If a tree falls in the forest and no one is there, does it still make a sound? In the same vein, if you buy new clothes but are stuck indoors with no one to show them off to, was there any point in buying them at all? Seemingly not, if a new report on the current e-commerce landscape is to be believed.
Analytics powerhouse Stackline has reviewed e-commerce sales across the U.S. and compiled a list of the Top 100 Gaining and Top 100 Declining categories in March. As one would imagine, the coronavirus pandemic means the results are starkly different from the same time last year. Yes, not only are we thirsty for face masks and dried pasta, but for home fitness products, office supplies, and — no doubt owed to the twee legacy of The Great British Bake Off — bread machines. Unsurprisingly, there was also a surge in demand for disposable gloves, hand sanitizer, and cold medicine. Oh, and then there's ping pong.
As we funnel money into leveling up our lockdown forts, apparel has been put on the back burner. Wedding season has been canceled or delayed, which means the formalwear category — including bridal and men’s suiting — has taken a battering. There's been a slump in demand for men's outerwear and swimwear, too, while lockdown and travel bans mean luggage and suitcases have been hit hardest. But hey, if there's a silver lining, then perhaps you might soon be able to cop a RIMOWA Cabin Case for the low. Maybe even get a discounted pair of designer sunnies to go with it, too.
The data is hardly surprising — consumer shopping behavior has simply shifted to meet the needs of more time spent at home (if there's one big shock, it's that toilet paper, that great precious resource of our time, failed to crack the top 10). Stackline didn't specify what data set its results are based on, but after doing a bit of online sleuthing, I found a comment from its CEO, Michael Lagoni, who confirmed that his company collects sales data from "large online retailers like Amazon and Walmart" across 400 million products every day. Whether that includes sportswear powerhouses like Nike and adidas is unknown. Regardless, such figures should always be taken with a pinch of salt.