Ecommerce Trends:
The Pandemic Edition

Person in a PPE suit shops online on a couch with groceries and toilet paper.

In the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic, consumer behavior is evolving at unprecedented speed. No trend is revealing more about the way we react to a complete upheaval than consumer spending. What are we buying? How much? How often? Slickdeals, one of our key strategic partners and  the largest social ecommerce community on the web, engages over 12 million users every month. They are the top source of ecommerce transactions for the top ten U.S. ecommerce sites. So, with more and more people shopping from home and looking for the best way to deal with global economic uncertainty, who better to shed light upon the ecommerce trends we are all experiencing?

According to Slickdeals, since COVID-19 made landfall on U.S. soil, user interest in all categories has gone through the roof. They saw significant increases in everything from clothing to books.

Here is a breakdown of how people interacted with the site:

Video games, up 140 percent. Books and magazines. Two. Hundred. And ninety. Two. Percent. Sure, because, how else do you stave off boredom and pass the time, by talking to each other? One really positive sign is that reading is experiencing a close to 300% increase in activity, almost 11 times the health and beauty category. Could it be we are worried more about substance than appearances?

Perhaps even more fascinating are the specific deal alerts being requested while people have been sheltering-in-place. The Slickdeals community is setting criteria to be instantly notified when the following items become available.

Deal Alerts Created – TermRise March vs. Feb.Rise March vs. Jan.
Home Supplies45%13%
Pressure Washer66%70%
Toilet Paper1734%1672%
Hand Sanitizer8684%21860%
Nintendo Switch56%9%

This list is the direct result of the real trend that items are becoming more and more scarce. Bidets, really? Pollution and high emissions could not get us to change our behavior but a small lack of toilet paper and the French are suddenly geniuses? (Granted they gave us Pasteur, Monet and Luc Besson, but we digress.)

Akin to this are the trending Slickdeals search terms that illustrate a wave of concern regarding specific product availability during the early days of the pandemic.

On-site Search Volume

Toilet Paper687%
Hand Sanitzer4547%
Chair / Office Chair65%
Nintendo Switch26%
Google Wi-Fi241%

While what we spend our money on during a crisis seems to trend and shift, it appears our need for instant gratification never does. Sadly we do not have data that tells us what someone would choose should the Nintendo Switch and Hand Sanitizer become available on the same day. Slickdeals has also gathered information on our impulse purchasing tendencies, which are apparently immune to COVID-19.

Sure, stay-at-home and safer-at-home orders have kept people indoors, as well as closed brick-and-mortar stores across the U.S.
But the coronavirus pandemic hasn’t stopped us from spending money online, specifically impulse buying.

– from Slickdeals

Curse those buy now buttons!

So for all the hemming and hawing about staying home, social distancing, and having our lives upended, it seems that even a deadly disease can’t keep us from our most human desire — consumption.

Stay safe and shop on. 

Decision Counsel

DC Team

We collaborate with our clients to build strategic foundations, deliver enthralling content and accelerate revenue.