Consumers Buy More Online Compared with Before The Pandemic

Online shopping during the pandemic

Buy online pick up in-store purchases surge 248% at the end of May compared with before the pandemic, new data from Signifyd finds.

The latest in ecommerce news during the coronavirus pandemic. How are retailers adjusting? What should consumers expect?

Ecommerce sales are about 40% higher for the week of May 26-June 1, compared with its pre-pandemic benchmark week Feb. 24-March 1, finds ecommerce security and fraud prevention vendor Signifyd Inc., which is based on online sales data from 10,000 retailers.

However, looking week over week, ecommerce sales were down 8% for the week May 26-June 1 compared with May 19-25, after only increasing 1% week-over-week May 19-25 compared with May 12-18.

“The figures appear to reflect a plateauing of sales increases rather than a reversal of fortune as the COVID-19 pandemic continues,” the vendor says.

The weapons and accessories category had the largest week-over-week ecommerce category spike, with online sales for the 119 merchants in this category increasing 79% May 26-June 1, compared with the previous week. Online sales in this category are up 345% this week compared with Feb. 24-March 1, according to Signifyd.

Compared with prior to the pandemic, these seven categories are still up higher than the 40% overall average, according to Signifyd:

  • Leisure and outdoor: up 139% May 26-June 1, compared with pre-pandemic average Feb. 24-March 1
  • Auto parts and tires: up 79%
  • Electronics: up 78%
  • Alcohol and cannabis: up 69%
  • Comedies and collectibles: up 48%
  • Home goods and decor: up 46%
  • General merchandise: up 41%

Apparel and luxury has had large week-to-week online sales swings since COVID-19 became widespread, Signifyd says. For the week of May 26-June 1, online apparel sales were down 15% week over week, but still up 20% this week compared with before the pandemic. Luxury goods are down 11% week over week, but still up 24% compared with before the pandemic.

Many of these ecommerce purchases across all categories could be from new customers, finds a May survey of 2,000 U.S. consumers from ecommerce platform vendor PFS Web Inc. In that survey, 40% of consumers say they shopped a new website during the pandemic, and 45% of these shoppers will continue to shop that site following a positive experience.

Buy online pick up in store orders have increased 248% for the week May 25-31 compared with its pre-pandemic benchmark week, Feb. 24-March 1, according to Signifyd data. For May 25-31, BOPIS was 3% of ecommerce orders, compared with 2% pre-pandemic.

Rakuten Intelligence, which tracks email receipts of online U.S. consumers, also noticed an increase in buy online pick up in store orders earlier in the pandemic, especially for home improvement merchants. With many consumers having more time on their hands, many shoppers may not want to wait for shipping—especially if retailers and shipping carriers quoted long delivery windows and delays for nonessential items.

“With click and collect, they can pick up what they need today, while still avoiding the crowd exposure they’d get in the store,” says Jaimee Minney, senior vice president of marketing and communications at Rakuten Intelligence.

Source: Digital Commerce 360

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