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The Numerator eCommerce Acceleration Index

Updated February 2021. The Numerator eCommerce Acceleration Index highlights our unique ability to track longitudinal consumer behavior across online and offline channels.

In Spring 2020, Numerator created the eCommerce Acceleration Index to quantify the online shift of new buyers in the early weeks of the pandemic, focusing on 14 CPG categories that showed significant initial changes. This approach established pre-pandemic baselines and compared them to new extrapolations based on rates of growth observed at the onset of the pandemic. Comparing these growth rates allowed us to quantify the level of eCommerce acceleration for each category.

As we close out the first full year of the pandemic, we’ve updated the Numerator eCommerce Acceleration Index for these same categories to assess the annual impact of COVID-19 on consumer online behavior. 


The acceleration of eCommerce adoption is here to stay. 

The updated report reveals that growth rates have softened some since the initial influx in Spring 2020— when many moved online rapidly due to out-of-stocks or in-store closures— but overall online shopping behaviors have continued to accelerate at rates well-above pre-pandemic predictions. 

  • Growth rates for the 14 FMCG CPG categories examined were at least 2 to 5 times higher than what would have been predicted pre-pandemic
  • On average, the growth rate for consumable categories was 4 times higher while the average for non-consumable categories was 3 times higher than pre-COVID predictions.

For a full analysis of your brand and category, contact your Numerator consultant.

eCommerce Acceleration 2020 Report

Review the original report from Spring 2020 to learn more about the methodology behind the report and initial insights into eCommerce acceleration. Download the report to learn:

  • How has purchasing behavior been changing when households started buying a category online?
  • Has the historical pattern of online adoption increased (accelerated) since the COVID-19 outbreak?
  • What are the future implications of any changes observed since COVID-19?

Go deeper with basket size and trip data or brand-level detail with a Numerator custom study today.

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