Online Shopping Trends – Lockdown Edition

posted by 3 years ago in Covid-19

A couple of months ago, we created the eCommerce 100, our ranking of the top 100 online brands in the country, based on factors such as search volume and social following.

However, a lot has changed in the world in that short time, with the coronavirus outbreak drastically changing our shopping habits and driving more people than ever before to shop online.

With that in mind, we’ve now analysed the top 500 eCommerce brands in the UK, to see how the pandemic has affected search interest in the seven weeks since lockdown began to see which brands have gained interest and which have seen a fall in searches.

Brands with the Biggest Search IncreaseBrands with the Biggest Search Increase

 Brand Search Increase  Sector
 B&Q 200%  Home Improvement
 Wickes 163%  Home Improvement
 Laithwaite’s 151%  Wine
 Virgin Wines 147%  Wine
 Homebase 145%  Home Improvement
 Evans Cycles 145%  Sports Equipment
 JTF Mega Discount   Warehouse 136%  Discount Store
 Iceland 129%  Supermarket
 Naked Wines 129%  Wine
 Morrisons 126%  Supermarket
 Romwe 126%  Fashion
 The Range 120%  Homeware/Furniture
 Wyevale Garden   Centres 117%  Garden Centre
 Mole Valley Farmers 111%  Building/Farming Supplies
 BonPrix 104%  Fashion
 Boux Avenue 102%  Lingerie
 Jewson 102%  Building/Farming Supplies
 Nintendo 100%  Consumer Electronics
 Cult Beauty 97%  Beauty
 LaptopsDirect 94%  Consumer Electronics

DIY and hardware stores were among those deemed to be ‘essential’ when the government implemented its lockdown measures on March 23rd, with many using the time stuck at home to carry out those home improvements that they’ve been putting off.

The top two brands to see the biggest increases in searches were both home improvement stores, with searches for B&Q tripling since lockdown began, especially since they reopened their stores on April 23rd, followed by Wickes, with an increase of 163%.

And with pubs and bars shut for the foreseeable future, another sector which has seen huge increases is alcohol, with Laithwaite’s and Virgin Wines both seeing search increases of over 140%.

Brands with the Biggest Search DecreaseBrands with the Biggest Search Decrease

 Brand Search Increase  Sector
 Slaters -81%  Fashion
 TK Maxx -76%  Department Store
 Moss Bros. -76%  Fashion
 See Tickets -69%  Tickets
 Max Spielmann -66%  Photo Printing
 Phase Eight -64%  Fashion
 Snow+Rock -62%  Outdoor Clothing/Equipment
 Tripp -62%  Luggage
 Calendar Club -59%  Calendars
 Ellis Brigham -59%  Outdoor Clothing/Equipment
 size? -58%  Fashion
 The White Company -58%  Fashion
 Warren James -57%  Jewellery
 Burton Snowboards -57%  Sports Equipment
 ScS -55%  Homeware/Furniture
 F.Hinds -55%  Jewellery
 Furniture Village -54%  Homeware/Furniture
 Burton Menswear -54%  Fashion
 Bathstore -53%  Appliances
 The Edinburgh Woollen Mill -52%  Fashion

While some of the hardest hit brands were those in fashion, the picture varies a lot across the sector. For example, those specialising in formal clothing such as Slaters and Moss Bros. have seen decreases of up to 81%, but many others have actually seen searches increase, with shoppers looking for items such as comfy loungewear for their time during lockdown.

Other brands to see a large decrease include TK Maxx (76%) which shut its online store on March 26th (which has since reopened), See Tickets (69%) and Phase Eight (64%).

Sectors with the Biggest Search Increase

Sectors with the Biggest Search Increase
 Sector  Average Search Change
 Alcohol  129%
 Garden Centre  103%
 Building/Farming Supplies  80%
 Supermarket  73%
 Home Improvement  55%
 Vaporizers  53%
 Discount Store  50%
 Pharmacy  43%
 Pet Supplies  36%
 Sportswear  36%
 Food/Nutrition  28%
 Beauty  23%
 Sports Equipment  23%
 Tools  23%
 Video Games  20%
 Lingerie  19%
 Marketplace  19%
 Software  18%
 Coffee  18%
 Gifts  16%

With pubs and bars shut down across the country, online sales of alcohol have been booming, with searches for wine delivery services more than doubling (129%) in the last couple of months.

Another sector which has seen searches double is garden centres, which were among the first non-essential businesses to reopen their doors, with searches for building and farming supplies also on the rise by 80% as many in these trades continued to work.

The first few days of the outbreak saw lots of stockpiling of groceries and other essentials, with searches for supermarkets jumping by 73%, including traditional stores such as Morrisons and Iceland, but also online alternatives such as Ocado.

Sectors with the Biggest Search Decrease

Sectors with the Biggest Search Decrease
 Sector   Average Search Change
 Tickets  -69%
 Luggage  -62%
 Calendars  -59%
 Shoe Repairs  -49%
 Catering Supplies  -45%
 Party Store  -42%
 Safety Equipment  -35%
 Accessories  -33%
 Jewellery  -31%
 Watches  -30%
 Outdoor Clothing/Equipment  -29%
 Appliances  -25%
 Fragrances  -23%
 Coins  -19%
 Glasses  -17%
 Photo Printing  -14%
 Fashion  -8%
 Books  -6%
 Footwear  -5%
 Department Store  1%

However, the lockdown has had a devastating effect for many industries too. For example, with live music and sporting events and holidays abroad not expected to return for some time, searches for ticketing sites such as See Tickets and luggage retailers such as Tripp have declined by 69% and 62% respectively.

Other industries to take a hit include jewellery (a 31% decrease) and outdoor clothing and equipment suppliers such as Mountain Warehouse and Craghoppers.