We have analysed data during the UK Covid19 crisis over the last 9 weeks and we reveal exactly what the UK has been buying and how it was driven by the Pandemic’s progression.

  • 24th Feb thru 8th Mar the UK went crazy for hygiene & white goods
  • 9th Mar thru 15th Mar the UK panic bought foods
  • 16th Mar thru 22nd Mar the UK went fitness mad
  • 23rd Mar thru 29th Mar the UK sowed seeds
  • 30th Mar thru April 5th the UK got sexy whilst bored
  • 6th Apr thru 12th Apr the UK sorted their gardens and enjoyed the weather

What have we done & why?

Because we have so much incredibly detailed data on what people search Google for and what they actually purchase via shopping ads, we’ve produced analysis from this data to try give some context to the somewhat erratic purchasing and unprecedented events around Covid-19. We’ve analysed data week by week as Covid-19 progressed and have collated key news items and dates which neatly explains why the UK was buying what it did, and when.

This is an especially important analysis now as our lockdown continues. As a nation we are beginning to adapt to our new “normal”, whatever that actually is, and whatever it ends up looking like is anyone’s guess right now.

From the early news around Covid-19 being reported, week by week, we can see people preparing early, through to more feverish panic buying as a lockdown approaches the UK. 

The buying behaviour of the UK clearly shifted its focus away from panic towards coping with working from home and having to entertain its families during lockdown, alongside some perhaps essential adult entertainment as people started to come to terms with their new reality.

This is our first look back on this crisis but we will be releasing data regularly moving forwards to give everyone e-commerce insights into how the UK is behaving online during Covid-19 and for us to evaluate the impact of Covid-19 on e-commerce in general. 

Who are we, and what does our data mean:

RedBrain is Google’s largest Premium CSS partner. CSS is short for Comparison Shopping Service. Born out of the EU’s near £2bn fine to Google in 2017, Google was forced to open up access to it’s Google Shopping platform to multiple operators. 

RedBrain now generates over 100 million advert impressions, 3 million clicks and some £5 million in revenue every day for its many thousands of retailer clients. This gives RedBrain unrivalled insight into e-commerce trends.

WeekRankCategoryImpressions %Conversions %
10.2.201Dried Vegetables265.42136.49
10.2.202Gift Boxes and Tins227.3637.22
10.2.203Needlecraft Patterns202.49163.69
10.2.205Work Lights183.65-16.13
10.2.206Riding Trousers180.17120.75
10.2.208Fresh Cut Flowers139.04141.11
17.2.203Lawn Aerators & Dethatchers376.33-15.04
17.2.205Laundry Combo Units205.7491.73
17.2.207Microwave Ovens182.715671.74
17.2.208Kitchen Counter & Beverage Station Organisers147.052959.4
24.2.201Hand Sanitisers8564.11688.12
24.2.202Makeup Finishing Sprays832.923293.3
24.2.203Hair Accessories818.38167.57
24.2.204Liquid Hand Soap780.0969.2
24.2.205Pet Playpens742.5129.59
24.2.206Sandwich Makers667.072398.7
24.2.207Spice Organisers407.65277.42
24.2.208Soap & Lotion Dispensers384.45545.77
24.2.209Toasters & Grills377.13131.77
24.2.2010Kitchen Counter & Beverage Station Organisers348.59-22.34
2.3.201Household Disinfectants3790.86-59.76
2.3.202Liquid Hand Soap3403.38256.25
2.3.203Soap & Lotion Dispensers1247.673.17
2.3.204Toilet Paper830.62114.58
2.3.205Medical Gloves758.372498.7
2.3.206Canned & Powdered Milk624.873765.1
2.3.207Antiseptics & Cleaning Supplies433.18121.92
2.3.208Paper Towels418.67132.05
2.3.209Electronics Cleaners365.6-23.33
2.3.2010All-Purpose Cleaners334.42377.89
9.3.201Toilet Paper1004.892.96
9.3.205Canned & Powdered Milk582.6252.91
9.3.2010Pasta & Noodles326.1113.87
16.3.202Exercise Benches3035.25381.69
16.3.203Free Weight Storage Racks2554.443106.5
16.3.206Free Weights1860.52578
16.3.208Bicycle Trainers1368.679565
16.3.209Exercise Bands1348.93523.32
16.3.2010Medicine Balls1318.21242.73
23.3.201Sands & Soils1854.95181.98
23.3.202Bicycle Trainers16504.52
23.3.203Nail Polish Removers969.7419.37
23.3.204Hair Colouring Accessories894.37104.22
23.3.205Wall Patching Compounds & Plaster863.9743.73
23.3.206Bird Food828.17108.62
30.3.202Shaving & Grooming881.95155.56
30.3.203Food Gift Baskets670.71537.21
30.3.204Personal Care509.87609.09
30.3.206Glass & Surface Cleaners486.022539.4
30.3.207Sheet Music456.91327.49
30.3.208Porch Swings453.2585.74
30.3.209Swimming Pools442.371593.83
30.3.2010Wrapping Paper402.812247.2
6.4.201Power Tillers & Cultivators1008.4649.02
6.4.202Garden Hose Spray Nozzles829.5744.6
6.4.203Sprinklers & Sprinkler Heads742.77328.35
6.4.204Football Goals & Nets726.1447.57
6.4.205Swimming Pools685.8769.68
6.4.206Baking Mixes508.35246.36
6.4.207Hardware Pumps474.46111.03
6.4.208Lawn Mower Blades392.8197.46
6.4.209Lawn Mowers335.6250.66
6.4.2010Weed Trimmer Accessories325.2591.28
13.4.201Hair Scissors3439.45487.97
13.4.202Fishing Nets1171.283049.36
13.4.203Garden Pot Saucers & Trays931.3845.32
13.4.204Exercise Balls849.21620.65
13.4.205Hair Curlers838.36379.87
13.4.206Manicure Glue683.68193.14
13.4.207Medical Gloves671.31161.45
13.4.208Nail Art Kits & Accessories669.42463.47
13.4.209Space Heaters594.26335.53
13.4.2010Music & Sound Recordings555.72173.39

