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Covid-19 poll daily insights
March 18, 2020
The big takeaway from yesterday’s survey is that the change in business is varied – brands that are up are up in some cases over 100% since last week and brands that are down are down in some cases more than 40% since last week.
Of the 116 respondents, there are more brands making less revenue than yesterday – 64% of respondents reported making less money compared to 56% on March 17. The same share of brands reported making more revenue, so it seems that brands who were flat before are now in the red, week over week.
Brands are reporting concerns over their future supply chains. We are hearing reports that some domestic third party logistics providers have reduced staff which could contribute to longer than expected fulfillment time.
Reports suggest that Ad Budgets are being reduced. Brands who are committed to spending more are continuing to spend more. More brands report reducing their ad spend to conserve budget where it makes sense for them. Brands that are selling more are afraid of potential inventory issues in the future and brands who are selling less are trying to conserve cash to keep their employees paid and lights on.
Brands With Increasing Sales
How are they feeling?
Brands are concerned that warehouses and 3PL may not stay open in the future, preventing them from being able to fulfill sales. We’re not sure if this is true so we’re going to dig in more and share what we learn.
Some brands that are doing well feel guilty, that their success comes at the misfortune of so many.
People are focusing on community above all else. Alison Sheehan of Gym Plus Coffee is massively focusing efforts on engaging their community. They traditionally host events all around the world to engage with their followers, but cannot due to COVID-19. They’ve changed their tone and moved online: her best performing email and social content revolved around their mantra, “Community to us is a social unit, not a gathering.”
For people making more, they’re making much more
Nearly half of the brands who report higher sales are seeing 30%+ week over week revenue growth. Some brands told us they are making more than 100% week over week. “Our family owned pet food business is WAY up seeing our best week ever!”
Concern grows over supply chains
Compared to the 39% of the entire sample who believe they’ll have supply chain issues soon, 50% of brands making more money think they’ll see issues soon. Their biggest concern is that warehouses and 3PL companies may have difficulty operating at full capacity. They’re already running on skeleton crews and if the virus spreads and the government gets more involved, it could mean trouble.
A few brands that are doing well are feeling lucky that they had imminent plans, before the virus struck, that caused them to stock up on inventory. One brand was planning to open a new store. Those plans have changed, but they now have additional items to sell. Another brand was preparing for Mother’s Day and had submitted inventory to Amazon two days before their ban on “non-essential items.”
Brands with decreasing sales
How are they feeling?
Brands appreciate the power of running lean and have a newfound motivation to run a tighter ship if they make it through these uncertain times. This means brands might focus only on selling products that work, running a lean team, and reducing spend on ads before they know they’re effective. But, there’s a lot of uncertainty around how long this will last and if people will get the opportunity to run their businesses differently.
The only consistent theme is the focus on transparent communication with customers about governmental regulations and supply chain implications (if businesses know for sure what they are). Additionally, people are already preparing themselves for what to do when this passes.
Web traffic is decreasing due to waning consumer interest and decreased ad budgets
Brands are slashing ad budgets to conserve cash which is leading to significantly lower web traffic. 72% of the brands surveyed report lower web traffic, while 34% of them report a decline in web traffic of 30% or more week over week. 64% of these brands have cut budgets partially or entirely since this pandemic hit.
Ads are becoming even less efficient
77% of these brands report ads being less efficient, compared to 64% yesterday. It seems that increase is coming from brands that previously said that ads were equally as efficient as before.
Brands with flat sales
How are they feeling?
Brands with flat sales are nervous that this pandemic will persist and consumers won’t buy non-essential items. They aren’t sure how to keep people engaged and strike the balance between selling goods and building a community. They’re looking for some confidence in when this epidemic will end so they can slate investments and make them confidently.