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Adobe: Grocery drives COVID-19 e-commerce surge

Early consumer response to the COVID-19 pandemic included doubling their online grocery purchases.

The latest Adobe Digital Economy Index from Adobe Analytics shows that between March 13 and 15, when pandemic-related shutdown orders began in many parts of the U.S., daily online grocery sales grew 100% compared to the March 1-11 baseline period. This propelled a 25% increase in overall e-commerce sales.

Not surprisingly, states with high rates of reported COVID-19 infections had larger online sales lifts than states with comparatively low coronavirus rates. New York, California, Ohio, Oregon, and Washington all had an online sales lift of 20% or more March 13-15 compared to the baseline period of Feb. 1 – March 10. Meanwhile, Louisiana (which did not report its major COVID-19 spike until later in March), Wyoming, Kansas, Montana, and Tennessee all had an online sales lift of less than 15% in the same time period.

Adobe Analytics also determined that COVID-19 concerns drove increases in online purchases in several product categories from January 1 - March 11. These include virus protection category products like hand sanitizers, gloves, masks, and anti-bacterial sprays (807%), over-the-counter drug purchases for cold, flu, and pain relievers (217%), toilet paper (231%), and non-perishable, canned goods and other shelf-stable food (87%).

Other interesting findings include:

•    Buy-online-pickup-in-store (BOPIS) orders surged to 62% year-over-year (YoY) growth between Feb. 24 - March 21 as people began applying social distancing to shopping to limit their exposure.

•    Looking at the first weeks of March, orders for fitness equipment (kettlebells, dumbbells, treadmills, etc.) saw a 55% boost when comparing the sales period spanning March 11 - 15 over the March 1 - 10 baseline. Computers and monitors also saw a 40% increase in average daily sales, comparing March 11 - 25 to the baseline March 1 – 10.

The Digital Experience Index is powered by Adobe Analytics, which analyzes 1 trillion visits to retail sites and over 100 million SKUs. Adobe Analytics measures transactions from 80 of the top 100 U.S. online retailers. 

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