- May 14, 2020

Consumer Trends in Online Retail Continue to Shift During the Coronavirus Pandemic

Ryan Williams
Ryan Williams
Vice President, Client Insights

With yet another month of social distancing behind us, we took another look at the performance of online retail during the coronavirus pandemic.

Following up on a prior blog, where we focused on the CPG/Grocery, Home Furnishings, Consumer Electronics, and Events & Tickets categories, we are seeing that domains in the Events & Tickets category continue to struggle, seeing visitation at levels 75 percent below numbers we saw in February 2020. Visits to domains in the Home Furnishings category (which includes domains like HomeDepot.com and Lowes.com), were up more than 90 percent during the week of April 27, 2020 vs. the week of February 3, 2020, as people adhering to stay home guidelines likely continue to invest in home improvements.

Weekly Visitation to Retail Categories

Before the pandemic really took hold in the US, early March 2020 visitation to top retail domains looked relatively similar to early February 2020. However, by late March 2020, visitation trends shifted dramatically. Even as of early May 2020, we’re still a long way from what might have once been considered normal.

Visits to Top Retail Domains

A view into the rankings of the top 20 retail domains shows the shakeup we’ve witnessed since early February 2020. Below, we’ve ranked the top 20 retail domains by weekly visits as of the week of April 27, 2020 and have highlighted the change in rank for each domain since the week of February 3, 2020. Other than the top 3 sites, all other top 20 domains have seen a change in rank over the past 12 weeks. Domains like Costco, Overstock, Nordstrom and Michaels have performed well during the pandemic while department stores like Kohl’s and Macy’s as well as Walgreens have fallen in the rankings.

Top 20 Retail Domains

Overall, consumer spending in online retail across desktop and mobile was up 13 percent in March 2020 vs. March 2019 but, like with visitation, this varies greatly by category. The CPG/Grocery category has seen an explosion in spending as consumers flock to online food delivery services like Instacart and Doordash. Meanwhile, consumer spending on Events & Tickets was down over 50 percent year over year. Based on visitation trends, Comscore has seen so far for April 2020, spending could fall even further for the Tickets category.

Top Digital Spend by Retail Category

Coronavirus Insights

Read our ongoing updates on shifting consumption trends and the resulting impact on the advertising and media industries on comscore.com/Coronavirus.

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