25 April 2022
The pandemic’s impact on digital transformations and how e-commerce and associated digital technologies can contribute to the recovery are in focus during the UNCTAD eCommerce Week 2022 from 25 to 29 April.
New UNCTAD figures show that the significant uptick in consumer e-commerce activity fuelled by the COVID-19 pandemic was sustained in 2021, with online sales increasing markedly in value, despite the easing of restrictions in many countries.
The average share of internet users who made purchases online increased from 53% before the pandemic (2019) to 60% following the onset of the pandemic (2020/21), across 66 countries with statistics available.
But the situation prior to the pandemic and the extent of the boost to online shopping experienced vary between countries. Many developed countries already had relatively high levels of online shopping (above 50% of internet users) before the pandemic while most developing countries had a lower uptake of consumer e-commerce (Figure 1).