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Covid-19 poll daily insights

April 6, 2020

  • Fifty percent of respondents continue to say sales are going up.
  • Trending: for the twelfth day in a row, apparel and accessories brands report increased sales.
  • More brands continue to say they’re spending the same amount or more on ads.


Fifty percent of respondents, up four 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, hardware, 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 six percent from last week. Fifty-one percent sell products in a non-essentials category, up five percent from last week.

Are your sales being affected 4-6

What do you sell? 4-6

What’s trending?

Of the non-essential businesses that said sales are up, 68 percent operate in the apparel and accessories category—an increase of four percent from last week. This is the fourth day in a row we’re seeing increased sales come from this subcategory, and the twelfth day in a row apparel and accessories brands continue to report their sales are up. As of the most recent survey (April 6, 2020), brands in this category say they’re also experiencing the following advantages:

  • More people say sales are going up: 41 percent said sales have increased, up from 39 percent last week.
  • More people say conversion rates are increasing: 44 percent said their website conversion rates have increased, up from 29 percent last week.
  • More people say ads are working more efficiently: 35 percent said their ads are more efficient, up from 22 percent last week.

apparel and accessories change in sales from last week 4-6
apparel and accessories has your website conversion rate changed from last week 4-6
apparel and accessories impact on ad spends 4-6

Nineteen percent of brands say they’re spending more on ads, up from three percent last week. Brands that mostly sell in new essentials categories (beauty and cosmetics, housewares, health and fitness, sporting goods) and some brands that sell in non-essential categories (apparel and accessories, and CBD products) are increasing their ad spend.

Seventy-eight percent of brands that are spending more on ads are also seeing increased efficiency, up from 57 percent last week. Their cost per 1,000 impressions (CPMs) are down and cost per click (CPC) is flat or down, resulting in their return on advertising spend (ROAS) trending much higher than normal.

are you seeing an impact on your ad spends 4-6

Effective Marketing Moments

What’s working?

Aligning with charitable causes. Sweetgreen, a fast-casual restaurant known for its healthy salads, launched a fundraising initiative to feed frontline workers. They’ve donated over 10,000 meals so far of their 100,000 goal. This is a great way to help frontline workers, like hospital staff and medical personnel, during the coronavirus pandemic.

Sweetgreen fundraising initiative to feed frontline workers

Communicating realistic fulfillment timelines. Homage, a vintage apparel brand, updated their website with messaging to let their customers know when their orders would be fulfilled and how the brand plans to fulfill them responsibly.

Homage website update for order fulfillment


Brands with increasing sales

How are they feeling?

Brands with increasing sales say they’re feeling positive about the future and believe the coronavirus pandemic will help them become bigger than they were before.

Several brands reported that they believe they’ll gain increased market share.

One brand said they expect to have “greater penetration in the market as we continue to provide excellent service.”

Another brand said, “We’ll capture more online customers and our business will grow, as people turn to online shopping instead of brick-and-mortar stores.”

Thirty-two percent of brands with increasing sales said they’re feeling concerned about shipping and supply chain issues, up from 20 percent last week. They aren’t sure if there will be delays or if they have enough inventory to support the increased demand they’re seeing.

One brand said they’re concerned about “fulfillment of high online sales and loss of full production capacity. Can we and our stockists recover before our seasonal peak leading up to Christmas?”

What’s working?

Fifty-four percent of brands with increasing sales, up from 29 percent last week, said that communicating openly and personally with their customers through Facebook and email is working best for them today.

One brand said what’s working best for them is “a personalized, sympathetic, text email asking ‘How are you?’ Giving some helpful links along with a discount code helped us achieve a 43 percent open rate, 523 orders, and about 300-400 replies thanking me for the email and letting me know how they [our customers] are doing—it blew our Black Friday email out of the water.”

Another brand said, “Email campaigns have been working very well, as has being open and honest with customers about what we’re doing and how we’re dedicated to serving them through this time. Appealing to the collective empathy rather than relying on scarcity tactics [has also been working well].”

Curious about how to develop an authentic brand voice to help you effectively communicate with customers? Check out this guide

Brands with decreasing sales

How are they feeling?

Brands with decreasing sales are feeling uncertain about their current state and future outlook. They’re not sure how long this coronavirus pandemic will last and what the future of consumer spending will look like.

  • Sixty-eight percent said their website conversion rates have decreased from last week, up two percent from last week.
  • Fifty-three percent said they’re experiencing supply chain issues, down five percent from last week.

One brand said they’re most concerned about “the long-term effect on all businesses, and the resulting recession in the U.S. and global economy, which will last well into next year.”

What’s working?

Thirty-three percent of brands say focusing on engaging customers through email is working best for them today, up from 20 percent last week.

Brands also reported that being careful of their expenses is helping them through this time. One brand said they’re “closely watching all of our marketing expenses and pulling back on things that are not as effective as they once were.”

Looking for advice on how to create highly-personalized email experiences for your customers? Check out this guide

Brands with flat sales

How are they feeling?

Brands with flat sales are currently concerned about the global economy and how consumer spending habits are decreasing due to layoffs. As for their future, they have mixed feelings about their outlook.

About half feel their business will be negatively affected, while the other half believes the coronavirus pandemic will permanently shift consumer shopping habits from offline to online.

One brand said, “Our business will be fine long-term. If anything, [this time] may benefit us if we can better capture customers and their attention.”

What’s working?

Brands say that using email to help them connect with their customers is helping them during this time. Some brands are also adapting their businesses to the changing consumer shopping habits.

One brand said “our agile development team is moving quickly to update our ecommerce site and move with changing needs.”

More resources for businesses affected by Covid-19