Travel industry is hit hard, big growth in most product categories
Ede, July 16, 2020
The impact of the corona outbreak on online consumer spending was already evident in the first quarter of 2020. The travel industry, in particular, was struggling and this caused total online spending to drop by -4% to € 6.0 billion for the first time in years. The number of online purchases did increase, with 8% to 69 million. This is evident from the most recent version of the Thuiswinkel Markt Monitor, the study into online consumer spending in the Netherlands. This research is being carried out by GfK, on behalf of Thuiswinkel.org and Retail Insiders and in collaboration with PostNL, the Dutch Payments Association and Currence.
The decline in online consumer spending is mainly caused by the free fall in expenditure on services in the first quarter (-29%). Spending on products shows a growth of 19%. This growth in spending on products has not been able to compensate for the decline in services, resulting in a negative growth result for the first quarter of 2020. The number of online purchases shows the same picture: there were 30% fewer online purchases of services than in the first quarter of 2019, while the different product categories grew on average by 17%. However, there is a positive growth result here, as services represent only 10% of the online market in purchases.
Travel industry down, most products plus
If we look at the categories that were hit the hardest in the first three months of 2020, these are Tickets for Attractions and Events, Package Travel, and Single Tickets and Accommodation. The number of buyers in this sector has fallen sharply as a result of the imposed corona restrictions. For example, online spending on Package Travel shows a decrease of -50% compared to the same period last year and Loose Air Tickets and Accommodation decreased by -28%.
The image is different within products. With the exception of Clothing, there is an increase in online publications within all product categories. The largest growth is attributed to IT (+ 38%), Sports and Recreation (+ 34%), Home & Living (+ 30%) and Food / Nearfood (+ 23%). We also see that more Dutch people within these categories have started buying online. In addition, there is an increase in the number of online purchases within these categories.
"Although we experienced a partial lockdown in the Netherlands and it only came into effect in mid-March, the impact of corona on online consumer spending in the first quarter of this year has been significant," said Wijnand Jongen, director of Thuiswinkel.org. “The main reason for this is the loss of demand for travel and related products and services. This was already felt in February, because the coronavirus already spread around in other countries. The growth in online spending on and purchases of products has already increased in the first quarter due to the partial lockdown, but will become particularly noticeable in the second quarter. ”
iDEAL continues to grow as the main payment method
In the field of online payment methods, iDEAL remains as popular as ever. The share of this payment method within online spending increased from 59% to 68%. The reason for this is that products have received a greater share of total online spending. Due to the free fall of online spending on services, the ratio of services / products in online spending has changed considerably. This was 51% versus 49% in the first quarter of 2019 and was 63% versus 47% in the first months of 2020.
The share of consumers who use their smartphone for online purchases also increased further this quarter. Where last year 37% of the online buyers had bought something via their phone in the first quarter, this year it was 42%. The laptop remains the most popular in this area, although the proportion of people who use this device for an online purchase fell slightly from 50% to 49%.
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