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E-Commerce Sales Swell 81 Percent in May, Fueled by Sportswear

Retail is surviving on its e-commerce wins, which have been fairly steady in the recent months of lockdown. In May, online buys spiked 81 percent.

Some sectors, according to a recent report from electronic payments company ACI Worldwide, are experiencing triple-digit year-on-year growth as consumers begin to surface after the initial shock of the crisis. However, despite store reopenings around the world, consumers are so far still opting for e-commerce or click-and-collect over shopping in person.

And what consumers are spending on still very much reflects a sign of the times.

Sportswear and sporting goods purchases saw a 216 percent spike in May, up from 114 percent growth in April. Housewares and DIY supplies purchases were next with 190 percent growth, and gaming climbed 84 percent.

“While many of the trends in eCommerce purchasing behavior that emerged in March and April have continued, we are starting to see the impact that the gradual easing of restrictions is having on retail activity,” said Debbie Guerra, executive vice president of ACI Worldwide. “People working from home are now set up, and we see spending shifting from home office supplies back toward consumer goods like sporting goods and home improvements.”

The volume of digital transactions continues to rise, growing by 23 percent in May over the same month in 2019.

ACI Worldwide, which also tracks fraud in the digital sphere, said May also saw reduced fraud attempt rates, the first month in 2020 to see a year-over-year drop.

“The vigilance and adaptability displayed by merchants as they evolve their fraud strategies in light of COVID-19 appears to have been rewarded by decreasing fraud rates,” Guerra said. “However, non-fraud chargebacks have risen 25 percent and will continue to present a challenge, confirming the trend of friendly fraud we anticipated—especially for hard hit businesses in travel and ticketing—while these merchants overhaul credit and rebooking options, dispute resolution processes, supply chain visibility and customer communication channels.”