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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. 

Updated March 31st, 2020

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 between €90.37 and €82.84. By February 17th, that number had shot up €103.81 per order - a 25.3% increase from the week before!

The increase in AOV persisted for two weeks before returning to pre pandemic levels. 

Below is the same data filtering out sessions on mobile devices. Here we see the increase in AOV persist, but still tapering off. 

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

Unlike AOV, the conversion rates have maintained a significant increase since COVID-19. 

Before, the average conversion rate across devices was 1.74%. Conversion rates peaked the week of February 24th to 2.29%, a 31.6% increase!

While the conversion rates have gone done since, for the last two weeks they have averaged 2.13%, a 22.4% increase since before the COVID-19.

Again we can filter by device. 

The increase in conversion rates is clear on mobile. While the overall conversion rates remain below the summary statistics, mobile conversion rates have grown steadily from 1.27% to 1.75% as of this week. This represents a 37.8% increase over the last 3 months. 

Mobile growth is greater and more consistent than the computer conversion rate growth shown below. On computers, conversion rates are currently 17.74% higher, about half the increase on mobile devices.

How COVID-19 Affects Shopping Cart Abandonment Rate in the European Union (EU)

COVID-19 has lowered shopping cart abandonment rates across Europe. 

Cart abandonment was at it's highest before the virus hit, right at 86.63%.

Abandonment rates have been down ever since, reaching a low of 84.24%, a 2.75% decline.

The drop in cart abandonment rate is more pronounced on mobile devices. 

Before COVID-19, cart abandonment in Europe was 88.33%, dropping steadily throughout this week to a low of 85.16%.

How COVID-19 Affects Revenue per Visitor in the European Union (EU)

These factors all combined to result into a pretty dramatic spike in revenue per visitor. 

Overall, this metric has stayed relatively flat, from before COVID-19 through February 10th. Then, over the next few weeks, the revenue per visitor exploded almost 30% to €3.15

This pattern held across devices, as you can see in the separate phone and computer charts below. 

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.

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