Wayfair's earnings included a wild stat that shows how much the coronavirus has changed shopping habits

  • Wayfair said that it gained 5 million net new customers in the most recent quarter, more than it had gained in the last year. 
  • The company reported an 84% sales increase for the quarter. 
  • "We have reason to believe that customers will remain focused on their homes in the back half of the year," CFO Michael Fleisher said during the call. "But the unemployment picture is still quite tenuous.
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While reporting quarterly sales that soared 84% over last year, Wayfair delved into how it has noticed shopper behavior evolve in the face of the coronavirus pandemic.

CEO Niraj Shah said on Wayfair's earnings call, Wednesday, that the online furniture company believes the pandemic "supercharged" a move to e-commerce that had already been in the works for several years. And, that has meant a lot of new customers for the company.

"In fact, our view is that e-commerce adoption is likely to continue to shift faster than it did pre-COVID," Shah said. "Just to put things into perspective, in the quarter, we activated nearly 5 million net new customers more than the last four quarters combined."

Shah added that in a typical quarter, growth in orders from loyal customers tends to outpace that of new customers. But in the most recent quarter, the opposite dynamic was at play –  marking the first time since Wayfair went public in 2014 that the trend took shape.

Wayfair's active customer base is now 26 million. 

The company said it has benefited from many consumers shifting their spending priorities from travel and entertainment to their homes. 

"We see evidence of this in strong and consistent demand across nearly all of the product classes we sell, not just those directly linked to having to shelter or work from home," Shah said. 

"We have reason to believe that customers will remain focused on their homes in the back half of the year," CFO Michael Fleisher said during the call. "But the unemployment picture is still quite tenuous."

Wayfair posted a profit — of $274 million — for the first time since it went public.

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