Coronavirus drives US shoppers online

The outbreak of coronavirus is already affecting two key e-commerce metrics in the US.

As large tech firms begin to tell their staff to work from home and people choose to self-isolate, new data from predictive retail analytics platform Quantum Metric has found coronavirus to be driving US consumers online.

Online retailers based in the US saw a 52 per cent increase in online spending in the fifth to eight weeks of 2020, compared to the same weeks in 2019.

READ MORE: Alibaba to launch shopping festival to counter coronavirus sales drop

This would align with the time period in which the virus began to spread outside of Asia, from January 27 to February 23.

Of the 5.5 billion online and mobile visits by US-based consumers Quantum Metric analysed, online conversation rates rose 8.8 per cent year-on-year in that time.

However, for the ninth week of 2020, Quantum Metric data shows a reversal in growth.

The company says this trend could indicate the e-commerce spurt may be calming down and reflect spending that has been pulled forward, rather than increased overall.

Quantum Metric posited that consumers have increased their online shopping to avoid busy places, or because their local stores have run out of stock due to delayed shipments from China.

The rise in spending online may also not be enough to offset reduced in-store traffic for the first quarter of trading.

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