Hurricane Sandy’s Impact on Ecommerce Revealed

By Sarah Etter

November 7, 2012

In the aftermath of Superstorm Sandy, many were in shock from the tragedies and damage left behind.

While residents of the East Coast work to recover, states are sending support in the forms of donations and volunteers. For anyone who would like to pitch in, the Red Cross is accepting donations.

A few days after the storm, some industry and general news media turned their attention to Sandy’s impact on online sales. Most articles said it was too soon to tell how Sandy had affected sales, but Monetate engineer and data guru Jeff Patti had some real answers.

During the Hurricane impact days, Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday (Oct 29-31, 2012), consumers spent much less online compared to an average of the other Monday through Wednesdays in October.

Broken down by day and state, these numbers reveal quite a story:

Consumer Online Spending on Monday, Oct 29, 2012:

  • NY: -26.07%
  • NJ: -22.30%
  • PA: -18.52%
  • CT: -19.32%
  • DE: -32.61%

Five-state average: -23.76%

Consumer Online Spending on Tuesday, Oct 30, 2012:

  • NY: -47.28%
  • NJ: -68.71%
  • PA: -24.23%
  • CT: -54.95%
  • DE: -26.47%

Five-state average: -44.33%

Consumer Online Spending on Wednesday, Oct 31, 2012:

  • NY: -33.17%
  • NJ: -53.92%
  • PA: -12.47%
  • CT: -42.80%
  • DE: -16.47%

Five-state average: -31.77%

When looking at ecommerce spending nationwide, online sales were down 12.24% for the three-day period. Although the dramatic drop in the hardest hit states contributed to the national dip, spending was down across the board in most regions during Sandy.

Obviously, the repair and recovery efforts of the affected areas are far more important than the storm’s toll on ecommerce. But it is worth noting that Sandy hurt online spending last week, even if we don’t really know the long-term ecommerce repercussions of the storm yet.

Hurricane Sandy Concept image courtesy of Shutterstock.

Sarah Etter is the former the senior editor at Monetate. Before joining Monetate, she was a writer for various online and print publications, and served as the associate editor of The Internet & Marketing Report newsletter. Sarah also loves fiction writing and ice hockey... yes, ice hockey.

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