US shopping trends: Ecommerce sales rise 76% on last year

Jul 15, 2020 | E-commerce and E-retailing, USA

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Consumers continued to move more of their shopping online, with June generating a record $73.2bn in total spend, up 76.2% on last year, according to new research.

The study, from Adobe, found that prices across many product categories have started to go up with easy-to-use online shopping experiences are more important than ever for retailers to drive online sales.

Powered by Adobe Analytics, the Adobe Digital Economy Index (Adobe DEI) analyses over one trillion online visits across 100 million product SKUs.

Latest shopping trends include:

• Ecommerce up $77B: Compared to pre-pandemic sales for the period, online transactions were $77B higher than expected for the period, with ecommerce levels tracking higher than holiday shopping levels (Nov – Dec). The first six months of 2020 have driven $368.8B in online spend.
• Online grocery inflation continues: As more consumers turn to ecommerce, online grocery prices have increased 4.2% over the past six months, representing a 5X higher increase compared to 2019 and average inflation levels, for the same period.
• In a turnabout, apparel prices rise: After months of significant price decreases, online apparel prices were up 2.7% MoM and 4.3% YoY in June. The first six months of 2020 drove more than twice the deflation online apparel typically experiences during the first half of the year as retailers offered heavy discounts to move inventory and increase demand.
• Computer prices continue to rise and electronics sales grow: As consumers continue to work from home, computer prices have increased by 6.2% since March, with consumer electronics purchases up 5% MoM.
• Digital Purchasing Power turns negative for first time: With inflation occurring across most major online categories including apparel, groceries and electronics, the Digital Purchase Power (DPP) turned negative for the first time since tracking began, in 2014. In June, the DPP was -0.1%; which means consumers can now purchase goods online for $1.01 that would have cost $1.00 in June 2019.
• Grocery cart sizes shrink as consumers slow stockpiling: Grocery cart sizes increased abruptly by 33% in mid-February but have since trended down as consumers settle into sheltering at home, online grocery prices rise, and physical stores begin to reopen.
• New customers drove initial surge in spending, loyal customers are the future: Early on in the lockdown, retailers experienced increased spend from new and returning customers (who had only purchased once previously) as consumers turned to online channels to purchase products. However, good online experiences paid off in June, when new customer growth slowed while loyal customers’ spend persisted.

Vivek Pandya, Digital Insights Manager, Adobe, said: “As online apparel prices start to increase and inflation continues to occur across categories, digital purchasing power turned negative for the first time. Although just a slight dip of -1%, consumers are essentially now paying more for the online shopping basket they purchased a year ago. With physical stores reopening and slightly higher prices online, retailers will need to offer exceptional online customer experiences to attract and retain customers.”

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