The numbers are speaking clearly: 2020 is the year of the online shopping while the 2021 continues the trend. According to the Salesforce Shopping Index Report in the first trimester of this year, the global e-commerce has grown 58%, which is a significantly bigger number with respect to the same period in 2020 when the detected growth was only 17%. In Italy, the increase is even higher and equals 78%, which is placing us fourth in the world after Canada, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom.
The smartphone sales are growing as well, in our country the data traffic generated by the smartphones has grown from 21% in the fourth trimester of 2020 to 24% in the first trimester of the 2021 while the sales volumes carried out from the laptop were reduced by almost a half.
The pandemics has definitely played a crucial role for the merchants and pushed them to shift to online, which also led to a reduction of the cultural distrust effect that traditionally follows the online sales sector. The purchasing habits are evolving and most probably, we will have to prepare for more changes.
Zooming in on the groceries sector, according to the B2c eCommerce observatory of the Politecnico di Milano in collaboration with Netcomm in 2020 the portion of the groceries sold online has grown by 56%. Just imagine that in 2020 during the lockdown the spikes in demand were reaching around 300/400% with respect to the pre-pandemics times.
Numbers confirm that the digitalization has already become one of the pillars of the shopping experience, constraining companies to reconsider the approach to the merchants' physical stores and to the associated workforce. Therefore, it is fundamentally important both for the companies in the GDO space and for the small merchants to build a digital relationship with the customer, overcome the cultural resistance and implement the necessary technology in the stores.