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Coronavirus: The Implications on eCommerce

Metrics - Insights - Analysis


To navigate these challenges together and give you and your business a perspective, we’ve created this content hub which will be frequently updated with trends in eCommerce.

Introduction

Bloomreach powers over 25% of US & UK eCommerce search and commerce experiences across the 300+ global enterprise businesses - many of whom have multiple brands and eCommerce sites. 

We’ve been continuously analyzing digital behavior across key industries to understand in real-time the impact of the Covid-19 outbreak on global eCommerce activity.

We believe it is important to process and share insights from our data to help businesses make adjustments where necessary. 

Monthly Commerce Pulse Report

Tune in to hear the latest trends regardings the eCommerce market in North American & the UK/EU. 

First Wednesday of each month at 9 am PT / 5 pm BST. 

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Traffic, Sales and Search Trends by Vertical

September 2020

September 2020 showed positive eCommerce results across the North American and European markets, though with varying degrees. It appears that consumer confidence, Covid restrictions and overall economic conditions are some key differences between the two markets, which plays into the results we see in online shopping this past September.

North America

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  • North America continues to demonstrate strong demand online, with an increase in sales over August 2020 and a consistent trend of +30-35% through the year. 
     
  • Covid restrictions and other natural disasters (including wildfires in the Western US and hurricanes in the Southeastern US) likely contributed to consumers staying at home and strong online demand.
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UK & EU

  • The UK & EU showed positive eCommerce results (though not the same gains as the North American market) - a consistent trend of +10-12% in online sales throughout the year. 
     
  • Conservative gains could be due to a variety of factors - the impact of the overall economic situation, mixed openings and a re-closure of the “offline” economy. 
     
  • A resurgence of the virus in Northern Europe and the UK, combined with colder weather, may portend further changes in the eCommerce trajectory in Q4 2020.

Grocery

  • For the second month in a row, overall traffic has decreased MoM, while overall sales has increased, with an incredible +88.93% YoY result.
     
  • Decreased traffic but increased sales and conversion rates mean shoppers are visiting sites with more purpose, and using the search bar to find exactly what they need. 
     
  • The average order size is up MoM but down YoY and YTD. This is likely due to discounts in delivery fees and online grocery shopping becoming more habitual (more frequent, smaller purchases). 

The demand for online shopping is huge, tremendous, and we are doing the best that we can to fill what we can.

David McInerney, CEO, FreshDirect

Home Furnishings

  • Home furnishings had a very strong month, with +20.97% growth MoM and +75.35% YoY. 

  • Average order size and conversion rates both dropped, while online traffic is way up. Q3 growth can be attributed to consumers purchasing items to prepare for work and school from home. 

  • We anticipate this segment to have a strong Q4 as well, as holiday gifts to provide convenience and entertainment at home will be in strong demand. 

See how Hobbycraft saw a huge increase in new customers during lockdown.

Read the full story here

B2B

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  • There was a dramatic drop in sales YoY and QoQ for B2B, led by products that serve physical offices and facilities. 
     
  • Out-of-stock and product mix challenges are evident by the large traffic spikes combined with low AOS and conversion rate.
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Some B2B’s are poised to adapt and take advantage of investments they have made in eCommerce and digital marketing. However, many B2Bs are going to be caught flat footed, having delayed investments in the past or shying away from eCommerce due to internal channel conflict. It is time to act now.

Brian Walker, CSO, Bloomreach

Search Terms

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  • While COVID-related terms still remain popular, we’re gradually seeing a shift towards seasonal and non-COVID items. The Grocery vertical in particular showed a shift away from cleaning-related terms, which have dominated for the last 6+ months.
     
  • Halloween is a top term for 2019 & 2020. Searches for halloween decor, costumes, invitations, party props, and candy are indications that consumers are looking forward to celebrating despite the pandemic.
     
  • Christmas and related terms (stockings, ornaments) are more highly searched this September than this time last year, indicating that consumers may be shopping earlier.
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Interested in the Data from Previous Weeks?

  • The week of March 8 - 14, 2020 data available here
  • The week of March 15 - 21, 2020 data available here
  • The week of March 22 - 28, 2020 data available here.
  • The week of March 29 - April 4, 2020 data available here.
  • The week of April 5 - 11, 2020 data available here. 
  • The week of April 12 - 18, 2020 data available here. 
  • The week of April 19 - 25, 2020 data available here
  • The week of April 26 - May 2, 2020 data available here
  • The May data available here.
  • The June data available here.
  • The July data available here
  • The August data available here