Consumers Are Spending Less on Clothes and More on Food, Health Products

Consumers Are Spending Less on Clothes and More on Food, Health Products

US consumers are shopping online more as they continue to avoid brick-and-mortar. According to a recent eMarketer study conducted by Bizrate Insights, health, food and beverage purchases made digitally are seeing an uptick. Apparel, not so much.

In April 2020, 52% of US digital buyers said they purchased clothing, shoes or accessories digitally, down 4 percentage points from February 2020. As consumers remain indoors, clothing is not an essential. Groceries, however, are. More than a third (36%) of respondents purchased food and beverages online in April 2020, up 9 percentage points from February 2020.

Online purchases of pharmaceutical and health products also increased 6 percentage points from February to April. And as people transition to distance learning and working from home, digital office equipment and supply purchases increased 4 percentage points in the same timeframe.

Amazon Prime members follow similar behavior. The eMarketer/Bizrate survey found that fewer US Amazon Prime members ages 18 to 65 are shopping for apparel, and more are buying food and health items.

According to a March 2020 Red Points survey conducted by OnePoll, roughly six in 10 US internet users purchased food/beverage and consumer packaged goods digitally during the coronavirus pandemic. Further down the list were apparel (46.1%), electronics (43.3%) and video games (29.5%).

This mirrors recent estimates from the US Census Bureau, which found that clothing and clothing accessory store sales fell 50.7%, another indication that consumers are limiting their spending on these products.