Coronavirus Shopping Trends: 8 Popular Product Categories Right Now

 

Over the past month, more countries around the world have enforced social distancing measures. Consumers have been adapting their lifestyles to the new normal, which means a lot more time spent at home.

Imagining the Great Indoors

The new experience of “the great indoors” has led to significant changes in consumer trends, too, which has put pressure on businesses to find ways to adapt. While people maintain social distancing, video calls are booming. The more time they spend at home, the more consumers are starting to think about the things that matter each day: working remote, learning remote, exercising at home, cooking at home, entertaining the kids, and spending time with the family.

Using our latest analysis, which includes data from Criteo’s Shopper Graph that covers approximately 2 billion monthly active shoppers, we’re highlighting which product categories have started to see booms in sales.

The Omnichannel Update

As soon as the social distancing economy started, our data showed the effect between offline and online stores. Last Wednesday, we reported that online sales in the US shot up by 91% from March 23-29. In this past week’s analysis, our data shows that the online-offline gap has widened even more: Online sales of retailers with both brick-and-mortar and online stores were well over double their January levels, hitting an increase of 133%.

coronavirus shopping trends omnichannel retailers

 

Product Category Standouts

With online purchases taking a sudden and significant lead, we’ve also seen impressive shifts in products purchased. These trend lines all started to occur as soon as social distancing and city lockdowns were put in place.

In the US, which now leads the world in confirmed coronavirus cases, hand sanitizer has been flying off the shelves since early February. The visualization below shows the impact of coronavirus on Hand Soap sales on our network of retailers:

Source: Criteo Retail Media Network, US

 

Here are eight other key product categories that are seeing some of the biggest jumps:

1. Webcams

Logitech, a company that dominates the webcam space, is sold out. Other major retailers are completely out of stock. From taking calls with classmates and colleagues to capturing a livestream of farm animals, the popularity and creative uses of webcams lately are astounding.

Criteo sales data shows the surge day-by-day. Last week, sales of webcams went sky high in France (+1830%) and Australia (+1083%), compared to the first four weeks in January. They also rose in the US (+458%), Brazil (+437%), Germany (+693%), Poland (+379%), the UK (+258%), and Russia (+109%).

coronavirus shopping trends webcams

 

2. Sleepwear & Loungewear

The rise of video conferencing has made casual apparel, especially from the waist down, the go-to choice for business meetings in a work-from-home environment. Movie stars are posting photos of their families in matching quarantine outfits. Pajama pants, sweatpants, and leggings are all strong contenders for consumers hanging out indoors.

With fewer places to go, consumers are starting to dress up less and think more about comfort. This past week, Sleepwear & Loungewear sales rose in Australia (+184%), Brazil (+126%), Korea (+80%), and Italy (+79%), compared to January.

coronavirus shopping trends apparel

 

3. Shaving & Grooming Gear

Hair salons and barbershops are among many businesses that are temporarily closed due to coronavirus. With no professional stylist to go to, consumers are taking their locks—and those of their families—into their own hands. All things shaving and grooming have started to become do-it-yourself projects. The sales reflect it.

Shaving & Grooming items spiked in Turkey (+312%), Portugal (+250%), France (+167%), Italy (+166%), the UK (+138%), Poland (+118%), Australia (+79%), Spain (+64%), Germany (+62%), Brazil (+31%), and Russia (+27%), compared to the first month in the year. In the US, sales of Hair Clippers & Trimmers went up by +241%.

coronavirus shopping trends personal care

 

4. Small Animal Supplies

Coronavirus news caused pet adoption rates in the US to climb and inspired people to foster animals left in shelters. For all the companionship and comfort they provide, many pets seem to be well taken care of, and pet owners also rely more on online stores than ever. Not only that, more time spent at home means more time spent with pets.

