Canada’s digital content consumption remains higher than normal as the pandemic stretches into its third month, and there is even renewed interest in hard-hit categories such as real estate and automotive, according to new data from ComScore.
Senior director of client insights Stephanie Parkinson says that recent data suggests “a bit of a turnaround” for several categories hard-hit when the pandemic first began, most notably automotive and real estate.
ComScore data shows a 53% increase in visits to real estate sites, and a 37% increase in visits to automotive manufacturer sites during the week of May 4 compared to March 30 (minutes spent with these sites also increased, 60% and 96% respectively).
The data says that declines for categories like travel and sports appear to have levelled off, and that visits to those types of sites could “inch upward” as people increasingly start making post-pandemic plans.
There is also an indication that people might be ready to spend again, with visits to retail sites increasing 25% during the week of May 4, and minutes spent on retail sites increasing 16%.
The growth is most pronounced in the home furnishings and sports/outdoors categories, which were up 72% and 49% respectively the week of May 4 compared to March 30. “As the weather gets warmer, Canadians are taking advantage of the time at home to invest in home improvement projects and to prepare for outdoor summer activities,” writes Parkinson.
The data also suggests that consumption of content on news and government sites has peaked, with ComScore noting declines in both repeat visitation and time spent. The same is true across all news categories, including general news, local news and business/finance news.
The report also notes a sharp rise in interaction with social networking and sites catering to occasions such as Mother’s Day, birthdays, etc., which ComScore attributes to social and the closure of public gathering spaces like restaurants.
Minutes spent with sites catering to flowers, gifts and greetings, for example, increased 206% from March 30 to May 4, while visits to social networking sites were up 19%.