Chinese consumer spending online still declining despite lifts on Covid-19 restrictions, Emarsys data shows

Consumer spending within the online retail industry in China declined for the eleventh day in a row on Monday despite claims from the Chinese government that life is getting back to normal in the country after its Covid-19 lockdown.

Shops have reopened throughout the country, but consumer spending online in retail dipped 64% year on year on the 30th March — a situation worse than other countries currently under lockdown, including the UK, Italy and parts of the US.

Fig 1: Showing ecommerce decline in revenue over the past 14 days across countries (available to download here)

These trends were identified by Covid-19 Commerce Insight, a joint project between leading customer engagement platform provider Emarsys and data analytics provider GoodData showing the impact the impact of Covid-19 on consumer confidence.

Alex Timlin, senior vice president of verticals at Emarsys, who has been analysing the situation in China said: “While we’re seeing the number of medical cases of coronavirus reportedly flatline in China, the economic impact of Covid-19 in the region is still deteriorating.

“It’s important to note that these figures are year-on-year comparisons, and while some may argue that online sales are going down because people are buying offline again, that’s not what this data shows. Our data shows that compared to this time last year, consumer confidence in China is still significantly low, as indicated by the declining revenue in the online retail industry.”

The tool used by Emarsys to identify these trends draws on more than a billion engagements and 400 million transactions in 120 countries, providing a global and regional picture of ecommerce activity and trends — a key indicator of overall economic conditions in these unprecedented times.

Key insights from Covid-19 Commerce Insight include how the pandemic is affecting the number of online consumer transactions, order numbers, the average order value, types of items purchased and more — in any industry and region in the world — in context of the extraordinary measures taken by governments globally.