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EMAC 2021 Annual Conference

Teaching an old fox new tricks: How sustained e-commerce sales lift from pandemic lockdowns depends on age

Published: May 25, 2021


Maximilian Kaiser, Frankfurt School of Finance & Management; Florian Ellsaesser, Frankfurt School of Finance & Management; Christian Schulze, Frankfurt School of Finance & Management; koen pauwels, Northeastern university


The global Covid19 pandemic and state-mandated closures of most offline stores in many countries led consumers to shift purchases online. But what happens after the lockdown is lifted, and does it depend on consumer age? We analyze e-commerce sales to answer this question with first party data from over 400 online retailers in Germany, totalling more than $20 billion revenue. Results show that e-commerce revenue increased by 47% during the initial lockdown. Part of this effect is sustained, with the post lockdown effect on e-commerce revenue being 17%. Interestingly, the sustained post-lockdown effect varies substantially across age groups: Older consumers (54-65 years and 65plus) see the largest sustained effects. We discuss potential implications for off- and online managers in a post-Covid world.