Recent pandemic e-buying sprees and changes in consumer behavior can be gleaned from the tracking of global e-commerce data.

As consumers and businesses across the globe grapple with a digital-only reality, there arises the need to accurately track online prices and actual spending to understand the trends and predict changes taking place across industries and countries.

Now, Adobe Analytics has launched an index to do just that—measure the sale of online goods and services as a barometer of the global digital economy.

For a start, the Adobe Digital Economy Index has noted include that there has been a 20% increase in digital purchasing power—the amount consumers can buy with a set amount of money over a period of time—since 2014.

Here are the key insights:

  • Digital purchasing power continues to rise: The digital purchasing power of consumers is up 3% year-on-year and has increased by 20% since 2014, with $1 today buying what it would have taken $1.20 to buy in 2014.
  • COVID-19 is driving a surge in eCommerce: Between January 2020 and 11 March 2020, purchases of several products have seen a significant jump in sales:
    • 807% for hand sanitizers, gloves, masks and anti-bacterial sprays;
    • 217% for over-the-counter drug purchases (cold, flu and pain relievers);
    • 231% for toilet paper;
    • 87% for canned goods and shelf-stable items;
    • 55% for fitness equipment (kettlebells, dumbbells, stationary bikes and treadmills); and
    • 40% for computers (both desktops and laptops).
  • Innovation pushes online prices down: Categories with the most product updates (new SKUs) released in a year (electronics, computers, TVs) have seen online prices decrease, and digital purchasing power increase. Online electronics prices for example, have decreased over 40% over a five-year period.

The index analyzes trillions of online transactions across 100 million product SKUs in 18 product categories. Said John Copeland, vice president of marketing and customer insights, Adobe: “Companies need to pay extra special attention to their digital and e-commerce experiences right now. Consumers are less forgiving during a time like this, and the companies that meet and exceed their needs will build loyalty and life-time value.