Two Post-COVID E-Commerce Verticals to Watch

MediaGo Staff | 06/25/2021

It should come as no surprise the COVID-19 pandemic has completely upended the advertising world. Whereas traditional offline ads such as billboards have foundered, digital ads for e-commerce products have surged. However, these broad trends don’t tell the whole story.

The lockdowns resulting from COVID-19 changed peoples’ shopping habits and shifted their spending priorities. During lockdown, product verticals that once seemed frivolous began to steal the spotlight, whereas spending categories we once took for granted – like dining at restaurants – seemed like an unnecessary risk. And now that things are returning to normal in the US, new shopping trends are starting to emerge.

In Q1 of 2021, as the nation took baby steps towards normalcy, people began to prepare for their post-lockdown lives. YoY online sales increased 39 percent from Q1 2020 to Q1 2021, with specific product verticals taking the stage. Luggage, teeth-whitener, and vacation clothes all saw increased demand.

Looking at these categories as a bellwether, a vision of post-COVID spending habits begins to take shape. The three categories mentioned above can be extrapolated towards two larger verticals: travel and fashion.

The reasons why consumer spend is expanding in these two verticals are as follows:

  1. For the first time in over a year, society is re-opening. People’s anxiety over venturing outside is decreasing, and everyone is eager to meet up with friends and family. People are also excited to catch up on all the traveling they missed.
  2. During the COVID lockdown, people got used to wearing the same clothes day-in, day-out. The work-from-home lifestyle favors comfy, loose-fitting things like sweatshirts and shorts. At the same time that people were enjoying the sweatpants lifestyle, their food consumption increased and their exercise decreased. As everyone ventures back to the outside world, they will need to buy new clothes – not just because they haven’t gone clothes shopping for a year, but also because their current clothes don’t fit as well as they used to.
  3. Fashion isn’t just about clothes. It extends to cosmetics, accessories, and even teeth-whitener. Consider the fact that many people haven’t been able to see other humans face-to-face for quite some time. Even when we’ve been in social situations during the pandemic, our smiles have been hidden behind face masks. Naturally, lipstick and other such products haven’t been top priority for a lot of people. This is compounded by the fact that many folks skipped their annual dental appointment out of concern that they would contract COVID. As such, we can expect to see a surge in mouth-related hygiene and cosmetic products, and other cosmetics more broadly.
  4. Increase in demand for travel-related items might seem like a bit of a no-brainer. But don’t forget all the accessories that are tangential to travel and vacation. Sandals, hats, clothing that offers sun protection, headphones, portable video games, waterproof cameras, and other such items will very likely be in demand. 

For e-commerce advertisers surveying the post-COVID landscape, we recommend taking the above points into consideration. If you’re looking for new offers that have legs, you won’t be disappointed.