Comscore Finds Consumers Shifting Focus to Sports and Outdoor Activities as Travel and Events Remain Largely Paused

Top Sports & Outdoor category websites saw an 86 percent year-over-year growth in May 2020

Consumer retail focus continues to shift significantly during the COVID-19 pandemic

Spending and engagement across the retail sector continues to fluctuate across categories as millions of Americans remain at home during the COVID-19 pandemic. That’s according to new research from Comscore, a trusted partner for planning, transacting and evaluating media across platforms, which shows consumers are shifting discretionary spending away from typical summer travel and ticketed events and focusing instead on family-oriented outdoor activities.

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The Sports & Outdoor category in Comscore Media Metrix, typically sees increased activity during summer months. Despite the global pandemic, top sites from retailers like DicksSportingGoods, Academy, Cabellas, BassPro, and CampingWorld collectively saw a 71 percent year-on-year increase in visits in April 2020 and an 86 percent year-on-year increase in May 2020.

Apparel sites have also seen strong growth in consumer engagement in May and June 2020. Minutes per visitor increased 38 percent, from an average of 9.02 minutes in February 2020 to an average of 12.41 minutes in June 2020. While visitation and engagement have surged since April 2020 – visits to the Apparel category were up 32 percent year-on-year in May 2020 – actual dollars spent declined 14 percent in the same month. Category spend may be soft in part due to stronger visitation to discount-oriented apparel domains, which would contribute to growth in total category visitation but weaker total category spend.

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Overall, the retail landscape has changed dramatically during the last few months. Visitation to Home Furnishing and Consumer Electronics sites, which exploded in late April 2020, has started to wane. The Tickets & Events category continues to struggle, showing no signs of recovery even as some major sports prepare to compete again.

Comscore will continue to monitor these trends and provide ongoing insights on its Coronavirus Insights Hub. To learn more about how Comscore can provide you with custom insights into media consumption or help you to engage with COVID-19 content in a way that makes sense for your brand.

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