Online sales efforts on the rise due to the pandemic


Eurostat data show how enterprises dealt with the constraints of COVID-19 control measures, with 12 % of the EU enterprises reporting that during 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic prompted them to start or increase efforts to sell goods or services over the internet.

In 2020, among the EU Member States with available data, the highest share of enterprises that started or increased efforts to sell their products online due to the pandemic was recorded in Malta (32%), followed by Cyprus (23 %) and Portugal (21 %). In contrast, the lowest percentages of enterprises were registered in Germany (5 %), Poland (6 %) and Slovenia (7 %).



It needs to be kept in mind that the share of businesses that due to the pandemic moved to the internet as a new channel of sales or increased their efforts to sell online in 2020 depended on the initial share of enterprises already having e-sales, but also to a large extent on the type of economic activity of the enterprise. The highest share of enterprises that started or increased their online sales was registered in accommodation-related activities (25%), while the lowest share was recorded for enterprises active in construction (3%).

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Methodological notes: 

  • The article presents the results of a special module of the survey on ICT usage and e-commerce in enterprises. The module was introduced on a voluntary basis and 19 Member States included it at least partially in their national survey on ICT usage and e-commerce in enterprises. The presented EU aggregates are based on the results of those Member States.
  • Statistics were obtained from enterprise surveys conducted by National Statistical Authorities in the first months of the year. The surveys’ reference period is the current situation of the survey period or for selected questions, including the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, the preceding calendar year.