Impact of Coronavirus on eCommerce: A Week Of Consolidation And Stabilization (Update 7)


Jean-Marc Bellaiche

April 15, 2020 | 3 min read

To provide understanding during this uncertain time, we are monitoring the impact of coronavirus on online consumer behaviors. See the latest data on our Covid-19 eCommerce Impact data hub.

As businesses continue to be affected by the Coronavirus outbreak, a picture has emerged over the past few weeks of which sectors are recording a steady influx of online visitors, and which are seeing only a fraction of the traffic they enjoyed pre-quarantine. 

And while the positive trends observed across “essential” businesses such as grocery stores may be obvious, other verticals have seen a more staggered return to conversions, as consumers resume some of their shopping habits and turn to digital to compensate for a brick-and-mortar economy on pause.

We’re analyzing billions of digital visitor sessions each week to bring you the freshest data from across industries. To do this, we’re capturing user sessions across more than 900+ websites from all over the world — that’s 32 billion pages, 26 countries and 22 industries. To chart the progression of several KPIs (traffic, transactions, pageviews, and more), we’ve been comparing the most recent data to the period immediately preceding the global reporting of the outbreak (or, the first 6 weeks of the year which we call the reference period).

Here’s what we found this week:

Traffic And Transactions Continue To Grow As Online Shopping Habits Resume

Traffic and pageviews are still growing steadily week on week (+6.9% and +8.3% this week, respectively), contributing to a significant increase to both KPIs since the onset of the outbreak. Compared to the pre-Covid-19 reference period, the volume of digital sessions has shot up by +17.4% across industries, with visitors viewing almost +25% more pages today than they were pre-quarantine. 

Transactions have also surged dramatically since the first stay-at-home orders in the West, but this past week recorded a slightly more subdued increase than the previous week (+2.1%). Still, overall, the shutting down of brick-and-mortar commerce in many regions of the world has led to a +39.9% surge in the number of transactions.

Grocery Sector Continues To Grapple With Huge Digital Checkout Lines 

Traffic to grocery sites is still surging, with +26% more visits last week than the previous week. Transactions are stable with a slight drop (-2% last week), suggesting many grocery stores are still ironing out some of their supply chain issues.

Despite this minor dip last week, transactions are still up +75.5% from the beginning of the crisis, reflecting the mass adoption of online grocery delivery services over the past few weeks.

Retail Tech And Home Decor Still On Growth Path

Traffic to retail tech sites was up +12% last week from the previous week, contributing to a whopping +78% increase in visits since mid february  when the outbreak started in the west. The volume of transactions is also up — +9% this past week and +62% compared to pre-covid19 levels. With a huge swath of the population now working from home, and quarantine measures refocusing entertainment spend, having up-to-date tech gear has shifted from nice-to-have to necessity.

And all this working from home has contributed to the increased traffic to home decor / DIY sites. Last week saw a +9% increase in the volume of visits, driving a +19% surge since the start of the crisis. And home sector transactions have followed suit — up +120% from the start and +17% since the previous week.

Jewelry / Watch, Luxury and Fashion Sectors Bounce Back And Beauty Purchases Slightly Down

While traffic to jewelry sites is much below normal levels, it was slightly up this past week, with a +13% increase from the previous week. And while transactions did grow by +24% over the same period, the industry is still reeling from a -20% drop in sales since the beginning of the crisis.

Similarly, Luxury has continued its recovery, with transactions trending up (+6% last week), and while traffic was flat this past week, engagement was up, with +4% page views last week.

Fashion also continues its recovery: for 4 weeks in a row now the sector has recorded transaction increases, adding another +5% increase to the previous week’s +30% surge, with the sector now exceeding normal levels. As consumers everywhere reintroduce some of their regular shopping patterns into their homebound routine, some industries that were experiencing upward trends were less strong this past week. Recent increases in traffic for the beauty / cosmetics have resulted in a +9% increase in visits since start of the outbreak, while transactions are now up +70% over the same period, despite a -13% drop this past week.

Join our webinar next week, From Convenience to Necessity: How the Coronavirus Is Impacting the Grocery Sector. Featuring our Chief Strategy Officer Jean-Marc Bellaiche, this insight-packed webinar will share our latest findings on customer behavior and how the grocery industry is adapting to the new reality — April 16th, 1pm.

Hero image via Adobe Stock, by triocean