COVID-19 and E-commerce: Findings from a Survey of Online Consumers in 9 Countries

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(CC) Tim Reckmann/FlickrUNCTAD is the part of the United Nations Secretariat that deals with trade, investment, and development issues. Through its E-Commerce and Digital Economy Programme, UNCTAD is uniquely placed to address the cross-cutting development implications of e-commerce and digitalization.

This survey, conducted by UNCTAD and Observatory NetComm Suisse, in collaboration with NIC.br, Apertamente and Inveon, brings new evidence on how consumers in nine countries of different size, level of development and digital readiness (Brazil, Korea, Russian Federation, South Africa, Switzerland and Turkey) have responded to the pandemic in terms of online shopping and other online activities.

The survey examines the effects of COVID-19 on consumer behavior for the use of digital technologiesand e-commerce in 9 countries representing both emerging and developed economies. In the years before COVID-19, developed countries usually have shown a higher share of active online shoppers as internet access is available at a broad scale. The survey allows for a direct comparison of the online consumer behavior in both types of countries and in how far digital technologies can support economic growth in emerging economies. This cross-country survey represents the first of its kind.

Download the UNCTAD publication here.