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Covid-19 poll daily insights
March 23, 2020
- States are considering logistics part of essential business (confirmed with MA, CA)
- For first time, more businesses report sales going up
- Web traffic appears to be leading indicator of sales–suggests conversion rates are flat
By Wednesday, March 25, 16 US states will have a stay-at-home policy in effect–this will cover 40% of the US population. The stay-at-home policy exempts workers in “essential” businesses which seems to cover the logistics industry. California and Massachusetts policies include, “Employees of firms providing services that enable logistics operations, including cooling, storing, packaging, and distributing products for wholesale or retail sale or use.” We’ll continue to dig in to see if any states deviate from this policy and language.
For the first time since we started this daily update, there was an increase in brands report sales going up from last week. Of 121 responders, 29.3% of brands reported sales going up from last week, reversing a downward trend of fewer businesses reporting increasing sales. It’s possible this is a symptom of noisy data or brands comparing this week’s sales to last week’s sales, which was down for a majority of brands. We’ll keep a close eye on this trend and share what we’re seeing.
Web traffic appears to be tightly correlated with change in sales. The same percentage of brands that report an increase in sales (29.3%) see an increase in web traffic. Similarly, brands that report a decrease in sales see a decrease in web traffic. While this seems obvious, it may suggest that conversion rates are holding firm. If true, brands shouldn’t seek to optimize conversion rates today, but rather build deep relationships with existing customers, consider new products or new positioning for their brand. We hear reports of brands trying new messaging that is more relevant to the times.
Transparent communication with customers. We hear reports that telling customers you are open and how the governmental policies are or not affecting your business is resonating.
Internetwines.com sent an email to subscribers simply reinforcing that they are open for business and not affected by the stay-at-home mandates.
Messaging to the new normal. Brands that sell non-essential items or “new essential” items are working on messaging that acknowledges what consumers who are staying at home are feeling. This empathy can connect with people and give them a new reason to buy.
Santayana Jewelry offers pre-header text that says, “Quarantine is stressful. Let’s have some FUN!” Jewelry appears to be the hardest hit Ecommerce category in the past few weeks, so appealing to consumer sentiment will create a new reason to buy.
Brands with increasing sales
How are they feeling?
Brands selling essential items are benefitting in every category–increased web traffic, increased ad efficiency, and increased sales. Despite this, they are cautiously optimistic and nervous about how long this pandemic could last. Many brands report hoping to have more first time customers by the time this is all past us.
A supplement company is reporting success working with gyms/trainers to promote their product. Could this be the perfect time to engage influencers? With consumers at home and increasing their consumption of social media, are they looking for guidance and ideas on products they should have at home to be healthier and more comfortable?
A boutique cookie brand reported sales up 180% week over week due to pumping ad spend when competitors appear to be pulling expenditure back.
Brands with decreasing sales
How are they feeling?
Brands report feeling either excited to emerge stronger than ever or nervous their business will shut down. They’re mostly concerned with the duration of this financial slow down or general health.
Apparel continues to be the largest represented category of brands reporting decreased sales. That said, we’re hearing reports that setting ROAS targets on Google Ads is working, as well as trying to create and sell new, lower priced products. Many brands report seeing success with adjusting messaging to reflect this new normal while working on optimizing their automations in anticipation of an eventual increase in web traffic.
Brands with flat sales
How are they feeling?
These brands seem to be in a holding pattern, hoping that this crisis passes as quickly as possible.
The general sentiment is that communicating transparently with customers that they’re open and potential shipping delays is working.