eCommerce Peaks, Valleys, and Comebacks: April 2020 Update

Tzipi Avioz - April 22, 2020

In a typical year, April is a relatively quiet month for eCommerce sales, but 2020 isn’t typical. In April, sales on Mirakl-powered Marketplaces are on track to compete with peak holiday months. Here are the key categories that are accelerating and decelerating, plus resurgences and peaks on Mirakl-powered Marketplaces in early April.

Accelerating: Consumer electronics, health & beauty, kids’ toys, and DIY

The top categories & products represent a mix of existing & new bestsellers as consumers enter the second month of staying home: Consumer electronics, previously trending at 4X pre-COVID-19 levels, grew by a further 1.5X in early April. Electronics for both professional and personal use are in play, with laptops, smartphones, desktop computers, gaming computers and iPads at the top of the list.

Health and beauty, previously trending at 3X pre-COVID-19 levels, grew by a further 1.3X. This category hit a new high for average order value this month, with consumers shifting to bigger-ticket items like hair clippers and products for at-home salon services.

Kids’ toys, games, and activities, trending at 1.2X pre-COVID-19 levels, grew by an additional 1.2X in early April. In addition to puzzles and outdoor toys, egg painting kits were a top seller due to the Easter holiday, and inflatable pools are trending as the weather heats up.

DIY grew by an additional 1.2X over pre-COVID-19 levels. Vacuums, tool kits and large appliances still rank among top products, as does outdoor furniture and lawnmowers. Sales of small appliances like sewing machines and bread machines are rising as consumers take on more home projects.

Resurgence: Apparel, jewelry & pets

In the first two weeks of April, there are signs that consumers are preparing to re-engage with non-essential items:

Apparel, which we saw decline slightly below pre-COVID-19 levels, is back up, showing 2X growth over the last two weeks of March. Comfort-centric and basic is the name of the game, with sunglasses, house slippers, PJ sets and leggings ranking high. And while jewelry is still below pre-COVID-19 levels, it’s moving towards normal.

The pets category is showing signs of life as well: it grew 1.8X compared to the previous two weeks, with a variety of products, like aquariums, pet beds, and toys making up demand.

Peaked: sports, cultural goods, home furniture, and grocery

Sales growth in the sports, cultural goods, home furniture, and grocery categories are all slowing, but still growing well above pre-COVID-19 levels:

GMV growth in sports is 40% of what it was in the previous two weeks, which were several hundred percent over pre-COVID-19 levels. Indoor items like treadmills and stationary bikes have fallen in favor of new top products like strength training machines and outdoor cycles.

As consumers acclimate to life at home, GMV growth for cultural goods is at 70% of what it was in the previous two weeks, which were 8X over pre-COVID-19 levels. Similarly, GMV growth in the home furniture category is at 80% of what it was in the previous two weeks, which was 4X over pre-COVID-19 levels as consumers acclimate to life at home.

And finally, the grocery category is showing early signs of a peak as panic buying diminishes. In the first two weeks of April, we saw GMV growth at 90% of what it was in the previous two weeks, and average order value has returned to pre-COVID-19 levels after surging in March.

Peaked (due to low stock): medical supplies

The medical supplies category experienced a 3X increase in GMV during the initial phases of the coronavirus crisis, but GMV growth is now just 60% of the pre-COVID-19 level. The cause: marketplaces can’t keep these in-demand products in stock, meaning that consumers simply aren’t finding the products they want to buy. In fact, demand was so high that some sellers were playing with prices, and marketplace operators were able to place the sellers on hold to avoid price gouging.

Decelerating: travel & transportation continue to drop

Travel and transportation have taken a hit since the beginning of the coronavirus crisis, and sales are still falling. In the automotive category, which includes tires and car parts, GMV growth is dipping into negative levels. In travel, GMV is at just 20% of what it was in the previous two weeks – which was just 1% of pre-COVID-19 levels.

Find out how an online marketplace can elevate your eCommerce business today: contact us!

Tzipi Avioz,
Executive Vice President, Customer Success at Mirakl, Americas and APAC

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