The COVID-19 pandemic has caused a major surge in online shopping — even by a group that has traditionally preferred stores.
According to global data from data collection platform Luminati Networks, more customers than ever before are shopping online, including senior citizens, a group that traditionally preferred shopping in stores. Senior shoppers are now using e-commerce at a rate that is 15% higher than the same time last year.
The data, gathered in partnership with Luminati e-commerce customer QuickLizard, also revealed that electronics, grocery items and pet supplies have seen some of the highest rates of increases year-over-year, while less essential items saw a decrease in sales over the same period.
As compared to April 2019, the following global e-commerce trends have emerged since COVID-19 was declared a pandemic, measured as an increase or decrease in sales revenue:
• Electronics sales – including IT equipment like tablets and laptops – have increased 900% year-over-year, caused in part by the shift to remote working and education.
• Online grocery sales increased between 200 and 800%, with the U.S. increasing by 800%.
• Cooking appliances have seen a 400% increase in YoY sales, with bread machine sales in the U.S. increasing 500% YoY.
• Pet supplies, including food, have seen a 500% to 600% increase in online sales YoY.
• Not all sectors are seeing growth, with photography equipment sales dropping 55% YoY, and sunglasses and reading glasses facing a 50% reduction in sales.
• After initially flatlining at the beginning of the pandemic, wedding and engagement ring sales have begun to rebound.
“We believe that the changes in the retail landscape caused by the COVID-19 pandemic will be permanent,” said Or Lenchner, CEO of Luminati Networks. “The current crisis has pushed the shift to e-commerce ahead by years, as the current shopping behavior we are seeing reflects what had previously been predicted for the future. COVID-19 has also proved to be the final element in pushing the traditionally reluctant older demographic online, as the unavoidable reality of social distancing has removed any lingering technophobia stopping them from embracing the value of online retail.”