The impact of coronavirus on ecommerce is wide-ranging and complex. Store closures are forcing consumers to shop online but even some online stores have had to close indefinitely.
Many brands face the challenge of unprecedented online demand met with unpredictable supply chains and safety concerns for employees in warehouses and distribution. Others face dwindling consumer confidence and delays in large purchases, particularly in travel and leisure.
Though there are winners and losers, there’s an acceptance that buying behaviour is changing long-term, and it’s going to be positive for ecommerce.
With our Search Trends in Ecommerce dashboard, we are providing not only a snapshot of the industry in time, but to display daily updates to see whether search trends sustain over time.
In our report, we explore three verticals: fashion, food and home. Use it to:
1. Benchmark your search performance versus key players in each vertical
Using Google Trends, we evaluate the year-on-year search interest for top brands in each vertical.
2. Explore what’s trending in your industry
We’ve hand-picked the keywords with the highest growth in search interest, for you to follow their trends over time. We also display the most popular keywords from specific verticals from the last 30 days, and this is updated daily.
3. Determine the shifts in search behaviour and understand the motivations behind them
Since the report follows year-on-year trends over time, you’ll be able to see how search interest changes over time as we recover from this crisis. Alongside this, we’ve used many other reports to understand the motivations behind the search and we encourage you to do the same!
Fashion search trends
Online fashion retailers, from high street to luxury, are experiencing a downward trend in demand for clothing and accessories. Retailers such as NEXT, and many others, are having to close both offline and online operations temporarily after struggling to keep distribution and fulfilment centres open. As a result of store closures, you might expect online fashion retailers to see search interest peak but that hasn’t been the case. They are being confronted with dwindling consumer confidence, as 65% of consumers expect to decrease their spending on clothing.
As of today (14/04/2020), search interest in the last 30 days is down 30% year-on-year for ‘men’s clothing’ and 50% down year-on-year for ‘women’s clothing’. The stark contrast in search interest for men’s and women’s clothing is interesting to retailers; search behaviour hasn’t changed as significantly for men searching for fashion as women.
A study by the globalwebindex found that 15% of consumers worldwide are delaying purchasing luxury items such as designer clothes. Across multiple verticals, larger purchases are taking a hit, but the search trends dashboard suggests searches for both luxury and high street fashion have been hit equally. In the last 30 days, searches for designer fashion e-tailer Net-a-Porter are down 23% and similarly searches for ASOS are down 28%.
Food search trends
Before the coronavirus outbreak, 1 in 5 UK internet users aged 18 and above were buying their groceries online. Now demand for food delivery of all types is accelerating as consumers stay home on government advice. Supermarkets in particular are seeing exceptional growth in online delivery. As of today, the trends report shows that search interest for ‘Asda delivery’ and ‘Tesco delivery’ are up 2,580% and 2,490% on last year respectively.
The unprecedented demand for food delivery is also putting food box delivery brands into the spotlight. With many supermarket delivery slots booked well in advance, brands like HelloFresh and Gousto have been popular alternatives to traditional grocery delivery. According to a spokesperson at Gousto, they are expecting to deliver four million meals to 380,000 UK households over the next four weeks.
Despite widespread restaurant closures, search interest in takeaway delivery keywords is significantly up year-on-year. This has been supported by the rise of food delivery services such as Just Eat, Uber Eats and Deliveroo in recent years.
Many larger food chains, including McDonalds, have closed their doors yet search interest in food delivery apps has soared. Deliveroo is experiencing a 63% increase in search interest helped by initiatives such as no-contact delivery to ease welfare concerns.
Home search trends
In the 7 days prior to publishing, search interest for ‘homeware’ vs last year has varied from -20% to +15%. While some homeware categories are seeing exceptional growth in search interest, store closures are clearly leaving a mark on overall demand for furniture and homeware.
As a result of the lockdown measures, the UK has seen a remote working boom. To adjust to home working, consumers are heading to Google to find office equipment such as ‘chairs’ and ‘desks’ to make their home workspace more comfortable. As parents try to entertain and educate their children from home, there has also been a significant rise in children’s furniture such as ‘kids’ tables’ (up +62% year-on-year).
While furniture stores such as IKEA and Dunelm have had to close, it has presented an opportunity for online retailers such as Wayfair and MADE. Search interest for Wayfair is up 17% and there are reports that their business doubled in March, following gross revenue increases of just under 20% in January and February.
Search behaviour for garden products and accessories has also been interesting. The prospect of remaining stuck at home for a prolonged period of time has presented homeowners with a chance to renovate their gardens. In the last week, this has been made even more attractive by the improvement in weather, with searches for ‘garden chairs’ are up by 95% on last year.
We’re also seeing record highs for users searching plants, seeds, compost and how-to keywords on gardening, as DIY activities soar.
Make sure to check out our blog for more ecommerce updates, and follow AGY47 on LinkedIn!