‘Buy Online, Pick Up in Store’ Business Rises as Consumers Limit Shopping Trips in Coronavirus Era

As shoppers stay home during the coronavirus pandemic, they’re swapping their physical shopping baskets for digital ones.

According to data from Adobe Analytics, overall e-commerce in the U.S. rose 25% from March 13 to March 15, compared to the period from March 1 to March 11. The rise was led by the grocery category, with online grocery jumping 100% on a daily sales basis as shoppers practice social distancing and stockpile necessities, such as cleaning supplies and canned goods.

As customers limit their in-person shopping interactions amidst coronavirus fears, buy online, pick up in store (BOPIS) is also getting a boost. BOPIS orders spiked 62% year over year from Feb. 24 to March 21, according to Adobe.

But even though online sales are up overall, fashion retailers may not be seeing big gains in their e-commerce business. According to Adobe, the “average online apparel store” has seen a 13% drop in sales from March 12 through March 25, compared with a Feb. 1 through March 10 baseline.

Many fashion retailers, including Nike, Nordstrom and Macy’s, have temporarily shut all U.S. outposts amidst the coronavirus crisis. Meanwhile, purchases of cleaning supplies, nonperishable food items and over-the-counter medications have experienced large increases, with fitness equipment also getting a 55% boost.

According to Johns Hopkins data, over 165,000 Americans have tested positive for COVID-19, the disease the coronavirus causes, and more than 3,000 Americans have died. As the nation looks to slow the spread of the virus, nearly three-quarters of the U.S. population is living under “shelter in place” orders, including residents of California, New York and Illinois. Grocery stores, gas stations and other “essential” retailers remain open in states with strict regulations, while “nonessential” businesses, including fashion and footwear stores, have been ordered to close temporarily.

The Adobe Digital Economy Index, released today, is based on over 1 trillion visits to sites and over 100 million product SKUs in 18 categories. The data set includes transactions from 80 of the top 100 U.S. e-commerce sites.

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