Thursday , July 16, 2020

Some E-Commerce Categories Return to Growth While Small Business Sales Continue Double-Digit Rise

While e-commerce sales overall have ballooned for many merchants since the March 11 declaration of the Covid-19 pandemic, health-and-beauty and business supplies generally did not. Until last week.

Online business supplies sales were up 21% and health-and-beauty sales were up 20% for the week of June 16-22, reports the Signifyd Weekly Pulse Report for E-Commerce

Both categories still are down from the baseline week of March 3-9 by 24% and 5%, respectively. They are the only categories not to have gained over the baseline period, Signifyd says. 

“Just two weeks ago, online sales in the Health & Beauty vertical were down 30% compared to pre-pandemic sales, using the week beginning Feb. 25 as a benchmark,” the report says. “But after two solid weeks in a row, including the most recent week’s 20% rise in e-commerce sales, beauty is now trending just 5% below its pre-pandemic performance.”

The recent boost in online business-supplies sales may be because some formerly nonessential businesses are reopening. “The category could serve as an economic barometer as the number of COVID-19 cases in the U.S. continue to rise. If business owners think better of reopening offices and shops or if government authorities revert to stricter regulations governing business openings, the category’s expansion could fizzle,” the report says.

Small businesses, too, continue to rebound. The CardFlight Small Business Impact Report, released Wednesday, found an 18.2% increase in total sales for the week of June 15-21 over the baseline week of March 2-8. Small businesses tracked in the report have seen gains since the week, of June 1-7. Before that, they had been trending mostly negative since the first week of CardFlight Inc.’s tracking, March 9-15. Only the week of May 18-24 had a gain, of 4.9%.

Small business retail sales are up 16.8% from the baseline period and sales at food-and-drink establishments are up 21.9%.

CardFlight also says tapped payment methods, whether with a contactless-enabled card or mobile phone, are up 74.5% over the first week of March. Dipped payments are up 2.7% for the same period.

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