COVID-19’s impact on businesses has been devastating, but for retailers and manufacturers who can scan consumer trends and pivot, things may not be so bad in the days to come. For one, industry reports show that the pandemic is driving the sale of all kinds of small appliances.

Most of these purchases are for cooking and cleaning, including products that will allow people to lead a healthy lifestyle, stay motivated, and practice social distancing.

During the initial panic buying phase, consumers raced to stock up on toilet paper, frozen foods, disinfectant wipes, cleaning supplies, and other household necessities. Afterwards, they slowly turned their attention to appliances that aid in cooking, health, and wellness.

Target is among the retailers witnessing this shift in spending to small appliances. Water filtration devices, air purifying machines, hand-held cleaning devices, and countertop kitchen appliances are flying off the warehouse shelves. Data shared by the NPD Group shows that the sale for small appliances grew 8% for the week ending March 14.

A report from Coresight Research data shows that nearly two-thirds of those polled (64.5%) said they were avoiding restaurants, coffee shops, and bars. No eating out, limited takeout orders, and more people in the kitchen have necessitated the sale of these small kitchen appliances. Products like bread makers, sandwich makers, electric skillets, electric pasta makers, rice cookers, electric pressure cookers, air fryers, and citrus juicers have been selling like hotcakes. Some have even witnessed a triple-digit percentage jump compared to the same time last year.

Euromonitor International's new report on consumer behavior analyzes the long- and short-term implications of COVID-19 lockdowns on our buying patterns. Consumers have been forced to reevaluate priorities, adopt new habits, and shift consumption. Businesses need to prepare for these shifts to survive the hard times ahead.

Meanwhile, SEMrush compiled the latest data on consumer behavior and e-commerce trends to help businesses navigate through these challenging times. The report shows that more people are shopping online for small appliances as they practice social distancing.

While many big companies were already selling these online, not all were prepared for the rapid rise in some categories. For example, appliances were one thing that most consumers like to see and buy from stores and were forecasted to see such a rapid rise in online shopping.

Do-it-yourself projects have also gained ground during the lockdown. Consumers are stuck at home, but they are trying to stay motivated. Most are using this time constructively to learn new skills. They are baking, cooking, decorating, sewing and spending time on arts and craft projects. Some are taking on home improvement projects in a bid to become more self-reliant.

Baking has been reported as one of the top DIY kitchen projects. According to a Nielsen report, yeast sales were up nearly 650% for the week ended March 21 compared to the same time last year.

Best Buy reported a surge in merchandise that helps people work from home and make their workstations functional. Various tech devices, laptops and related accessories are gaining ground as well. The other trend is the demand for fridges and freezers, which has resulted from panic buying and buying in bulk. NPD, too, reported a surge in sales for work-from-home supplies. The home office products and home cleaning segments will see strong growth this year as well.