Some 4 in 10 US consumers report that they are buying more items online during the pandemic, with the majority doing so because it allows them to maintain social distancing (59%) and helps them to avoid in-store shopping (58%). This has contributed to a lift in digital commerce’s share of US discretionary consumer spending to a level that’s higher than it’s ever been, per new data from Comscore.
While digital commerce tends to peak during the colder months in Q4 and Q1, Comscore mentioned the coronavirus as a potential contributor to Q1 2020 seeing the highest share on record for digital retail spending.
Meanwhile, the second quarter of 2020 saw the total spent through digital commerce in the US reach $156.0 billion. However, this represented only 8% year-over-year (y-o-y) growth. While this is a drop in growth compared to the double-digit increases seen in the past few years, Comscore’s data shows that increases were on the path to recovery in Q3, with growth rates between July and August 2020 back up to 17% y-o-y and on par with the increases seen in Q4 2019 and Q1 2020.
Mobile Growing Faster Than Desktop
Mobile digital commerce brought in $47.8 billion of the $156.0 billion spent through digital commerce in Q2, accounting for 31% of total digital commerce for the quarter. This is a slightly smaller share than in the previous three quarters, when mobile made up 32% of the total dollars spent in e-commerce. But, just like with overall digital commerce growth, which was seen to recover in July and August, so has mobile’s share — which was up to a 33% share during that time.
Research from earlier this year found that in the last months of 2019, mobile accounted for 59% of sessions on e-commerce sites. And, while still lower than desktop and tablet, its conversion rate was on the rise.
Moreover, Comscore’s data shows that consumers’ digital spend via mobile is growing faster than that of desktop. Total y-o-y growth for mobile retail spending in Q2 stood at 16%, compared to the 5% growth experienced by desktop. However, reflecting the stunted growth seen overall, this growth was quite a bit less than the 23% y-o-y growth from the year-earlier period.
E-commerce Grocery Spending on the Rise
Shoppers did a lot of that grocery shopping on their mobiles. Indeed, the latest data shows that in Q1, Grocery shopping via mobile surpassed that of mobile Apparel shopping, with this being the first time that any category had exceeded Apparel on mobile. Q2 only widened the gap, with Grocery spending reaching $13.1 billion, more than double the $5.7 billion spent on Apparel.
Unsurprisingly, the pandemic has had plenty of impact on the growth of digital commerce spending in the Food/Baby/Pet category. Though both desktop and mobile spending in this category grew during the first six months of the pandemic, the largest growth was seen with mobile, which saw growth peak at close to 30% in May.
That said, one area where desktop dominated in digital commerce in Q2 was Furniture, Appliance & Equipment. Last year, mobile accounted for close to one-third (31%) of US digital spend in this category. However, this year it saw slightly negative growth, while desktop spending grew significantly.
The full Comscore presentation and data can be accessed online here.
About the Data: Results are based on Comscore Digital Commerce Measurement data.