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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.


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. 

Next call Monday, December 7 at 9am PT / 5pm GMT

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Traffic, Sales and Search Trends by Vertical

October 2020

October 2020 showed positive eCommerce results across the North American and European markets, though with varying degrees. Results in North America remain very strong, in part due to better overall consumer sentiment and a shift online. In the UK and European Union, the economic conditions and impact of the virus are weighing heavily on consumers, who just aren’t spending as freely (online or offline). Grocery and Home Furnishings remain the strongest segments, with Apparel showing positive signs as shoppers update their wardrobes with the seasonal changes.

North America

  • North America continues to demonstrate strong demand online, with an increase in sales over September 2020 and a consistent trend of +30-35% throughout the year. 
  • Overall, average order size and conversion rate were higher than last year, but there was some variability throughout the month. This likely reflects heavy promotional activity. 


  • In the UK&EU, overall sales was only up 7.54% YoY, relatively soft compared to what we have seen thus far. 
  • Average order size and conversation rate are actually down YTD. This can be attributed to a couple different factors, including consumers limiting their spend because of the virus and heavy promotional activity from retailers, which is likely driving down sales.


  • For the third month in a row, overall traffic has decreased MoM, while overall sales has increased, with an incredible +80.55% YoY result.
  • On-site search remains critical, with dramatic increases of +104.69% in search traffic and +81.59% in search sales YoY. This is consistent with expected behavior - online grocery shoppers do not tend to browse for items, but rather search and fill their carts with known favorites. 
  • The average order size is up MoM and YOY, but down YTD. This is likely due to discounts on 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


  • Apparel had a pretty strong month, up 16% MoM and almost 30% YoY in sales. After seeing slower growth in the summer months, seasonal changes have finally driven consumers to shop for new clothes and accessories. 

Home Furnishings

  • We continue to see Home Furnishing benefit from a shift in consumer spending towards at-home items, with a strong 50.76% increase in sales YoY.
  • Dramatic slips in conversion rates (-27.75% YoY, -9.48% YTD) indicate out-of-stock items and inventory issues for high-demand items, like desks and office chairs. 
  • Home Furnishing retailers will likely use the holiday gifting season to route shoppers to different categories, to encourage purchasing across a variety of products and better manage inventory.

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

Read the full story here

Search Terms

  • Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, PPE search terms have been dominating since March. While these still remain popular, we’ve started seeing seasonal items too.
  • Christmas ranked higher than Halloween in 2020, likely due to muted/indoor celebrations this year.
  • Seasonal changes are observed in apparel search terms, which are dominated by warmer clothing. 

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