THE PANDEMIC AS A DRIVER
Following the onset of the state of alert, when bricks and mortar stores were required to close, consumers switched to online in order to continue shopping for the items that they had previously acquired in physical stores.
Published figures for the total volume of e-commerce sales during the second quarter of 2020 (the first three-month period impacted by the pandemic and a severe lockdown) showed growth of +0.2% in comparison with the same period in 2019.
Although this difference is scarcely significant in itself, what mattered was the structural change in Internet shopping for goods and services. Prior to Covid-19, the leisure sector cornered almost 40% of online sales (travel agencies, tour operators, airlines and land-based transport companies, hotels and similar accommodation, artistic activities and cinema, etc.).
These services practically vanished following the outbreak of the pandemic. In contrast to this, the performance with respect to other goods and services has swung the other way, with major growth if we compare the second quarter of 2020 with the same period in 2019.