Online retailers are seeing Black Friday-like sales due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on their business. According to new data from Adobe's Digital Economy Index, US e-commerce increased 49% in April compared to the base period in early March before the local protection restrictions came into effect. Online groceries contributed to sales growth, with daily sales increasing 110% between March and April. In the meantime, electronic sales increased by 58% and book sales doubled.
The data comes from the Adobe index for the digital economy, which analyzes more than a trillion online transactions over 100 million different SKUs. The company works with 80 of the 100 largest US online retailers to collect its data.
The numbers show that consumers are ready to spend on products that help them deal with the COVID 19 crisis. This largely includes the collection and delivery of online groceries.
Companies, including Amazon, Walmart, and Instacart, have hired more employees to meet growing consumer demand in their retail stores. Instacart even became profitable for the first time, The Information recently reported due to the surge triggered by the coronavirus outbreak. The company sold approximately $ 700 million in groceries in the first two weeks of April, an increase of 450% over sales in December 2019.
The first inflation in years was recorded in the electronics category of online sales. According to Adobe, online electronics prices have been experiencing constant deflation since 2014, but COVID-19 has led to a flattening of electronics prices.
Due to increasing demand, computer prices even rose in April. In addition, sales of audio mixers, microphones, microphone cables and other audio devices increased 459% in April as budding podcasters and various creatives set up their home studios.
The entire electronics category now also appears to be on an upward trend. This may not end soon, the Adobe report warns, as COVID-19's impact on the electronics supply chain can continue for many months.
Meanwhile, consumers went online to buy clothing in April. Sales increased 34% as prices fell. April saw the largest monthly drop in clothing prices in over five years, as it did not have to dress for work – neither due to unemployment nor due to new guidelines for working from home. While average price growth was typically -2.9% in April, growth was -12% this April. Prices continued to fall as retailers attempted to increase sales by clearing their inventory earlier.
Not surprisingly, when consumers shop, they shift their purchases to comfort items. In April, for example, pajamas increased (plus 143%) and business clothing such as trousers and jackets increased (minus 13% and 33%, respectively).
In addition to growth in certain categories, April also saw significant growth in orders for "buy online, pick up in store". From April 1 to 20, these increased by 208% year-on-year when people tried to practice social distancing while shopping.
Adobe's data is next to other reports that indicate a huge increase in online shopping in April.
For example, data from Bazaarvoice, based on its network of over 6,200 brand and retail websites, showed that April was a much bigger month for e-commerce than March. When consumers got ready for the bare essentials (maybe toilet paper!) In March, they turned to online shopping for toys, games, entertainment, sporting goods, and pet supplies in large numbers in April.
The Adobe report also found that e-commerce purchases of wine, beer, spirits, and related accessories increased 74% in April as consumers weathered the COVID 19 crisis.
According to Bazaarvoice, April 2020 grew even faster than in March for all the indicators recorded – including page views, number of orders, submission of ratings and submission of questions.
March ended with a 25% year-over-year increase in page views, while April ended with an 88% increase. March ended with a 21% year-on-year increase in orders, while April ended with a 96% increase. While surfing behavior, like page views in March, outperformed buying behavior, this trend reversed in April.
The general impact of the move to online could be rising prices, Adobe warned.
"As online is absorbing the offline retail economy, some inflation has been observed for the first time in years, especially in categories where online deflation has occurred consistently, such as electronics," said Taylor Schreiner, director of Adobe Digital insights. “Americans are used to things getting cheaper online, but this trend could end and online trading may never be the same. It appears that COVID-19 has accelerated this process. "