Consumers spent $ 900 billion more online in 2020. Here’s a look at who will make the biggest profits

Consumers around the world spent $ 900 billion more online retailers in 2020 than the previous two-year trend, according to a report released Tuesday by the Mastercard Economics Institute.

Shoppers return to restaurants and return to stores to purchase clothes and shoes in person. Still, they’ll keep stocking their fridges and looking for good deals online – a sticky habit that developed during the pandemic, according to the report.

Virtually every retailer’s online sales spiked as shoppers got stuck at home. When consumers picked up online purchases in the parking lot and dropped off parcels or takeaways on their doorstep, e-commerce accounted for about $ 1 out of $ 5 spent on retail worldwide. That’s an increase of about $ 1 from $ 7 spent in 2019, the report said.

In an interview about CNBC’s global exchanges with Frank Holland, Mastercard’s chief economist Bricklin Dwyer said about 20% to 30% of the $ 900 billion profits will continue through 2021 and into the next few years.

However, long-term ecommerce profits are uneven and depend on what a retailer is selling, how they’ve adjusted their business model, and how consumers prefer to shop. For some goods, such as B. clothing, shoppers may prefer to return to brick and mortar stores where they can try on an outfit before purchasing. In certain retail categories such as electronics, online purchases already represented a larger proportion of total sales, leaving less room for growth.

Grocery and discount stores will see the most dramatic and sustainable shift to e-commerce, according to the report. Grocers will likely keep about 70% to 80% of the digital sales growth they saw during the height of the pandemic, and discount stores will keep about 40% to 50% of them, the report said.

In both sectors, online sales before the pandemic only accounted for a single-digit percentage of total sales, which offered the opportunity for more noticeable growth.

However, clothing stores, restaurants, and sports / toy stores saw the largest initial surge during the pandemic, but only maintained 10% to 20% of that sales high, according to the report.

Electronics and department stores had the highest prevalence of online sales prior to the pandemic, with e-commerce accounting for around 55% to 60% and 40% to 50% of their total sales, respectively, according to Mastercard. For the two sectors, their expected permanent shift will be around 20% to 30% of their top jumps.

According to Dwyer, grocers face unique hurdles – even as more and more consumers search for products, meat and other ingredients online. E-commerce accounts for only about 10% of total grocery spending, he said.

“You have to trust someone else to pick your peaches,” he said. “You have to trust someone else to deliver your goods and still have them good when they arrive. So these are really some of the barriers we overcome.”

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