christmas shopping is expected to start earlier than usual in 2020, with international online sales predicted to increase by 120% year-on-year in October.

New research from cross-border eCommerce platform provider, eShopWorld, has predicted consumers will bring forward their festive shopping this year, with international online sales peaking in the last weeks of this month.

It said post-lockdown, cross-border eCommerce sales have remained at record levels, adding its data shows year-on-year sales growth will peak at 135% during the weeks commencing 18 and 25 October 2020.

Tommy Kelly, CEO of eShopWorld, said cross-border eCommerce sales have experienced “historic growth year-on-year”.

“Our forecasts for October see that same trend, accelerated by sales being pulled forward from November,” he commented.

“In retail, you often see numbers being driven by discount events, whereas here the forecast is saying they are being pulled forward by macro trends in consumer behaviour, along with a more protracted peak shopping season, driven by brands’ efforts to generate demand.”

Kelly added: “Covid-19 has been a real accelerator. All of the recent challenges have forced brands to rethink what retail is, and how they can more effectively blend online and offline experiences.”

Amazon Prime Day, an annual discount period on the retail calendar, takes place this week – another factor commentators expect will drive forward Christmas shopping in 2020. The event usually takes place in July, but it was delayed this year due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Ben Stirling, managing director at online marketing company Webloyalty, remarked: “With incomes suppressed as a result of Covid-19, discounts will likely be rife in the retail sector as we enter the winter months.

“Prime Day is a flagship event for the Amazon brand and is highly anticipated, with consumers waiting to make those big-ticket purchases. Last year the two-day sale surpassed Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales on Amazon combined.”