Home Press Release New UNCTAD figures show COVID-19 boost to e-commerce sustained into 2021

New UNCTAD figures show COVID-19 boost to e-commerce sustained into 2021

by Brenda Lafeuillee

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). More

eCommerce Week: Better digital governance needed to balance data opportunities and risks

25 April 2022
As the global economy becomes increasingly digital, better rules are needed to protect people and the planet and ensure everyone can reap the world of online opportunities.

The COVID-19 pandemic has made digital technologies and an internet connection even more important in our daily lives, as people and companies have moved even more online to work, learn, socialize, shop and do business.
But not everyone is reaping the benefits, especially the 2.9 billion people still without an internet connection. A heavier reliance on digital tools also poses risks to the environment, as they generate more CO2 emissions and e-waste.
Bridging the digital divide and tackling the risks of digitalization are at the heart of UNCTAD’s eCommerce Week, happening from 25 to 29 April.
Ahead of the event, Torbjörn Fredriksson, head of UNCTAD’s e-commerce and digital economy branch, and Andy Yen, founder and CEO of Proton Technologies, discussed what’s needed to strike a balance between the opportunities and risks of digitalization and a data-driven world. More

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