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August 2020 Summary of Retail Ecommerce Trends

As we round out the summer in anticipation of the holiday season, let’s look at how the month of August 2020 compared to August 2019 across different ecommerce metrics. The year over year changes for this past month are as follows:

Food and Grocery Retail Category

  • Website conversions rose 7%.
  • Transactions increased 3%.
  • The average order value (AOV) rose 6%.
  • Percentage of mobile orders jumped 57%.

As New Jersey recently became one of the last states to allow indoor dining to resume at a limited capacity, people across the states have resumed eating more meals outside their homes. While the restaurant business is not running at the same pace it was prior to the pandemic, the option for a variety in meals has prompted less of a demand for online food and grocery orders. While the Food and Grocery retail category still saw growth throughout August 2020, it is nowhere near as explosive as it was at the onset of the pandemic. 

However, as the holiday season quickly approaches – and is celebrated through a variety of shared meals and baked goods – food and grocery retailers should get an early start in promoting their products and delivery services. They can capitalize on the longer consumer journey by delving into recipe and food blogs to help inspire consumers to try new meals.

Apparel Retail Category

  • Website conversions jumped 29%.
  • Transactions rose 29%.
  • AOV showed almost no change, rising just 1%.
  • Percentage of mobile orders increased just 1%.

July 2020 was an overall stronger month for the Apparel retail category than August 2020 in terms of growth; however, clothing sales are still on the rise after a tumultuous start at the beginning of the pandemic. Between back-to-school and the end of summer sales, as well as opportunities for consumers to frequent restaurants, malls, and other social venues, retailers have more of an occasion to showcase their products. Several stores already started their Labor Day Sales, to help kick off a new holiday season.

Inventory information regarding sizing and color options should be readily available on your website so shoppers know what to expect when browsing your site. 

Gifting Retail Category

  • Website conversions increased 21%.
  • Transactions jumped 40%.
  • AOV increased just 3%.
  • Percentage of mobile orders rose 19%.

The Gifting retail category has had a breakthrough over the course of the coronavirus pandemic, offering a fun and unique way for people to stay in touch with each other and share moments of love and compassion. Amid the uncertainty of the holiday season, the role of gifting will continue to play a prominent role in how consumers communicate with loved ones. 

A streamlined mobile store and gifting options organized by occasion will help casual searchers and new to online shoppers easily navigate your website to find the perfect gift.

Home Furnishing Retail Category

  • Website conversions increased 12%.
  • Transactions skyrocketed 83%.
  • AOV decreased by 3%.
  • Percentage of mobile orders dropped 5%.

The Home Furnishing retail category has been experiencing phenomenal growth over the past few months and ends summer with a strong number of conversions and transactions.

Labor Day is a great opportunity for Home Furnishing retailers to attract new customers with deals on furniture. With the holidays anticipated to be largely homebound this season, people may want to redecorate their homes as they host celebrations. As these shoppers will most likely plan ahead of the early holiday season, it is important for retailers to get a jumpstart on sharing design inspiration and reaching new customers. 

Pet Supplies Retail Category

  • Website conversions rose 7%.
  • Transactions increased 39%.
  • AOV decreased by 3%.
  • Percentage of mobile orders increased 8%.

The upcoming holiday season is a special time for our pets as well as for us – and it’s a special time we can share with our pets. As the coronavirus pandemic prompted a dramatic increase in the number of fostered animals, this holiday season is a unique time for new pet parents. Optimized content on caring for new pets and basic products can go a long way to help Pet Supplies retailers find these new pet parents who are searching for tips and beginner supplies to make their pet happy and comfortable. 

Tools and Hardware Retail Category

  • Website conversions decreased by 1%.
  • Transactions jumped 65%.
  • AOV rose 14%.
  • Percentage of mobile orders rose 13%.

The coronavirus pandemic kickstarted an interest or renewal in various hobbies as people had more time to cultivate their garden, spruce up their home, design model kits and cosplays, and more. These new facets could play an important role in the upcoming holiday season. As mobile orders rose year over year between August 2019 and August 2020, retailers of the Tools and Hardware category could benefit from offering mobile sales to capture impulse buyers. Time limited deals off a nice incentive to get consumers clicking, so research the best time of day when your shoppers are converting to capture their attention.

Further Reading into Holiday Insights