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Online Browsing for Apparel and Footwear Spiked More Than 200% in March

When Americans reach for their phones or laptops during this time of social distancing, they are increasingly searching for apparel and footwear, new statistics show.

Online browsing for apparel among consumers in the United States has increased by more than 200 percent during March, according to purchase intent and marketing service platform V12. Footwear browsing followed suit with a 225 percent increase.

E-commerce has naturally been on the rise for some time,” V12 CEO Andy Frawley said in a statement. “With so many people confined to their homes across the country at this time, we expect e-commerce to continue to spike.”

V12 Signals Online, tracks online browsing activity, behavioral data and searches on more than 90 percent of internet-connected devices each month, shows that categories ranging from apparel to home electronics to home furnishing “are showing a significant increase,” he added.

Urban Outfitters and Hollister, popular with younger adults, benefited from the increased traffic, V12 said, along with footwear-focused companies like DSW and Wolverine.

V12 said these results dovetail with data from analytics provider Quantum Metric, whose recent reports shows that 43 percent of U.S.-based retailers saw their online shopping revenue increase since January. Average order values, it added, rose by 26 percent.

“Many forward-thinking brands are pivoting their marketing strategies to become more digitally-focused,” V12 president Anders Ekman said. “Consumers may not be shopping in physical stores, but they are clearly researching and purchasing products online.”

V12 culls its data and analysis from a suite of in-market shopper databases that collect and store browsing and shopping data when consumers visit a given website.

“We are able to identify in-market consumers through their online browsing behavior, as well as identify up to 50 percent of a brand’s anonymous website traffic through our new WebID solution so brands can capitalize today on these significant opportunities,” Ekman said.

Although now may be the time for brands to step up and take advantage of this opportunity, new data has found that the majority of brands and retailers have had to cut their marketing spending, with most new money going to paid searches and social media ads.