New research from Quantum Metric shows online orders have surged by 108 percent year-over-year in February.
As many consumers prepare to stay inside for an unknown period of time, stockpiling goods and panic-buying has led consumers to place more orders. Revenue growth rate peaked the week of Feb. 17 with order growth rate peaking the following week and a year-over-year conversion increase of 8.8 percent.
The report gives three reasons why consumers prefer online shopping at this time. The first being consumer sourcing when local stores are out of stock on items given delayed shipments from China. The second is a rise in consumer stockpiling and retailer options that allow “ship to you” to save shoppers from driving to different stores. Finally, the report notes many consumers may prefer online shopping as they make the decision to avoid busy public places.
However, while more orders are being placed, they are accompanied by smaller cart sizes, averaging an order value decrease of 31 percent.
And while the boxes might be lighter, there will be more deliveries to make for logistics companies. According to Quantum Metric, this behavior will put a strain on shipping and logistic companies, with UPS and FedEx feeling added pressure to deliver under uneasy conditions. The company notes that “shoppers are purchasing quickly to be sure that their items are in stock and can be delivered before further shutdowns prevent receiving their orders.”
While purchase rates did experience an increase, the company says this does not guarantee retailers a great quarter, though it could result in positive first quarter revenue impacts for select categories.
Quantum Metric’s data is based on the analysis of 5.5 billion anonymous and aggregated retailers online and mobile visits in the U.S. during the time between Jan. 1, 2019, and March 9, 2020.
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