First Quarter of 2022 Sees Decrease in E-Commerce Sales

Avatar for Katerina Kadlecova

The first three months of 2022 witnessed e-commerce sales decrease compared to the same period in the previous year. Globally, the revenues dropped by 3%, while in Europe the decline was even in double digits – 13%. The only European country that registered year-on-year growth in e-commerce is Spain with a 6% increase in comparison to 2021.

It is the first time in nine years that the Salesforce Shopping Index registers a negative trend in revenue. However, the statistic has seen the growth slowing down already in the previous quarters.

Decrease in e-commerce sales caused by a shift in consumer behavior

Salesforce assigns the negative development to inflation. Due to the overall increase in prices, consumers have a lower purchasing power. Customers buy a smaller amount of items from a smaller amount of merchants to keep their spending in check. However, arguably other factors play a role too. Firstly, as the COVID-19 restrictions are disappearing in most countries, part of the online customer base has likely switched back to brick and mortar. Secondly, sustainability is gradually becoming a concern for a larger group of consumers, which can lead to decreased consumption and/or buying locally.

Omni-channel retailers can essentially fight all three of these challenges by minimizing the friction between online and brick and mortar. As consumers get pickier about the retailers they buy from, state-of-the-art customer experience is gaining even more importance.

Consumer trends

Interestingly, the negative revenue trend is more significant with computer (-17%) than mobile purchases (-8%). Therefore, it remains crucial to keep your e-commerce environment accessible and user-friendly across devices and not underestimate mobile.

Similarly, deferred payments remain a hot topic and have even increased their importance. Year on year, the share of purchases made with “buy now pay later” has increased by 20%.

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