The people want pajamas.
At least that’s the main takeaway from a new report from Adobe looking into what Americans have been buying online as they endured coronavirus stay at home orders.
Adobe's Digital Economy Index, which tracks more than 100 million product varieties online, showed that pajama sales spiked 143% in April from March, while sales of pants declined 13%.
“I heard an apparel designer here in the Bay Area refer to the trend as ‘mullet wear’ [as] people are getting really comfortable, and you see that with the pj’s,” explained Adobe Vice President of Marketing and Customer Insights John Copeland in a Yahoo Finance interview, adding that bra sales also declined by about 12%.
As a category, apparel saw prices fall more than usual as brands shifted sales online during the coronavirus lockdown. Copeland says prices for apparel decreased 12% between March and April, a rate four-times higher than what’s normal for this time of year.
“Normally we see prices go down about 3% and a lot of that has to do with end of season sales,” Copeland said. “But now, in part because of the change in the mix and increased focus on comfortable clothing, things like pants and jackets and all the things we might be wearing to the office are even further discounted.”
Overall, e-commerce sales rose by 49% for the month of April, as sales of electronics jumped by 58% and books sales doubled. Interestingly, a surge in demand for electronics led to an unusual rise in prices.
“We’re seeing inflation like we’ve never seen before,” Copeland said, noting a 3% rise in computer prices and a 0.8% climb for electronics more broadly. “We’re used to seeing prices in electronics going down continuously, but for the first time in the five years we’ve been tracking it we’re starting to see prices going up.”
On the plus side, however, the overall digital dollar still goes further than it has in the past. As Adobe measures it, purchasing power for online shoppers is up more than 4% compared to last year, meaning what would have cost $1.04 in April 2019 now only costs $1.