Sales of Small Animal Supplies, such as Bedding, Food, Cages, and Treats, went up in the US (+274%), Germany (+263%), Spain (+140%), France (+130%), Australia (+101%), the UK (+76%), and Japan (+9%).

coronavirus shopping trends pets

 

5. Baking Items

According to Google Trends, searches for ‘’banana bread” have gone up 54% globally in the last month. One of many good old-fashioned hobbies making a comeback— aided in part by a wealth of suggested recipes, news articles, and foodie blogs to refer to—baking is a wholesome at-home activity that can bring on feelings of comfort, control, and simpler times. And, of course, the lack of restaurants has put a new emphasis on learning how to prepare your own food.

Sales of Baking items, like Batter & Cocoa Mixes, Bread Crumbs, Pie & Pastry Fillings, and Cookie Decorating Kits, increased in Italy (+789%), the US (+290%), Spain (+289%), Australia (+273%), the UK (+223%), Brazil (+179%), France (+111%), and Poland (+83%).

coronavirus shopping trends baking

 

6. Gaming Equipment

According to Verizon, video game usage in the US went up 75% a week after the WHO declared the coronavirus outbreak a pandemic. Self-isolation led to a lot more time for video games, especially as offices have encouraged people to work from home as much as possible.

Last week, the Gaming category, which includes products like consoles, controllers, and other hardware, saw sales grow in the UK (+486%), the US (+338%), Spain (+283%), France (+262%), Germany (+229%), Brazil (+164%), Russia (+143%), Italy (+77%), and Japan (+59%).

coronavirus shopping trends gaming

 

7. Outdoor Furniture

Contemplating the great indoors has also started to make consumers think about how to create a space that offers some semblance of the great outdoors. Consumers lucky enough to have their own outdoor spaces are readying them for social distancing at home as the weather warms up. Yards, patios, and gardens are getting decked out with things like folding chairs, stools and tables, outdoor tables, seating, and furniture covers.

Sales of Outdoor Furniture went through the roof in the UK (+1908%), Germany (+956%), and also rose in the US (+428%), and France (+303%). In South Korea, Outdoor Seating sales climbed +167%.
coronavirus shopping trends outdoor furniture

 

8. Exercise Bands

A growing number of gyms are temporarily closed due to coronavirus, and consumers are finding alternative ways to stay fit. In the spirit of solo workout routines, enter Exercise Bands— stretchy pieces of rubber that provide a lot of muscle-developing resistance in confined spaces.

Exercise bands were up in Germany (+725%), the UK (+504%), Australia (+488%), the US (+86%), and Poland (+82%), compared to the first four weeks of the year.

coronavirus shopping trends exercise

 

Improving the Homebound Experience

Consumer behavior is changing as more people practice social distancing at home. They’re looking for advice and recommendations on how to enhance every aspect of the homebound experience. If you’re a marketer, think about how your offerings can make your customers’ lives easier, more fun, or more comfortable under these new constraints.

 

What Marketers Can Do

  1. Keep a close eye on category trends. Pay attention to what’s happening in your market and on your website, and continue to monitor trends each week. Focus on areas that are currently expanding such as remote work, education, home exercise, and entertainment.
  2. Drive conversions with context. Build campaigns around products most relevant for your customers. Change call-to-actions to focus on delivery options, inventory, or experience.
  3. Engage your audience. As people spend more time at home and are looking to be entertained, use interactive ad formats to engage with your ideal customers. See a few Criteo ads in action here.

Whether we’re working from our offices or our kitchen tables, Criteo is here and ready to help you keep your ad campaigns effective, relevant, and personal.

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Criteo Product Insights Finder

You can also investigate the numbers yourself with the interactive Criteo Product Insights Finder. Pick a country and the product category you’re interested in to see the most recent data:

Michelle Pruett

Michelle is an ice cream enthusiast who writes about tech, trends, and culture. Her work has been featured in Entrepreneur, Business Insider, The Motley Fool, The Huffington Post, AdWeek, MediaPost, eMarketer, Luxury Daily, Domino, DuJour, and more. She's lived on three continents and is proud to be a New Yorker at heart.