Numerator Shopping Behavior Index Covers COVID-19 Impact

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Numerator Shopping Behavior Index Covers COVID-19 Impact

Numerator Shopping Behavior Index
The weekly Numerator Shopping Behavior Index. Source: Numerator Insights YTD 2019 & 2020.

Numerator, a data and tech company serving the market research space, will publish a weekly shopper behavior index tracker to provide needed visibility into consumer buying behavior shifts driven by COVID-19 (coronavirus).

The Numerator Shopping Behavior Index highlights shifts in U.S. consumer buying behavior versus a year ago across 14 retail channels on a week-by-week basis. 

The index indicates significant spikes in consumer shopping across 12 of 14 retail channels as early as week 8, ending February 23 predominantly driven by increases in total households shopping in each channel (with total trips and average spend per trip generally flat). 

The 14 channels cover the full omnichannel consumer buying experience:







Gas & convenience






Pet and specialty stores

The weekly Numerator Shopping Behavior Index aims to to inform brands, retailers and others of the virus' impact on fast-moving consumer goods retail sales.

It will initially provide a weekly index by retail channel for: 

  • total sales
  • trips per household
  • average spend per trip 
  • total households buying

This means the index reflects consumer purchases of fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) regardless of where they take place, in-store or online, in large or small format stores and more. 

The index provides visibility into shifts in consumer buying across retail channels as they accelerate with the spread of COVID-19 due to increased demand and limited inventory.

"This is an inflection point for the adoption of new consumer behaviors that will sustain beyond the outbreak period,” Numerator CEO Eric Belcher said. “Like SARS accelerated online buying in China, we expect COVID-19 to accelerate use of click- and-collect as well as shift even more consumers online in the U.S. and around the world. “We have a very unique view of the market. While we normally restrict access to our clients, we thought it important to provide broader access to a foundational view of these important shifts through the duration of the outbreak.”

Numerator positions itself as the only company with a longitudinal view of how consumers buy across all retail channels. Other consumer panels stitch together consumer data from different sources, which distorts the native switching behavior essential to understanding behavior. This is particularly true in periods where access to goods supersedes the consumer's brand and retailer preference. 

Given the importance of early understanding, the Numerator Shopping Behavior Index includes "a look forward" featuring data from the two most recent complete weeks (ending the Sunday prior to report publication). Near real-time data is essential to understanding consumer behavior in a time when inventory shortages and precautionary social-distancing are driving new buying behaviors. Because of this, the Numerator Shopping Behavior Index will publish weekly on Tuesdays and be available at Numerator’s website throughout the outbreak.