COVID -19 and
E-Commerce Studies


E-commerce has been playing a growing role, as part of the wider digital economy, in global economic activity in recent years. In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, as social distancing and restrictions on movement became the new normal, businesses and consumers increasingly “went digital”, providing and purchasing more goods and services online. The share of e-commerce of global retail trade is estimated to have surged from 14 per cent in 2019 to about 17 per cent in 2020.

Businesses and consumers that were able to “go digital” have helped mitigate the economic downturn caused by the pandemic. But they have also sped up a digital transition that will have lasting impacts on our societies and daily lives – for which not everyone is prepared. COVID-19 has accelerated pre-existing trends and the risk is that the huge digital divides that already existed between and within countries will only worsen in the wake of the pandemic.

In this context, a group of eTrade for all partners joined forces and collectively produced a global report and four regional reports on the impact of COVID-19 on e-commerce and digital trade, the first research-oriented project undertaken under the eTrade for all umbrella. The reports offer a snapshot of the pre-pandemic situation, bring forward early mitigations strategies adopted by governments and businesses in the first stages of the pandemic, and identify some policy recommendations to be considered as the world tries to cope with the fallout from the crisis.

Global Report

Published: 11 March 2021

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Executive Summaries

Event Videos

COVID-19 and E-Commerce | A Global Review (Introduction)

COVID-19 and E-Commerce | Global Report (High-Level Policy Dialogue)

Global and regional implications of COVID-19 on E-Commerce | A4T Stocktaking Event 2021

ALFM C7: E-Business | WSIS Forum 2021