As Consumers Buy Online Inflation Follows, Index Shows

Online grocery sales skyrocketed in April, Adobe DEI says

Online grocery sales saw a 110 percent increase in activity in April, according to Adobe’s Digital Economy Index (DEI), numbers spurred by the coronavirus‘s push toward people avoiding human contact.

That category isn’t an anomaly. Online sales as a whole continue to dwarf physical retail, the DEI stated.

“This data will be providing … a combination of pricing and product-level category data to help economic institutions better determine which parts of the digital economy can best predict inflation, as well as how consumer baskets are shifting,” the DEI stated.

Online electronics sales shot up 58 percent in April, and daily online book sales doubled.

In terms of apparel and clothing, prices were down in April, with little indication that the numbers could pick back up in the summer due to coronavirus-related uncertainty.

The sales were up by 34 percent online, though, with a focus heavily shifted toward comfortable clothes. Pajamas saw a 143 percent increase in sales, while pants sales decreased 13 percent, jackets decreased by 33 percent and bras decreased by 12 percent. Those numbers are most likely connected to the fact that, on lockdown, everyone is mainly staying inside and unconcerned about dressing up as they would be for going out in public.

The pandemic is also pushing people to engage in creative endeavors, as indicated by the 459 percent rise in sales of audio mixers, microphones, pop filters and other such items that could be used to record podcasts or music, the DEI said.

In keeping with the more casual and creative-driven spending, beer and wine sales through digital means also rose 74 percent between March 11 and April 21, the DEI stated.

“Consumers are at a stage where they want to wind down and kick-back with a glass of wine, in order get comfortable with shelter-in-place for an extended period of time,” the index reads.

The Index’s findings aren’t surprising; PYMNTS reported that people have adapted to the digital life on the whole, with almost 40 percent more people shopping online as opposed to early March before the pandemic hit.

With the shift to digital will come new adjustments for retailers and brands. They’ll have to find new ways to reach people who are spending more time shopping digitally.