Outdoor Sales Are Soaring During COVID-19 Coronavirus Outbreak

Paul Capriolo

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March 24, 2020

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As the US continues to understand and define a new normal with the Coronavirus pandemic, the reactions of its citizens are clear in how their shopping behaviors are changing. Not only have purchases dramatically shifted towards online ecommerce with social distancing practices in every state, but certain categories are emerging as clear winners as the nation reacts and is staying close to home.

With the help of our SMART types AI-driven categorization tool, we dove into what categories saw the greatest sales spikes in recent weeks across online purchases. (Read more on our SMART Types system that allows us–and our merchants–to easily analyze and manage product categories across sales channels.)

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Sales for Outdoor Categories Rise 500% 

Since the turn of the New Year when the COVID-19 Coronavirus started gaining traction in the US, the outdoors category had seen a spike of 500% (as noted in a prior post - Ecommerce Trends During the COVID-19 Coronavirus Pandemic). What the data reflects is how people are looking to outdoor activities as a “loophole solution” to social distancing and isolation mandates. (Finding a positive spin to this otherwise dire situation is one we at Zentail very much sympathize with and have the outdoor purchases to prove.) 

graph showing increase in outdoor category sales amid COVID-19 coronavirus

Batteries, Camping and Gun Accessories YoY

The below graph shows the YoY change in sales across batteries, camping and gun/hunting accessories SMART types categories since COVID-19 was first announced. Some specific SMART types, like ‘rifle scopes,’ are up over 1,500% indicating an increase in hunting is something that consumers are preparing for far beyond the normal stocking up for hunting season.

graph showing sales of batteries, camping gear and gun accessories amid coronavirus

Lawn and Garden YoY Increase

Lawn and Garden is another category within Outdoors that has seen some big YoY growth. Through last week, the category as a whole is seeing 89% YoY growth. With the weather warming up, gardening is clearly a good choice for people who now find themselves with more time to spruce things up around the house.

graph showing increase in lawn and garden sales during coronavirus pandemic

What Sellers Can Do During This Time

While these trends speak to what consumers are doing with their purchases and their time, there are also implications for what this means to sellers. 

What Can You Do?

  1. Don’t leave demand forecasting and inventory planning on a 30-day auto-pilot cycle. Right now, it is more important than ever to have a good handle on your data. Making sure you’re understanding trends in consumer behavior and how it relates to your catalog will help you minimize the amount of hard-to-sell products and keep you in stock of what consumers want most during this pandemic.
  2. Clean up your product listings. Here is a free tool that will help you understand how Amazon views your catalog - https://www.zentail.com/free-tools/amazon-listing-checker. With it, you’ll be able to receive recommendations for improving your listings for for your top 20 products, and for free! (If you want to run this on more listings, reach out and we can talk about running it for more of your catalog. )
  3. Talk to us. We’re a team of ecommerce experts and we’re here to help. Is there an Amazon issue you’re having, do you need to diversify, find new warehousing, or purchase more intelligently and in faster?
  4. Consider what actions you can take now to make up for lost ground after the pandemic. Is this the right time to increase your efficiency, expand to new channels, partner with new vendors, etc.. that will help launch your business as things return to normal?

written by:

Paul Capriolo

Director of Growth

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