COVID-19: Looking Back on E-Commerce Impact

bar graph graphic
Published on
May 1, 2020
Written by
Elodie Huston
Written by
No items found.
No items found.
Thank you! You've been subscribed.
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.

We’re looking back at the past 90 days of data to understand the impact of COVID-19 on e-commerce—and sharing the most valuable insights we’ve drawn over the past three months.

In early March, Attentive launched our COVID-19: E-Commerce Trends & Tactics microsite—using anonymized data from over 1,000 of our customers—to help brands and organizations navigate these uncharted times and understand changing consumer behaviors. Each week, we update our comprehensive data across 15 verticals and draw actionable insights to help marketers create successful mobile strategies.

Now, as the effects of COVID-19 continue to impact all facets of our daily lives, we’re looking back at data over the past 90 days to understand the shifting trends that have dominated online sales, and where e-commerce is headed. To help paint a more comprehensive picture, we’re sharing month-over-month data—as well as daily sales trends—to illustrate how consumer behaviors have rapidly shifted in such a short time frame.

Online sales continue to trend up as shoppers turn to e-commerce

Many consumers are purchasing items they would have typically bought in person—like grocery items—online for the first time. In March, when COVID-19 first started affecting buying behaviors in the US, consumers gravitated towards “essentials” like food and beverage items, home and kitchen supplies, pet food, and basic personal care items. These sales led to a 27% increase in overall e-commerce sales for March compared to February.

Throughout April, however, consumers have shifted towards more “discretionary” purchases, driving an increase in sales for beauty products, home decor & furnishings, and electronics. April e-commerce sales are currently pacing to be up 31.73% compared to March.


Shoppers are value-conscious

Regardless of the category, we’ve seen that consumers are very value-driven at this time. Brands who offer incentives—like percentages or dollars off, free shipping, or gifts with purchase—are driving action and seeing immediate returns. Even if some categories may not be top-of-mind for consumers right now, brands can still drive significant revenue by sharing helpful perks and incentives with their shoppers.

Consumers want to give back to their communities—and hope to make an impact through their purchases

Finally, consumers want to get involved in philanthropic initiatives. As people band together to support their communities in different ways, they want to know that their personal purchases are making an impact. Brands who are starting—or highlighting already existing—philanthropic initiatives are incentivizing shoppers who want to make purposeful purchases.

We’ll continue to monitor the impact of COVID-19 on e-commerce brands and share updates with you each week. Visit the microsite to learn more, and sign up for text alerts to be the first to know about updates.

Plus, we’re donating $10 to Feeding America for every text sign-up—help us reach our goal of $25,00 (we’ve already donated over $15,000)!


Related Articles