International

Corona fuels online shopping: screens instead of shop windows – politics

The expectations that online retailers are currently raising could be read on the floor in Warsaw on Monday. The Polish Amazon competitor Allegro went public there – and in one fell swoop it became the most valuable company in the country.

The price rose about 70 percent on the day of its debut; it became the largest IPO in Europe that year. Even if a fair bit of exaggeration can always be factored into stock trading, this example shows the potential that e-commerce is attributed.

Because behind Allegro’s stock market valuation there are also real profits. They are up 48 percent in the first six months of this year. Allegro is not alone in this. Market leader Amazon doubled its profit for the year to $ 5.2 billion in the second quarter of 2020. Just two years earlier, it had been just under $ 200 million in the same period. German e-commerce companies such as otto.de or Zalando are also currently recording tremendous sales growth.

The latest boom in online retailers started with the corona crisis. Their sales increase was almost reversed by the collapse of stationary retail stores. The closed stores in the spring only caused a shift that had been going on for years to more online and less offline purchases.

The fact that distance rules and the risk of contamination remain, now ensures that the trend is stabilizing – also with a view to the Christmas business.

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Almost evenly distributed

According to a recent survey by the Institute for Retail Research (IFH Cologne), 41 percent of those surveyed say they do most of their Christmas shopping online. The respondents plan to make their purchases online 10 percentage points more often this year than in the previous Christmas period.

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This means that stationary and online Christmas shopping are pretty much evenly distributed. The analysts write that “a channel shift for the Christmas business” is to be expected.

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This review is shared by the digital association Bitcom. “It is to be expected that many consumers do not want to expose themselves to the masses in shopping centers and department stores,” general manager Bernhard Rohleder told the Tagesspiegel.

He also expects this development to be sustainable. “Many people who are now taking advantage of the benefits of online trading are getting used to it and will not want to do without it in the future,” said Rohleder. This assessment is supported by the fact that even goods that were previously not often in demand, such as groceries or drugstore items, are now being ordered. Rohleder is sure: “That will last longer than Corona.”

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