Global digital commerce spending to fall 14% in 2020, with recovery in 2021

Marianne Wilson
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The Covid-19 pandemic is not only impacting physical store sales. 

A new study from Juniper Research found that global spending on digital commerce will fall from $11.2 trillion in 2019 to $9.7 trillion in 2020 as reductions in consumer spending are felt across the world.  

Spending, however, will recover in 2021, exceeding 2019’s level by 4%, according to the report, "Digital Commerce Coronavirus Analysis: Impact Assessments & Market Forecasts 2020-2024." 

Juniper noted that, while the economic disruption from the pandemic will last well into 2021, digital services are better placed than offline commerce for recovery due to the “considerable migration” from offline spend to online during the pandemic.

“As a result of enforced changes during the pandemic, such as using contactless payments instead of cash, or buying groceries online, there will be permanent changes in consumer behaviour to the much greater use of digital services, which will bolster growth in digital commerce spend over the next five years,” the report stated.

Research author Nick Maynard said that the shift of spend from offline to online channels presents a crucial opportunity for the market. 

“Vendors must act to build on increased digitization of services during the pandemic to sustain future growth,” he said.