The Ecommerce Marketplace Picture for the Second Half of 2020

Tuesday January 12, 2021 | Posted at 9:30 am | By Paul Dicken
January 12, 2021 @ 9:30 am

Back in July we published a review of the first half of 2020. In this post we look at the second half of 2020 and the year as a whole. Our data comes from marketplace and web store GMV we see across the Volo Origin platform, as analysed and presented by the Vision platform, and use it to judge UK ecommerce activity as a whole.

If you’ve been keeping an eye on ecommerce activity at a very high level, you might summarise each quarter of last year as follows: Q1 was ‘normal’; Q2 was a huge spike; Q3 tailed off but was still strong; Q4 grew again. Does the data bear this out? Here are the figures month-by-month for ‘H2’ 2020. In our analysis we take a 3-figure ‘same set’ group of established customers to measure their year-on-year growth as a reflection of their organic growth. We exclude any new customers we’ve started working with, since otherwise the growth on our platform is correspondingly skewed.

  • For July 2020, GMV was down 16% on June, and up 26% on July 2019
  • For August 2020, GMV was down 11% on July, and up 22% on August 2019
  • For September 2020, GMV was up 2% on August, and up 24% on September 2019
  • For October 2020, GMV was up 9% on September, and up 22% on October 2019
  • For November 2020, GMV was up 17% on October, and up 31% on November 2019
  • For December 2020, GMV was down 14% on November, and up 27% on December 2019


Let’s put the two halves of the year together and see what the picture looks like for calendar 2020.


Figures for the whole of the year do validate our quarterly summary. It was a year of unprecedented economic, health and societal turbulence. For the ecommerce industry it was turbulent too. A few businesses closed, but the majority saw many years’ growth in one year and were faced with the challenges of maintaining their business operations and delivering on promises to their customers with reduced and socially distanced staff.

2020 GMV was up a staggering 35% on 2019. The uplift in the second half of the year was 25%, after the first half springboard of a 45% uplift, the vast majority of which came in the crazy Q2.

It seems sensible to suggest that the 25% growth from 2019 will be maintained in 2021. This year may not match the 2020 results from March onwards, but a sustained uplift of 25% from 2019 is still considerable.

Furthermore, with the UK entering some form of nationwide lockdown at least until the third wave subsides and / or vaccinations reach a critical mass of the population, our forecast looks conservative for the first half of 2021.

To discuss your ecommerce plans and requirements for 2021 and beyond, please get in touch with us here.

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