How COVID-19 Is Impacting eCommerce in the EU

As the world reacts to the COVID-19 pandemic, we wanted to supply detailed information on how this virus is affecting eCommerce stores.

This article focuses on the European Union (EU). For detailed information on how COVID-19 is affecting eCommerce in the United States, click here


Over the upcoming weeks we will release additional data as responses unfold. 


Here, we will explore how COVID-19 is driving eCommerce purchase behavior as it relates to cart abandonment, conversion rates, and average order volumes. 


A Quick Primer: EU Timeline for COVID-19

For context, here is a brief timeline for COVID-19 in the European Union.


For a more complete timeline, please refer to these excellent summaries (February, March). 


January 24 France reported first confirmed cases, the first in Europe

February 1: Spain reports first case

February 21: Italy reports first death. Total case count 17 in the country.

February 22: Italy reports an additional 59 cases, making it the country with the most cases in Europe.

February 27: Netherlands reports first case

March 9: Italy orders country to go on lockdown.

March 14: Spain declares state of emergency and lockdown of country.


How COVID-19 Affects AOV in the European Union (EU)

The most dramatic effect COVID-19 has in the EU is in the average order volume (AOV).


Before the virus took hold of the continent, purchases averaged €84.70. By March 16th, that number had reached €114.51, a 35.19% increase!


As you can see above, the increase was steady. As more and more countries confronted the new realities coronavirus would impose. 

How COVID-19 Affects Conversion Rates in the European Union (EU)

Likewise, conversion rates experienced a spike before coming back down to pre COVID-19 levels. 


Conversion rates started at 1.09% before peaking at 1.72%, a 57.8% increase in just a few weeks.


The effect in conversion rates then plummeted down in the following weeks. It will be interesting to see how conversion rates develop over time.

How COVID-19 Affects Shopping Cart Abandonment Rate

Finally, we can explore how COVID-19 has impacted shopping cart abandonment rates across Europe. Looking at the data, it mirrors the conversion rate data above. 

Cart abandonment was at it's highest before the virus hit Europe, right at 90.07%. In the week of February 24th, we see cart abandonment rates go all the way down to 86.33%, a 4.15% decrease. 


While this was significantly less than the percent decline in the United States (which saw a 7.9% decline in shopping cart abandonment rates), on a nominal basis it was much closer. 


The EU dropped shopping cart abandonment rates 3.75% while the US dropped 5.99%. 

Next Steps

We will be monitoring how online shopping behavior changes in the EU as the fight against COVID-19 continues.


We will make updates to this page, as well as publish additional country specific and global studies.