Adobe's Digital Economy Index highlights how COVID-19 altered e-commerce

Groceries took up a bigger chunk of the digital shopping basket as did fitness equipment following shutdowns due to novel coronavirus.
Written by Larry Dignan, Contributor


The COVID-19 is altering e-commerce buying behavior as consumers are revamping their digital baskets as groceries and apparel take center stage, according to Adobe's new Digital Economy Index.

Adobe's Digital Economy Index analyzes trillions of online transactions across 100 million products in 18 categories. The idea behind the Digital Economy Index is to reflect what consumers and businesses are actually buying.

The launch of Adobe's Digital Economy Index is timely given many businesses have gone digital-only due to the COVID-19 pandemic. What remains to be seen is whether COVID-19 will have a lasting impact on e-commerce or prove to reflect stay-at-home orders.

At a high level, Adobe's Digital Economy Index found:

  • A 20% increase in digital purchasing power.
  • Surging sales for groceries, cold medication, fitness equipment and computers.
  • A 62% increase in pickup in-store shopping.
  • Groceries as a percentage of the digital basket has grown to 8% from 6% in three years.
  • Hand sanitizer, gloves, masks and anti-bacterial spray sales have jumped 807%.
  • Toilet paper sales are up 231%.
  • Fitness equipment sales such as kettlebells, dumbbells, stationary bikes and treadmills are up 55%.
  • Apparel accounts for the largest share of online purchases with 23% followed by electronics at 16% and home and garden at 12%.  
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