Alastair Campbell, Chief Growth Officer for RedBrain comments: “We’ve seen a huge impact on all our lives recently from COVID-19 with fundamental shifts in online shopping patterns as we try to navigate the ‘new normal’. 

It’s easy to think the world has stopped and life is put on hold but our data tells a different story. We are all going through similar experiences and buying lots of the same things, at the same times. 

Our RedBrain Insights offer a view into our changing online shopping habits from initial panic for hygiene and foodstuffs to longer term purchases such as seeds, garden equipment and fitness. Is the nation settling down into the new ’normal’? its hard to tell at the moment but the insights into purchasing and volumes certainly show that online retail is evolving but healthy. However, precisely when we are released from lockdown, and any new public attitudes towards how we want to continue to shop, will heavily influence how online retail behaves in the coming months. Certainly, we’re living in the upside down right now, so only time will tell.”

Predictions from our data learnings:

The UK will probably – 

  • Have tons of stuff to sell on eBay later on this year
  • We’ll all be really really fit and healthy
  • Or, we’ll all be overweight and drinking a bit too much!
  • Have really really bad haircuts
  • Have the most well fed slugs and garden pests in the world
  • Not want to eat another slice of banana bread or smell a sourdough starter ever again
  • Have a baby boom at the end of 2020 

About RedBrain Insights

RedBrain is Google’s largest Premium CSS partner. CSS is short for Comparison Shopping Service. Born out of the EU’s near £2bn fine to Google in 2017, Google was forced to open up access to it’s Google Shopping platform to multiple operators. 

RedBrain now generates over 100 million advert impressions, 3 million clicks and some £5 million in revenue every day for its many thousands of retailer clients. This gives RedBrain unrivalled insight into e-commerce trends.

About RedBrain

RedBrain is a digital shopping partner to the world’s biggest e-commerce brands. Unlike other partners we don’t require a retainer, a % of spend or guaranteed CPC. We only make money when you do. Period. We enable your digital marketing to drive the highest incremental sales across Google Shopping, Bing shopping and text ads, with no risk. For over 10 years we have uncovered the white space, the non-obvious, the under-priced and the underutilised across search engines and digital shopping to drive incremental sales and compliment your current activity. We are the marketing strategy with the lowest risk and highest return. We are RedBrain. 

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