The pandemic has locked us indoors for a while, but has also encouraged us to spend our time creatively. E-commerce experts have picked out 7 industries that have gained popularity in recent months and are now selling well online.
A few weeks ago, a meme appeared on the Internet with British athlete Tom Daley knitting a sweater during the Tokyo Olympics just before jumping into the water. As it turned out, the Olympian relaxed in this way before the competition, and began his adventure with crocheting during the first lockdown. He presents the effects of his work on a special profile on Instagram. He has already accumulated 1.4 million fans there, which shows that he is not alone in his passion for knitting.
Lifestyle changes that have made us work differently, travel less and attend parties less often and stay at home more have unleashed large swaths of creativity. The renaissance of forgotten hobbies is one of its fruits. When someone comes up with an interesting idea and boasts about it online, the next step is to launch an online store to sell that idea, and related products. All one has to do is spot a promising niche and in a few weeks one can already have a working online store using ready-made SaaS marketing software. For example, the Shoper platform saw more than 2,000 new stores in the first year of the pandemic.
Here are 7 trends that, like knitting, have re-emerged under the pandemic and thanks to the Internet.
1. chess and other board games
It was expected that people confined to their homes would start playing games more. It came as somewhat of a surprise to see the popularity of a game that has been known for more than a dozen centuries. Good old chess turned out to be a great fit for digital reality. Record numbers of new players were registering for online chess portals and watching duels with grandmasters broadcast on Twitch. Sales of traditional chess boards were also affected, with eBay reporting a threefold increase in the number of chess sets sold in November 2020 compared to the same period a year earlier. In Poland, this boom extended to the entire category of board games – their manufacturers reported year-on-year increases of tens of percent. On the online shopping platform Shoper, hobby retailers had 84 percent more orders during the first wave of the pandemic than a year earlier.
2 Playing the ukulele
The guitar’s smaller and simpler relative has been favored by travelers for years due to its small size. In 2020, it turned out that it is also great to play at home, especially since YouTube is full of episodically cut courses on how to play, and step-by-step instructions on how to learn to play covers of popular songs on the ukulele. The instrument itself, because of how small it is, can be purchased relatively cheaply – especially online. On US Amazon, it was the fastest-growing instrument in popularity – in the first wave of the pandemic, its sales were 66 percent higher than the year before.
3. (At)home gardens
As we spend more time inside our four walls, we have longed to add some life to them, hence the increased interest in tending home and household flowers. Americans, according to the U.S. government’s U.S. Census Bureau, increased their spending on garden supplies by nearly 20 percent in 2020, with 2.8 million photos published globally on Instagram with the hashtag #plantmom (plant mom). Green hobbies turned out to be good for lockdown time, because our role doesn’t end with incorporating a new plant into the decor of the room, in fact, it only begins. The main task, after all, is to make sure that the adopted plant grows beautifully.
The fact that our love for plants does not always go hand in hand with our knowledge of them was wonderfully exploited by the creators of the Green Emergency store. Their example shows how social media can be used effectively in e-commerce. They don’t stop at encouraging people to check out the store’s offerings, and most importantly, they share plenty of gardening tips. They regularly post instructional videos on Facebook and YouTube, and hold live shows to answer questions from beginner fans of houseplants and houseplants. For a person who has found a new hobby, such a place where they can get advice and shop at the same time is at a premium.
4 Yoga and workouts
The temporary closure of gyms and other places for the active has caused some to look for a free corner to spread a mat in their homes. It was a little more difficult for those who prefer to exercise with an instructor, but they soon found that there was no shortage of ready-made lessons and workouts online. Trainers found their way there as well, and over time they were persuaded to publish recordings of their original sessions – whether free of charge or through crowdfunding or paid portals for online exercisers. The result? In a pandemic, we are becoming not less, but more active, and buying more equipment to exercise on our own. In sports stores on the Shoper platform, the value of transactions in the first half of 2021 has already reached 85 percent of the value of all transactions from all of 2020.
5. DIY makeup
On the one hand, the beauty industry has suffered from a reduction in social gatherings and events. On the other hand, temporary closures of hair and beauty salons have prompted a sizable group of women to improve their skills, if only by using online tutorials showing how to do professional makeup themselves. Beauty influencers direct their audiences to an e-store where they can find the accessories used in the video comes naturally, although it is also sometimes the result of a paid collaboration. As a result, according to the Edge Retail Insight report, this year already 1/5 of the world’s beauty products are bought online.
Several hundred thousand new pets have arrived in Polish homes over the past two years. The pandemic has also strengthened our bond with animals, so it’s no surprise that we care for them more. Pet e-shops are experiencing a real boom. The total value of transactions at pet product stores and those using the Shoper Payments service in the first six months of 2021 was twice as high as in all of 2019. The online sales channel makes it much easier than in traditional stores to launch a subscription shopping model. You can order a box of food, toys and accessories, which will be delivered to your pet once a month. We are also seeing interest in virtual veterinary consultation appointments.
7. Bread baking and other culinary activities
68 percent of Poles said in a Mastercard survey that they had improved their cooking skills during the first year of the pandemic. Cooking school in the quarantine was somewhat forced, but many people also took it as an interesting challenge. Its symbol became the photos circulating on social media illustrating successes in home baking bread. More independent cooking also means more demand for ideas and recipes. Chefs from some of the world’s most famous restaurants have organized live cooking demonstrations online, discovering that this space has long been occupied by culinary bloggers and youtubers, admittedly less successful, but better at building an online community. Google statistics show that the popularity of the phrase “recipes” as well as the English phrase “recipies” has skyrocketed with each successive wave of home isolation.