With the global economy at a constant shift due to the impact of the Coronavirus pandemic, a number of reports and data has been released analysing the current climate and performance trends across several sectors.

Whether you’re a merchant looking to sell new products or a publisher thinking about product categories to features, this is a vital time to understand what trends are being impacted by COVID-19 in order to establish the best possible strategy for your business and relationships during this time.

Between the start and end of Q1, product categories have shifted in performance with some remaining steady, dropping or either overtaking across a three month period. Therefore, we’ve collated below a quick overview on some the trends and data being reported from networks, agencies and platforms in the performance marketing space on what’s happening in the world of e-commerce, online and retail at the moment.


Awin has been running a Coronavirus Performance Tracker to highlight what categories and verticals have changed on its affiliate programmes. Looking at March vs February performance, the company’s report found retail and shopping categories such as Food & Drink (+1719%), Pet Care (+90%) saw massive uplifts while Mobile (+41%) and Finance Loans (+39%) saw a huge increase between the start and end of March. Travel, which has been one of the most significantly impacted categories, saw a big drop over the 30 day period with Airlines and Travel Agencies falling by -59% and -82% respectively.

CJ Affiliate

CJ Affiliate has put together the COVID-19 Network & Consumer Trends Report to help advertisers and publishers on how to best respond to consumer needs and trends in the current market. The firm has highlighted a number of product categories performances year-on-year with clicks in Beauty (217%), Business (207%), Education (199%) and Sport & Fitness (101%) seeing significant boosts between March and April. The biggest drops again were in Travel with actions down by -85% with clicks in Entertainment dropping by -63%.

Rakuten Advertising

With the pandemic impacting markets globally and different lockdown measures in place per country, Rakuten Advertising’s latest insight report highlighted how consumer priorities are changing around the world and the verticals increasing their share of sale.

With increases merging across the global network between mid-March and April, categories such as Health and Wellness brands were accounting for a high percentage of vertical sales in Brazil while Home Improvement in Canada saw an increasing share of verticals sales. Apparel in France and Germany also saw increases with vertical sales in Sporting Goods up in the UK.


As the global pandemic continues and we begin to adjust to the new norm under lockdown, new data from e-commerce platform RedBrain has found the UK consumers’ focus online has shifted away from the early weeks of panic buying foods, exercise equipment and dealing with entertaining the kids to wanting to look and feel fantastic. For instance, demand for hair scissors was up over 3,000% whilst fishing nets were up over 1,000% resulting in high conversion rates.


If you caught Partnerize’s webinar Growing Together in Uncertain Times, the team recently went through their latest data for partner and affiliate programs on its platform worldwide and by category for the first half of April – detecting a number of positive categories compared to the month of March. For instance, the first 15 days of April saw retail clicks were up 34% and conversions up 25% as e-commerce for both essential and non-essential goods continues to rise. In addition, Luxury saw a 44% increase in conversions and a 14% rise in clicks with Apparel saw a 26% increase in conversions.

Finance and Subscriptions saw an uplift of 14% and 13% respectively while Telecoms globally saw a 28% increase in conversions in April and a 12% increase in clicks.


Webgains has just released its performance report on the product categories and verticals in online retail and e-commerce across its global network between January and March. Data showing the share of transactions sold across its network split between lockdown phases (last 30, 14, 7 and 1 days) saw product categories such as House and Garden, Sport & Hobbies, Toys & Games and Books all up over the period.

We hope you found this page useful and please do check out the full reports for more data as networks, agencies and platforms continue to update on the latest trends being impacted by COVID-19.