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Covid-19 poll daily insights
April 8, 2020
- Trending: For the fifth day in a row, more than 40 percent of respondents say their sales are going up.
- Trending: Consumers are starting to shift their dollars back to non-essentials categories.
- Trending: Of brands that are experiencing shipping issues, less are saying it’s negatively affecting their website conversion rate.
Forty percent of respondents, up five percent from last week, say their sales are going up. This is the fifth day in a row that more than 40 percent of survey respondents are saying their sales are going up. When we look to see where this growth is coming from, it seems to be coming from both new essentials—toys and hobbies, health and fitness, beauty and cosmetics, housewares, and home improvement—and non-essentials, like apparel and accessories.
Of brands that say their sales are going up, 68 percent say they haven’t had any issues with their supply chain (up from 62 percent last week), according to our most recent survey from 4/8.
While money is still being spent on essentials, consumers are starting to shift their dollars back to non-essentials categories.
- During week one of this survey (3/17–3/25), an average of 23 percent of respondents with increasing sales sold items in an essential category, compared to 26 percent that sold items in a non-essential category.
- During week two of this survey (3/26–4/3), the average number of respondents who said their sales were up and sold items in an essential category shrunk to 10 percent, whereas the average number of respondents who said their sales were up and sold items in a non-essential category grew to 44 percent ( a 15 percent jump).
- This trend is being driven by brands that sell apparel and accessories, electronics, and CBD products.
Of brands that are experiencing shipping issues, fewer people are saying that it’s negatively affecting their website conversion rates. Looking at a one-week snapshot (4/1–4/8), it appears that shipping issues aren’t necessarily hurting website conversion rates like they once were. This could mean that shoppers are being more accepting of delays, or that more brands are setting realistic delivery expectations and communicating them clearly.
Effective Marketing Moments
Communicating with empathy to your community. Vuori Clothing, a store that sells athleisure clothing, sent an email to its customer community letting them know about store closures, employee welfare and compensation, shipping and fulfillment expectations, and the availability of online shopping. Additionally, the brand’s offering a selection of free online fitness classes to help inspire everyone to move and stay healthy.
Multiple delivery options. Norman Love, a company that sells chocolate confections, updated their website to include local delivery and curbside pickup options, given the coronavirus pandemic. This is a great way to cater to their customers and to help celebrate the Easter holiday season despite this unusual time.
Brands with increasing sales
How are they feeling?
Many brands with increasing sales believe the future will be bright for them because they’re acquiring a large new customer base, and they’re using this time to strengthen their online stores.
One apparel and accessories brand said, “Our online business needed a boost. I think this will help strengthen our online presence in a permanent way.”
When asked what concerns them most today, several brands reported the uncertainty of how long shelter-in-place will remain. Some respondents also said they struggled with understanding how to take advantage of this opportunity while also acknowledging that it’s a challenge for many consumers.
One brand said they needed to know “how to craft messaging that finds a balance between communicating product benefits and driving sales, while being sensitive to the current situation.”
For tips on how to be human and transparent in your brand communications, check out these resources:
- Guide to Email Personalization
- Guide to Building a Brand Voice
- Communicating with Empathy and Transparency
Brands say email marketing, Facebook ads, and staying in touch with their customer community is working best for them.
One brand said part of its communication strategy is to “maintain positive messaging, reminding current and potential customers [that they] are [t]here [for them].”
Another brand said their communication involved a “focus on converting [brick-and-mortar] store customers to online [customers].”
Need help moving your brick-and-mortar store to an ecommerce business? Check out this guide.
Brands with decreasing sales
How are they feeling?
Brands with decreasing sales are feeling concerned about their current cash flow, and many are unsure about how to adapt their business to the current situation.
One brand said they’re concerned about ”keeping things in stock and getting items [they] don’t usually ship to [their] customers.” They shared that they’re “figuring out new ways to sell existing inventory online [for products] that [they] haven’t had a shipping system for before.”
Another brand said they’re concerned they’re “not spending enough [on ads] when people are still clearly online and buying.” Like many other brands, they understand that “upper management wants to conserve costs.”
Brands with decreasing sales said that engaging with customers in a personalized way through email and phone calls was helping them during this time. Other brands shared that they were using this time to focus internally on their business planning.
One brand said, “We’ve got a great opportunity to focus on our development and processes with the decrease in customer service administration.”
Brands with flat sales
How are they feeling?
Brands with flat sales are concerned about running out of inventory, although only 35 percent reported issues with their supply chain—down from 58 percent last week.
Many also said they’re concerned about future consumer shopping habits.
One brand said they’re concerned “that income will go down and in turn, sales will be majorly affected.”
Many brands reported ads are working well for them during this time. Thirty-eight percent said they’re working more efficiently than before, up from 18 percent last week.
One brand said, “Online ads have been great to reach a wider audience.”