UK eCommerce Sales Rise 20 Percent in June – Largest Increase Since Start of COVID-19 Lockdown Restrictions

The UK saw a steep jump in eCommerce sales in June 2020 — up 20 percent compared to June last year, the largest increase since the beginning of the Covid-19 lockdown restrictions, according to an analysis of hundreds of millions of transactions by global payments software company ACI Worldwide. In May UK online sales had increased six percent compared to the same period in 2019. Consumer purchases were driven by DIY and homeware goods, furniture, outdoor equipment and sporting goods.

The UK figures are in line with a worldwide trend – global eCommerce sales rose 28 percent in June 2020 compared to June 2019, again the largest year-on-year (YoY) increase in sales since lockdown restrictions began in March. In the US, consumer eCommerce purchases were up 25 percent in June, consistent with the May 2020 increase of 25 percent.

“Despite the easing of lockdown restrictions and the reopening of shops in the UK, eCommerce growth remains strong, suggesting a behavioural shift among consumers young and old is underway. Many Brits who have traditionally preferred shopping at brick and mortar stores are finding online shopping to be the new norm,” said Amanda Mickleburgh, director merchant retail, ACI Worldwide.

Non-fraud chargebacks continued to see a steep increase (27%) in April*—particularly in the airline industry as consumers looked to secure refunds for unused airline tickets. Sectors continuing to experience a dramatic decline in purchase volume include travel (down 29%) and ticketing (down 94%), whereas the volume of purchases remains strong for gaming (up 70%) and retail (up 68%).

“As the pandemic led to wide-ranging restrictions and work-from-home arrangements, many call centers and package processing facilities were unable to operate normally, leading to a backlog of returns and shipment delays, which drove up non-fraud chargebacks. Many merchants facing these challenges in fulfilment were able to offer consumers credit or alternative options such as points or gift cards to offset the inconvenience. And, the major card brands have made temporary changes to chargeback programs because of COVID-19,” Mickleburgh added.

Key Findings:

eCommerce purchasing trends:

  • Driven by the gaming, DIY and digital sectors, global purchase volume increased by 15 percent from January to June 2020 compared to the same period in 2019, whereas the average ticket price fell (from $116 in 2019 to $87 in 2020).
  • For the month of June 2020, purchase volume increased 31 percent compared to the same month in 2019, whereas purchase value decreased by 3 percent.
  • Purchase volume increased in all regions, with the EMEA region having the highest increase:
    • EMEA up 39 percent
    • U.S. up 35 percent
    • APAC up 25 percent

Fraud trends:

  • For the period from January to June 2020, fraud attempts increased by 4.7 percent in value, while they decreased by 3.2 percent in volume.
  • However, for the month of June 2020, fraud attempts were 3.7 percent by value (a 0.2 percent increase compared to the same month last year) reflecting a continued month-over-month downward trend after having reached a high of 5.8 percent in March 2020.
  • Fraud average ticket price increase from $161 in 2019 to $174 in 2020 — double the average ticket price for genuine purchases in 2020 ($87).

*As chargebacks take approximately 45 days to process, the most current complete data is from April 2020.

Featured in this Article:

ACI Worldwide Amanda Mickleburgh

Author: Eleanor Hazelton

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