2Checkout Reports: COVID-19 Impact on Global Online Sales

Significant Increase in Software and Digital Goods Orders, as Companies and Individuals Seek to Improve Productivity and Security While Working Remotely and Spending More Time at Home

2Checkout, the leading all-in-one monetization platform for global businesses, released findings of global online sales occurring in March. The results, derived from 2Checkout’s platform data, collected from more than 17,000 merchants selling both services and digital and physical goods, indicate a sharp spike in online commerce aligning with the timing of the current global pandemic.

Key Findings:

  • The demand for digital goods experienced an upward trend beginning in March, with software-based offerings, such as multi-media tools, collaboration and end-point security solutions, experiencing the highest levels of growth, at 40 percent, 22 percent and 15 percent respectively (March 2020 compared to February 2020).
  • Overall, 2Checkout estimates a 15 percent increase of online sales of digital goods globally due to the COVID-19 lock-down.
  • Conversely, sales of physical goods during this period did not show any significant growth globally, which could be contributed to the interruption to the supply chain and logistics related to the delivery of physical items.
  • Online sales of services such as advertising or business services also retracted, experiencing declines of 11 percent, in March 2020 compared to the previous month.
  • Italy was the first country to have a significant increase in orders, beginning March 9th.
  • Other countries saw an immediate rise of online sales in mid-March, coinciding with government mandated lockdowns.
  • There was a surge in end-point security sales across many countries, except Germany which normally maintains a strong market for consumers and business in this category.
  • Sweden has not experienced a significant increase of digital goods sales, but has seen a continued increase of services sales – as expected, since residents are not under shelter in place orders.

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The data we are seeing during this time of uncertainty, demonstrates a sharp rise in the purchasing of digital solutions, designed to improve both the productivity and security of the global workforce operating remotely as well as home entertainment, as part of a social distancing effort,” said Erich Litch, 2Checkout’s President and Chief Operating OfficerThis trend is illustrative of the power that technology and more specifically, online commerce, can play in minimizing the impact to the global economy during this pandemic.”

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Country specific data:

United States

The number of orders started increasing in the US on March 17th. On average, online sales were 10 percent higher in March 2020 compared to the previous month, 13 percent for digital goods. On the digital goods side, orders increased mainly for end-point security and audio-video/multimedia software. Amongst other categories, such as financial products, there was not any significant increase other than the organic one. Services saw a decline in online sales by 8 percent compared to the previous month, while online sales of physical goods saw a mild increase month over month, of 2 percent.

United Kingdom

The UK is among the top three markets for most categories in the 2Checkout sales charts, and has seen a 14 percent increase in online sales of digital goods in March compared to the previous month, with online purchases of services showing a 4 percent decline and a further drop by 7 percent for physical goods sales.


Italy was the first country where the number of orders spiked dramatically, starting March 9th. On average, online sales of digital goods were over 40 percent higher in March 2020, compared to the previous month. Orders increased mostly for end-point security, audio-video software and web tools. Physical goods online sales in Italy were also on an upward trend, however online sales of services were down by 21 percent from the previous month.


The number of orders increased significantly in Spain beginning March 15th. On average, online sales for digital goods were 30 percent higher in March 2020, compared to the previous month. Orders increased mainly for end-point security, utilities and audio-video software. On the physical goods side, online sales have seen a decrease of 17 percent, and services suffered an even bigger decline, at 39 percent.


The number of orders started peaking in Germany on March 19th. On average, online sales of digital goods were 15 percent higher in March 2020, compared to the previous month. Orders increased primarily for audio-video and multimedia software. Germany is a strong market for end-point security products, indicating consumers and companies are buying these products anyway, making the COVID-19 impact less significant on this product category. eCommerce sales of physical goods were up by 4 percent and services were down by 7 percent in the same period of time.


The volume of online orders for digital goods in March 2020 was only slightly higher than the previous month, at an 8 percent increase. It is a small increase compared to other developed countries. At the same time, we identified an upward trend on online sales of services during March, both trends due probably to the lack of lockdown. The sales evolution remains to be seen for April 2020.


The data showed a slight increase in digital sales, similar to Sweden, however Australia also saw a decrease in eCommerce sales of services, a 10 percent decline in March over February.

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