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Answers from Analytics: Current E-Commerce Trends

02 Apr 2020 Zafreen Zerilli

in Digital, Strategy

At Stella Rising, I oversee analytics and measurement for all of our clients; I’m typically dedicated to solving for proper attribution, creating benchmarks, ensuring data governance, and implementing response curves. However, of late, I am spending a significant amount of time deciphering the impacts of COVID-19 across our portfolio of brands. Below are the top themes I am analyzing that have emerged in response to the current climate.  

My colleague recently posted that Google search volume for the term “coronavirus” started rising in early March, but spiked +80% on March 12th. Then, after ten days, when consumers felt calmer and more informed, search volume for coronavirus abated. I’m analyzing what happened next, during the two weeks of March 16th to the 29th, to see some the behavioral patterns that emerged, within the e-commerce landscape.


Across active brand e-commerce accounts that we monitor, social media metrics have been on the rise across multiple KPIs as people are home and heavily engaged. A few noticeable takeaways:

  • While the average Click Thru Rate (CTR) is flat, the average Engagement Rate (ER) increased and Video Completion Rate (VCR) rose by +15% and +27% respectively when compared to the prior period.
  • When accounting for seasonality, the average CTR is up 80% vs. LY; unsurprisingly, people are very engaged with media right now.
  • Video Completion Rate for FB/IG showed an earlier upward trend in March and continues to remain strongover 65% of those starting a video is finishing itthis is an over 20% improvement vs. this time last year.
  • Cost Per Metrics are down over 20% across the board, creating incentivizing cost efficiencies for advertisers.

March 16th to March 29th



  • Across all relevant Stella Rising clients, Google Shopping CTR is up +24% vs. 14 days ago, while the CPC has fallen by 24%.
  • CTR for SEM is up +22% vs prior period and CPC is down 19%.
  • YouTube VCR is up 13% vs prior period and up 24% for CTR.



Just as we’re seeing growth in media engagement rates, we’re seeing a parallel rise in e-commerce sales as well. While the marketplace took an initial dive, e-comm is significantly up over the past two weeks, as virtually all bricks and mortar stores across the U.S. have closed, but demand remains.

  • As consumers have been confined at home, e-comm revenue for our beauty clients has actually gone up by over 37%.
  • As we posted recently, consumers are turning to self-care and soothing during these stressful times, as well as skincare to look good all day on Zoom.  
  • For our fashion, accessories, and jewelry vertical, revenue initially appeared to be falling but that trend has significantly reversed, and revenue has risen to an average of over 30% over a week ago. We plan to monitor this performance to determine if the trend is stable.

In these unprecedented times, physical and mental health and overall economic well-being remain top priorities. But part of returning to normalcy and a strong economy will be brands that can stay ahead and continue to serve consumer needs. Our data shows that consumers are engaging, interacting, and purchasing, as much as, if not more than, ever, with the right medium and message. My team and I will be continually monitoring this landscape, please don’t hesitate to reach out with questions.

Digital Strategy