Key Findings From Adobe's April Digital Economy Index
This week, Adobe released its latest Adobe Digital Economic Index, and the data revealed some interesting findings about consumers' e-commerce behavior during the COVID-19 pandemic. According to Adobe's DEI, apparel saw the largest April price decrease in over five years. The average price growth for April has been -2.9 percent; this year that growth is -12 percent. Prices in apparel fell earlier than expected in April, as retailers looked to clear inventory and gain sales.
Overall, April e-commerce sales are soaring. Adobe's DEI revealed that U.S. e-commerce saw a 49 percent increase in daily sales. With consumers spending more time at home, electronics sales are up 58 percent, daily online book sales doubled, and online grocery has seen a 110 percent boost in daily online sales.
The data also shows that consumers are spending more on comfortable clothes they can wear around the house. Pajamas sales increased 143 percent, while pants sales and bra sales dropped at least 12 percent. However, consumers are looking ahead to summer, as sales of both shorts and T-shirts increased.
Consumers who normally don't shop online are turning to e-commerce sites at this time, causing online commerce to change, possibly forever. “As online is absorbing the offline retail economy, some inflation is being observed for the first time in years, especially in categories that have consistently experienced online deflation, such as electronics," Taylor Schreiner, director, Adobe Digital Insights, said in an email sent to Total Retail. "Americans are used to things getting cheaper online, but that trend may be ending, and online commerce may never be the same. It appears that COVID-19 has accelerated that process.”
To read the entire Adobe Digital Economic Index report and its findings, click here.
Total Retail's Take: It's great (and expected) that e-commerce sales are up during this pandemic, but it's not enough to offset the losses retailers are seeing from closed brick-and-mortar stores. Some of the findings, such as consumers spending more on pajamas than pants, shows that comfort is a big priority for people quarantined at home right now. It will be interesting to see if first-time e-commerce buyers stick to this method of shopping post-COVID-19, or if they'll be anxious to get back into brick-and-mortar stores. Like Schreiner said, consumers are use to spending less on e-commerce purchases, but with that channel becoming the only outlet for many at this time, that's changing — and it may change e-commerce forever.
Ashley Chiaradio is the Senior Content Strategist at Total Retail. Ashley has been creating content for more than 7 years, and provides a unique insight in covering the retail industry having worked directly for retailers in the past. She’s passionate about profiling women leadership in the space.