From hair colour during lockdown to fashion inspired by The Crown, the rollercoaster that was 2020 has had a huge impact on how we shop, according to eBay UK’s annual report.
The online retailer has announced its official Shopping Barometer Report for 2020, revealing the items that the UK snapped up in line with the cultural happenings in a year like no other.
The top trends of the year include face masks, jigsaws to keep us entertained during lockdown and heaters and hot tubs to entertain six guests outdoors.
From shoppers obsessing over Princess Diana’s style in The Crown on Netflix, to searching Connell’s silver chain in BBC’s Normal People, the report suggests shoppers were hugely influenced by what they saw on TV.
Other top trends included new kitchen appliances, at-home work out equipment and home office furniture.
HOW THE NEWS AGENDA IMPACTED SHOPPERS
Showing support and solidarity for the NHS in March, searches for rainbow fabric and rainbow ribbon both shot up by 462%, compared to the month before. Pictured, NHS flags in Wales in May
Showing support and solidarity for the NHS in March, searches for rainbow fabric and rainbow ribbon both shot up by 462%, compared to the month before.
Similarly, NHS rainbow flag’ and NHS windows sticker were searched for 135x and 522x more than the previous month respectively.
Following the Black Lives Matter protests around the world, the UK looked to educate themselves. Books Why I’m no longer talking to white people about race, Don’t touch my hair and Queenie all had a huge increase in searches between May and June than the previous month.
In the run up to the US election, UK shoppers searched for ‘Donald Trump socks 272% more, and Donald Trump toilet roll 351% more, with 160% more searches for Biden Harris 2020 t-shirt.
Key shopping trends this year
10 items that were hot to shop on eBay in 2020
· Chess sets
· Face mask
· Animal Crossing
· NHS rainbow flag
· Felt tips
· Patio heaters
· Swimming pools
How new TV shows impacted sales
- The Last Dance inspired a a 604% increase in searches for Chicago Bulls Jersey
- Little Fires Everywhere saw a 222% increase in searches for shift dresses
- The Queen’s Gambit inspired a search every 6 seconds for chess sets, with a 273% surge in searches
- Normal People’s Connell locked hearts with 70% more searches for ‘silver chain’ in April
- Emily in Paris saw 1 search every 16 seconds for ‘beret’ in October
- Tiger King’s Joe Exotic iconic mullet inspired 1 search every minute for ‘blonde wig’
What did people buy during the first lockdown?
- Cardio machines were up 212% and 15 cardio machines were purchased every hour
- Sales of computer monitors up by 107% and laptop stands saw an impressive 383% increase
- Sales of felt tip pens went up by 1446%
- Dumbbells peaked in Week 2 of lockdown, with sales up 551% and sales of fancy dress doubled the week when Joe Wicks announced Fancy Dress Fridays for his PE classes
- Sex toys were up 53%, even outselling the traditional Valentine’s Day peak
- Jigsaws and puzzles experienced 841% increase
- Swimming pool sales up 1741% and hot tub sales up 1080%
- 1051% increase in BBQ sales
- Plants, seeds and bulbs also saw a boom, with a 232% increase in sales
- 96 purchases every hour in Brewing, Distilling & Wine Making Kits, which is up 194% from last year
- Paint sales were up 231%, and drill sales were up 77%.
- Hair colorants up by more than 495% and artificial nail tips also increased by more than 191%
HOW BOTH LOCKDOWNS INSPIRED SHOPPING TRENDS
During the first lockdown, the nation turned to DIY in full force. Those missing their local pub made 96 purchases every hour for Brewing, Distilling & Wine Making Kits, 194% more than last year.
Whilst others who’s beauty regime wavered in the face of closed salons, styled up hair colorants by 495% and artificial nail tips by 191%.
In the second lockdown, shoppers sought out more luxury items than in the first with aspiring chefs searching for raclettes and soup makers to spice things up in the kitchen.
In the fashion department the UK still dressed for comfort, but introduced a little more style, cosying up 75% more searches for velour tracksuits.
Shoppers seemed to value self-pampering more during the second lockdown, with 156% more searches for micro derma facial rollers and a 86% increase in popularity of LED face mask.
Whilst others who’s beauty regime wavered in the face of closed salons, styled up hair colorants by 495% and artificial nail tips by 191%. Stock image
HOW SHOPPING CHANGED WITH THE RULES
As face coverings were made mandatory in July, 7 searches every second were made for face masks with the most popular designs including floral face masks and leopard print face masks.
With restrictions later put in place banning gatherings of over 6, the nation looked to source items to entertain their own social bubbles outdoors.
Six seater hot tub gained 150% more searches in September 2020, than in 2019 and similarly, six person table gathered 75% more searches.
Likewise, with a 10pm curfew in place on pubs and bars, shoppers brewed up searches for ‘beer keg’ and ‘beer mats’ by 63% and 64%, as they looked to replicate the pub experience at home.
Six seater hot tubs, patio heaters, and six person tables all saw an increase in sales this year. Stock image
As face coverings were made mandatory in July, 7 searches every second were made for face masks. Stock image
FROM TV SCREENS TO SHOPPING BASKETS
With more hours spent at home this year than ever before, new TV shows inspired a wave of niche shopping on the platform.
Tiger King’s Joe Exotic shot to fame for more than tigers when the controversial series aired in March, as his iconic mullet triggered 1 search every minute for ‘blonde wig’ and for leopard print clothing.
In April, 2020’s national heartthrob, Connell, locked in 70% more searches for ‘silver chain’ when Normal People hit TV screens, whilst Emily In Paris saw 1 shopper search every 16 seconds for ‘beret’ in October.
On the day that season 4 of The Crown was released, Diana’s iconic looks rocketed in popularity – with fans searching for that ‘red dress’ worn at the Royal Opera House, once every minute.
After the show was released, bike shorts saw a 131% increase in searches and even her unique ‘sheep jumper’ gained 21% more in searches.
Tiger King’s Joe Exotic (pictured) shot to fame for more than tigers when the controversial series aired in March, as his iconic mullet triggered 1 search every minute for ‘blonde wig’
On the day that season 4 of The Crown was released, Diana’s iconic looks rocketed in popularity. Pictured, Emma Corrin as the Princess of Wales
ENTERTAINING OURSELVES DURING THE PANDEMIC
People of all ages looked to lose themselves in an alternate reality, with 1 search every 3 seconds, for the video game ‘Animal Crossing’ (1,993% more searches in March 2020, than at the same time in 2019).
The release of The Queen’s Gambit on Netflix triggered the return of chess, with 1 search every 6 seconds for chess sets to keep ourselves entertained during the second lockdown.
As news of a second spike began to hit headlines, the UK turned to comforting classic the Great British Bake Off and became inspired to get creative in the kitchen.
eBay witnessed a 102% spike in searches for electric whisks than the previous year, whilst baking tins and piping nozzles increased by 52% and 41% respectively.
As parents were tasked with keeping the kids entertained at home, the top 100 toys on eBay clocked up over 70.5 million searches – the equivalent of one search for every single person in the UK.
Families opted for retro games this year, with searches 351% higher for Bop It and up 263% for Twister. In particular, it was the 1930s which proved a real hit, with classic games such as LEGO and Monopoly amongst the most searched for toys.
The release of The Queen’s Gambit on Netflix triggered the return of chess, with 1 search every 6 seconds. Pictured, Ana Taylor Joy as Beth Harmon