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Covid-19 poll daily insights

Friday
April 3, 2020

  • Forty-six percent of respondents continue to say sales are going up.
  • Trending volume: For the eleventh day in a row, apparel and accessories brands continue to say their sales are going up.
  • Trending volume: For the fourth day in a row, toys and hobbies brands continue to say their sales are going up.

 

Forty-six percent of respondents, up 18 percent from last week, said their sales are going up. Consumers seem to be continuing to shift their dollars to new essentials—toys and hobbies, health and fitness, beauty and cosmetics, housewares, and sporting goods and a few non-essentials like apparel and accessories.

Of the brands that said sales are increasing, 43 percent sell products in a new essentials category, up 12 percent from last week.

Are your sales being affected 4-3

What do you sell? 4-3

What’s trending?

For the eleventh day in a row, apparel and accessories brands continue to report their sales are up. And as of the most recent survey (April 3-5, 2020), brands in this category say they’re also experiencing the following advantages:

  • 58 percent said their sales have increased since last week, up from 21 percent last week.
  • 48 percent said their website conversion rate has increased since last week, up from 22 percent last week.
  • 40 percent said their ad spends are more efficient than before, up from 23 percent last week.
  • 52 percent haven’t had any supply chain issues, down from 57 percent last week.

apparel and accessories change in sales from last week 4-3
apparel and accessories has your website conversion rate changed from last week 4-3
apparel and accessories impact on ad spends 4-3
apparel and accessories supply chain issues 4-3

What’s trending?

For the fourth day in a row, toys and hobbies brands continue to report their sales are up. And as of the most recent survey (April 3–5, 2020), brands in this category say they’re also experiencing the following advantages:

  • 60 percent said their website conversion rate has increased since last week, down from 75 percent last week.
  • 100 percent haven’t had any shipping issues, flat to last week.
  • 66 percent said they’re spending the same amount or more on ads as before, down from 75 percent last week.
  • 60 percent said their sales have increased 20 percent or more since last week, up from 20 percent last week.

toys and hobbies website conversion change from last week 4-3
toys and hobbies sales change from last week 4-3
toys and hobbies are you encountering shipping issues 4-3
toys and hobbies are you still spending on online ads 4-3

Effective Marketing Moments

What’s working?

Accessible and charitable product offerings. TB12, a health and lifestyle brand by Tom Brady, updated their website to inform customers about resources available and accessible to them during this stay-at-home period. These resources include, but aren’t limited to: virtual body coach and nutrition sessions and donations made via their ecommerce shop.

TB12 resources for stay-at-home period

Communicating realistic delivery expectations. The Sill, an online plant company, updated their website to include a note on their new shipping policy during this time. The brand also provided suggestions for which items to purchase to avoid delays. The Sill updates the site each day, so customers know when to expect their plants to be delivered.

The Sill new shipping policy website update

Highlights:

Brands with increasing sales

How are they feeling?

When asked, “how do you think this will affect your business once it’s all done?”, many brands said this time has helped them generate greater brand awareness, and they think they’ll emerge even stronger than before.

One brand said, “[We’ll have] more people to market to through retargeting and other marketing strategies. Hopefully this will lead to an ongoing increase in average weekly orders.”

While the increase in demand is a plus, maintaining the supply needed to meet current demands remains a concern for several brands.

One brand reported, “We keep getting surges and spikes in different products and it’s very difficult to keep it all in stock quickly enough. I live in fear of getting into a complex backorder management situation—we’ve been there before and it simply cannot be managed easily with current software, and when all staff are in different remote locations.”

What’s working?

Brands say constant and consistent communication with customers is key. They’ve reported executing this successfully through email marketing, social media, and paid ads.
One brand shared, “We are leaning into our email list and with everything we do, we focus on connecting with our customers.”

While the limited availability of stock on hand is a concern in the back of their minds, some have found creative ways to navigate the situation.

One brand said, “[We’re] using a pre-order option on our out-of-stock items that allows us to collect money today, for a later ship date.”

Another brand commented, “[We’re] offering a 30 percent discount on all orders to compensate for the uncertainty on shipping. [We’re]also releasing limited units of products to motivate shopping thanks to scarcity. We started a giveaway to collect new leads for our reactivation of shipment.”

Brands with decreasing sales

How are they feeling?

The majority of brands with decreasing sales are concerned with the unknown of how long shelter-in-place will remain, and are predicting that the future will mean a change in consumer shopping behavior by channel. They think more consumers will be shopping online than they had before, and therefore they’re spending time developing their ecommerce channel.

The CEO of one brand we spoke with said that it’s the unknown that’s worrying him. The unknown of: how long coronavirus will take hold of the economy, how long consumer’s current spending on certain products will continue, and how long it will take to recover the same sales momentum they had previously.

One respondent said, “[I’m] hoping to have ecommerce [be] more robust than it has ever been if I spend the time to build it now. “

Another brand shared hopes of having a stronger direct-to-consumer business, adding that “up to this point, 94 percent of [their] business was wholesale.”

What’s working?

Thirty percent of brands with decreasing sales said that engaging customers on social media channels, like Facebook and Instagram, and through email have been working best for them during this time, which is up from 20 percent last week.

One brand shared, “[We’re] reminding our customers on social media and in email that we are still here.”

Another brand said, “Sending out emails is mainly how we are bringing in any money.”

Eighteen percent of brands with decreasing sales, up 15 percent from last week, said that offering value or discount promotions was working well.

One brand said they’d been exploring “discount sales and fresh offers each week and [had been] trying to find ways to collaborate with other brands on these offers.”

Brands with flat sales

How are they feeling?

Many brands with flat sales feel that they will come out of this time period even stronger than they were before, but that they’ve had to shift what they’re selling.

One brand said, “We had to focus on sales and old inventory and postponed new launches, which is not bad as we are able to work on selling what is in stock without pressure.”

Another brand reported, “My business model has had to entirely change. Our business was selling 95 percent of our sales to hotels. That 95 percent is gone completely now. We are left reliant on online. However, we have now been requested on projects for soaps, hand wash, [and] hand sanitizers urgently. [We’re] seeing that our business during this [time] may change and focus entirely on this new business, and also on supporting hospitals.”

Supply chain issues don’t seem to be a current issue: 66 percent of brands with flat sales said they haven’t yet had any issues or delays, down from 67 percent last week.

What’s working?

Forty-six percent of brands said that using email and social media is helping them during this time, up from 27 percent last week.

One brand said that they’d been using social media to promote sales. The respondent expanded upon this sharing, “We’ve been running some very effective sales. For three weeks in a row, our conversion rate is more than double what it was. We started with a closed [Facebook] group sale for our existing clients. Then, [we] did a 30 percent off [promotion for already stocked items]. And then we offered some limited edition items in [Instagram] stories. Last week we had our second best week of this year, [experiencing] lower [average order value] but way more orders, and I’m happy with the cashflow that I can use to guarantee pay for my best employees.”

More resources for businesses affected by Covid-19