Underwear and Socks are the Big Winners of Super Bowl LIII

Shoppers Flock to Mobile to Buy Necessities During and After the Big Game

Criteo logoOn February 3, Super Bowl LIII attracted nearly 100 million viewers, many of them devout football fans… and shoppers. Between plays, during the half-time show and even during ads, viewers were shopping. And this year, retailers were ready for them. Marketers who prepared both an online and in-app presence scored big before, during and after the game.

Shopping in all product categories started slowly just before the game and steadily picked up throughout. Sales spiked upward during the second quarter and peaked immediately post-game from 9:45 to 10:00 p.m. EST.

Read More: The Big Game Shows How TV and Social Media Work Hand in Hand for Brands

Super Bowl Super Sellers

What were people buying? Not surprisingly, sporting goods and apparel were popular throughout the game. But right after the game ended, at 9:50 p.m. EST, sporting goods and apparel sales shot up 1,823 percent. Fashion categories also enjoyed a surge, with a 127 percent increase at the end of the fourth quarter.

Sales figures by category help to tell the full story of exactly which items sold best on game day. National Football League t-shirts and accessories performed strongly as expected, but many other categories showed substantial increases in share-of-wallet on Sunday, February 3. Consumers’ phones joined in the fun as some unusual categories spiked in both mobile web and app-based sales figures.



January – SOV

February – SOV


Clothing Underwear and Socks 0.21% 0.35% +40.0%
Clothing One-Piece swimsuits 1.20% 1.71% +29.8%
Clothing Shorts 0.79% 1.06% +25.5%
Clothing Swimwear 2.65% 3.54% +25.1%
Clothing Accessories Hair Accessories 0.10% 0.13% +23.1%
Jewelry Earrings 1.18% 1.51% +21.9%
Clothing Accessories Hair Accessories 0.11% 0.14% +21.4%
Clothing Accessories Sunglasses 0.23% 0.29% +20.7%
Clothing Dresses 11.59% 14.59% +20.6%
Clothing Accessories Belts 0.32% 0.39% +17.9%
Clothing Skirts 1.54% 1.87% +17.6%
Clothing Underwear & Socks 0.22% 0.26% +15.4%
Jewelry Necklaces 0.70% 0.82% +14.6%
Clothing Traditional & Ceremonial 0.06% 0.07% +14.3%
Clothing Baby & Toddler Clothing 0.08% 0.09% +11.1%
Jewelry Rings 0.26% 0.29% +10.3%

Mobile was the Real MVP

Not surprisingly, mobile becomes more popular as a shopping tool every year with mobile web and in-app purchasing now accounting for 61% of all ecommerce in the United States. During Super Bowl LIII, early-day shopping was completed across a strong mix of mobile and desktop. But, as the game progressed, mobile became dominant. When viewers got tired of waiting for a touchdown in the second quarter, mobile surpassed desktop in all retail categories.

Mobile also generated a noticeable jump in conversations immediately post-game. At 10:25 p.m. EST, mobile sales shot up 247 percent. By comparison, desktop sales jumped too, but only 119 percent. At the end of the big day, mobile represented 67 percent of all sales which points to these powerful devices as a true shopping necessity, not just an option.

Super Bowl LIII shows us that television entertainment is now directly linked to retail e-commerce. The era of sitting in front of a TV and being glued to an event for four solid hours is gone. Today, people use second and third screens to watch, learn, socialize, celebrate and shop during big televised events. Retailers must plan ahead for these opportunities in order to make sure they can capitalize on the short attention span of consumers, who transition from watching the TV, to checking their phones, and back again. In addition, as this data demonstrates, it doesn’t matter if you’re selling fashion or sporting goods: when a big game is on, you’ve got to be prepared for a potential shopping surge.

Read More: Super Bowl 2019: Interview with Scott Ings, VP of Product, Apptimize