From Sanitizer to Sporting Goods: The Evolution of eCommerce Amidst the Pandemic
When the Coronavirus pandemic began in America in early 2020, no one could truly understand how it would impact lives for the short-term, and potentially years to come. Kount had a unique opportunity: a view into the transactions for 10,000+ large online retailers, many of which began seeing shifting demand for products and services.
In order to gain a better understanding of the pandemic’s impact on spending habits, Kount began following the trends, updating them each week on the eCommerce tracker. It has proven some interesting findings, which have generated media coverage.
eCommerce Tracker Trends
When the pandemic was declared, the first evident trend was sales of disinfectants, like hand sanitizer and sanitizing wipes, as people looked to keep themselves, their families, and their homes free of germs. Sales of hand sanitizer shot up 1244% in March.
But then something unique happened. Many companies around the country began sending workers home, to attempt a new way of remote work for an unknown amount of time. Kount saw sales of home office furniture and electronics skyrocket, as people began setting up home offices for the long haul. The Wall Street Journal took note of Kount’s Chief Customer Experience Officer Rich Stuppy’s office set-up, complete with an under-desk treadmill, which he put together after stay safe-at-home orders were put into effect in Idaho.
But as the pandemic swept through the country, a consumer shift occurred, from necessities, to items that make people comfortable, to items that keep families entertained.
For example, pet supply sales began to take off as families welcomed home new furry friends and sought out items to make sure their pets’ needs were met, jumping 711% from 2019 to 2020.
Then Kount began noticing another interesting sales trend that differed from historical patterns: a spike in sporting goods online purchases.
Kount recently provided the Associated Press with into sporting good industry sales. The impact depends on the focus of the business, with stores insight that rely heavily on in-store sales taking a big hit.
However, for those that offer sporting goods for sale over the web, according to the New York Times, many are thriving. The week of April 19th showed a 599% increase in sporting goods transactions from the same week in 2019, and folks took notice.
“We might see 5% here, 5% there, never something like that,” says Kount’s Chief Customer Experience Officer Rich Stuppy in an interview published in the Washington Post. “People are not spending money, they’re not going out to restaurants, so it’s like, what can I do? Maybe I’ll go get that driver I wanted.”
Preventing fraud in the expanding digital world
It’s impossible to predict exactly what consumer spending changes we will see as the pandemic draws on, yet the way consumers shop is fundamentally changed. While we may still go to traditional brick and mortar stores to pick up items we need, a massive shift has already begun to take shape where more and more people are turning to eCommerce to purchase things they need, or place an order ahead of time for a quick pick up.
As quickly as this trend has arrived, so has fraud that has adapted with these changes. As new threats arise, businesses that rely on digital sales need to make sure they are protected from fraud.