Numerator Launches Reopening Shopping Behavior Index

50% More Households Shopping Online Each Week vs Pre-pandemic Levels

Numerator, a data and tech company serving the market research space, has launched a Reopening Shopping Behavior Index to provide visibility into consumer buying behavior shifts across both pandemic (2020) and pre-pandemic (2019) periods. The new dashboard covers sales, trips per household, spend per trip, and total household shopping for fast moving consumer goods indexed against both 2020 and 2019 data for 16 retail channels. The initial index reports data through 3/7/21 (with Early Read data through 3/14/21) and will be updated on a weekly basis.

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Initial findings include:

Omnichannel Sales:

  • Online sales continue to boom with 2021 year-to-date sales roughly 1.7x above 2020 levels and 2x above 2019 levels, even as consumers return to in-store shopping.
  • Channels that surged when consumers consolidated shopping during the pandemic (e.g. Club, Food) continue to see elevated sales vs. prior years as consumers sustain levels of heightened at-home consumption.
  • Gas & Convenience channel sales, hit hard during the pandemic, are starting to rebound, indexing above year-ago levels for the first time in 2021 (+27% vs 2020) likely due to increased travel and activity as reopening efforts increase.

Trips / Orders Per Household:

  • Channels that rely on physical storefronts (e.g. Food, Dollar, Drug) are still seeing fewer trips per household, but are showing a slow return to pre-pandemic levels.
  • Home Improvement (+4% vs 2020, +8% vs 2019) and Online (+20%, +35%) consistently see more trips vs. prior years as consumers spend more time at home.

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Spend Per Trip / Order Size:

  • Overall spend per trip remains elevated vs. prior years across channels (+12% vs 2020 and +13% vs 2019), mostly driven by in-store trips.
  • Consumers are still buying bigger baskets (larger orders) vs. 2020 and 2019, a dynamic that will likely soften as consumers return to pre-pandemic behaviors.
  • Online order sizes are up slightly from 2020 (+7%), but down vs 2019 (-5%), driven by more frequent, smaller online orders.

Total Households:

  • Total households shopping remains flat (+2%) vs 2020 and 2019; however, the number of households shopping online is up more than 30% vs 2020 and up more than 50% vs 2019.
  • Many channels are seeing a greater number of households shopping in 2021 vs. prior years, including: Home Improvement (+37% vs 2020, +48% vs 2019), Pet (+19%,+14%), Liquor (+18%, +21%), and Club (+4%, +17%).

The 16 channels covered in the Reopening Shopping Behavior Index include Beauty, Bodega, Club, Dollar, Drug, Food, Gas & Convenience, Liquor, Mass, Military, Online, Pet, Electronics, Home Improvement, Office, and Quick Service Restaurants (QSR).

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