$1 in every $5 spent online during Q2 2020
New data from the U.S Department of Commerce has shown that Q2 of 2020 has seen the highest ecommerce penetration of any quarter or fiscal year in history.
During Q2 of 2019, statistics show that shoppers spent US$138.96 billion when shopping with US retailers, while during the same period of this year, they spent US$200.72 billion, signifying growth of 44.4% year-on-year. This means that that for every $5 spent on retail, $1 can be attributed to online orders placed between April-June. The growth experienced during the global COVID-19 pandemic was more than triple the ecommerce growth seen in both Q2 of 2019, and Q1 2020.
Retail sales took a massive hit during April but performed better than expected during Q2 overall. Ecommerce performance during this period managed to offset a US$41.23 billion decline in offline spending. In May, despite many brick and mortar stores being able to re-open, ecommerce stayed strong, with huge numbers continuing to shop online. Those shoppers who did visit stores frequently opted for services like curbside pickup, or buy online, pick up in-store (BOPIS) as a way to avoid human contact.
Many Luxury brands have reported big shifts towards ecommerce during the pandemic, allowing them to attract new customers.
Tapestry, the group that owns brands like Coach, Kate Spade, and Stuart Weitzman, reported that ecommerce grew by triple digits during COVID-19. “We’ve seen tremendous traction across our digital channels as a result, evidenced in part by the recruitment of new younger customers to our brand at an accelerated rate,” interim CEO Joanne Crevoiserat said on a call discussing the results, according to a SeekingAlpha transcript. ” In fact, in the fourth quarter alone, we recruited nearly 1 million new customers across brands in North America through our digital channels.”
Retail Brands Create Group To Fight Counterfeit Goods On Amazon
A large number of U.S trade groups have announced the creation of a lobbying coalition, set up to help tackle the problem of counterfeit or stolen goods being sold on platforms like Amazon or eBay.
The group, which includes companies such as Walmart and Best Buy, are hoping that the newly created ‘Buy Safe America’ coalition will push the US government to put stricter legislation in place for platforms that allow third-party sellers. The Vice President of Public Affairs for the Retail Leaders Industry Association says that the group’s goal is “to continue to raise awareness about counterfeit and stolen goods”.
Together with other group members, such as the Fashion Jewelry and Accessories Trade Association, or the American Apparel & Footwear Association, they are backing the INFORM Consumers Act. This proposed legislation change would require firms like Amazon to collect details about some of its third-party sellers, which would include government IDs, tax IDs, and bank account information.
The act would also mean that companies would have to disclose to shoppers their high volume sellers’ business address, phone numbers, and more. Any firm that makes 200 or more sales in a year amounting to US$5,000 would be considered a ‘high volume seller’. The bill was initially introduced as a bi-partisan proposal, meaning that both Republicans and Democrats were supportive of it.
One of the democratic representatives who introduced a companion version of the bill, Jan Schakowsky, said that retailers, “…want to have as even a playing field as possible”.
The issue has also been discussed by White House representatives. In January, the Department of Homeland Security made the recommendation that the Trump Administration should take legal action against platforms selling counterfeit goods.
Fashion Industry Sustainability Efforts Continue
Fashion brands have remained focused on improving their sustainability efforts during COVID-19, with many companies announcing new initiatives in July 2020.
Jewelry brand Swarovski collaborated with E.L.V Denim to create their first upcycled collection featuring 100% re-used denim and crystal, in an effort to push conscious design. The unique denim jackets and jeans were made by hand, and used technical finishing to secure the processes of sewing and hot fixing.
Fashion brand North Face also created a limited edition collection during July, using 18,000 recycled plastic bottles found in the Alps to produce a new line of t-shirts. The ‘Recover Tee’, helped raise awareness of the amount of rubbish that ends up in the European mountain range, and also raised funds for the Summit Foundation, a charity that clean-up and protect the Alps.
Meanwhile, Levi used organic cotton and Circulose to create it’s “most sustainable jean ever”. This new line of jeans is made up of 20% recycled denim, 20% sustainably sourced viscose, with the remainder coming from organic cotton. They also took measures to reduce water usage and CO2 footprint during production, to make the manufacturing process sustainable.
Vivobarefoot, a company known for its minimalist shoes, announced that it is aiming to launch the world’s first re-commerce site for shoes. The site would allow them to sell repaired or returned shoes, as a means of reducing the number of shoes that end up in landfills. According to the brand, 90% of shoes end being thrown away, often times within 12 months of the purchase. This new site would aim to keep shoes in circulation, by reconditioning worn pairs, and then re-selling them to consumers.