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Covid-19 poll daily insights

April 9, 2020


Fewer brands this week say sales are increasing—37 percent versus 43 percent last week. Consumers still seem to be shifting their dollars to new essentials—toys and hobbies, health and fitness, beauty and cosmetics, housewares, and hardware and home improvement.

Of the brands that said sales are increasing, 44 percent sell products in a new essentials category, up two percent from last week.

Are your sales being affected 4-9
what do you sell 4-9

What’s trending?

For the fifth day in a row, hardware and home improvement brands continue to say their sales are up. And as of the most recent survey (April 9, 2020), brands in this category say they’re also experiencing the following advantages:

  • 100 percent said their ad spends are more efficient than before
  • 50 percent said their sales have increased 40 percent or more since last week
  • 50 percent said they’ve experienced issues with their supply chain

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Twenty-four percent of brands say they’re spending more on ads, up from 19 percent last week. Looking at the trends over the last three weeks, we’re seeing a steady increase in the number of brands that have said they’re spending more on ads.

  • Week 1 (March 17-24): 11 percent of brands, on average, said they’re spending more on ads
  • Week 2 (March 25-April 1): 18 percent of brands, on average, said they’re spending more on ads
  • Week 3 (April 2-9): 21 percent of brands, on average, said they’re spending more on ads

Brands that mostly sell in higher-demand essentials and new essentials categories (beauty and cosmetics, food and beverage, housewares, health and fitness, toys and hobbies) are increasing their ad spend.

According to the most recent survey data (April 9, 2020), 53 percent of brands that are spending more on ads are also seeing increased efficiency. 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.

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Effective Marketing Moments

What’s working?

Multiple delivery options. Michaels, a brand that sells arts and crafts supplies, is an ideal destination for do-it-yourselfers (DIY) or those who are looking to entertain kids with creative hobbies. They updated their website to let customers know they’re still shipping orders, but they also offer curbside pick-up options so customers don’t have to feel inclined to go inside the store.

Michaels website update curbside pickup

Free digital resources that offer value. Passion Planner, a brand that sells planners, updated their website to include free resources to their customers and community, like creative, entertainment, learning, job, and mental health resources, for example. This is a great example of a thoughtful way to provide support to your customers and community during this time.

Passion Planner free resources to customers and community


Brands with increasing sales

How are they feeling?

Brands with increasing sales are concerned about not knowing how long stay-at-home orders will last, but they do believe they’ll emerge from this period of time with a stronger business and more customers.

Here’s what a few brands have said:

  • “We may be able to convert customers to [our] DTC [business] instead of [our] in-store [business].”
  • “I think this will have a positive overall impact. We’re acquiring a tremendous amount of new customers. We’re a consumable product, so we have a great opportunity to drive a higher customer lifetime value (LTV) vs. the initial purchase order.”
  • “We will have a lot of new customers in the mix that we didn’t have before.”
  • What’s working?

    Brands say that communicating on a personal level with their customers through email, phone, and chat is working very well for them.

    One brand said, “Creating content that is personal and speaking to my audience about the situation—not avoiding what people are going through—acknowledging we’re in a time of change, and being way more personable with my audience [is working well]. [We’re] creating more online content.”

    Another brand said, “Relating to customers and how they’re adapting to COVID-19, and making ourselves super accessible to customers by personally messaging them and answering [their] questions [is working well].”

    Others have said that offering promotions, sales, or focusing on selling a curated selection of products has been effective.

    One brand said that one thing in particular that worked well for them was “an Easter sale with 20 percent off across the board.”

    With other holidays coming up, now might be a great time to start planning what content you’ll share with your customers.

    For Mother’s Day marketing ideas, explore this guide.

    For advice on how to create a content calendar, explore this handbook.

    Brands with decreasing sales

    How are they feeling?

    Most brands with decreasing sales are hopeful about the future. They’re not sure when this pandemic will end and they’re feeling significant pains, but they think they can recover. Some brands also think that, in the future, fewer consumers will shop in-store and more will shop online.

    One brand said, “My brick-and-mortar store is closed, so all of my sales are online only now. Hopefully, this grows my customers’ awareness of my online ecommerce business.”

    Another brand said, “We will have likely gained more online customers who had previously shopped in stores.”

    To learn more about transitioning from a brick-and-mortar business to an online store, check out this guide or watch this on-demand webinar.

    What’s working?

    Many brands with decreasing sales said that engaging customers on social media and email, and offering them sales or promotions have been helping their business. A few worry that customers will come to expect discounts, but they’re comfortable with offering them for the time being.

    One brand shared, “Today, we see that giving big discounts and running giveaways helps drive more brand awareness.”

    Another brand said what’s working for them is “posting more on Instagram [and offering] more sales, which I don’t want my customers to get used to.”

    Brands with flat sales

    How are they feeling?

    Brands with flat sales have mixed feelings about their future outlook. Some think they’ll rebound quickly, while others aren’t sure because of the larger macroeconomic effects that could affect consumer spending habits.

    One brand reported concerns about “wanting to promote my business but being aware that so many are struggling financially.”

    For tips on how to communicate with empathy during this time, read this article.

    What’s working?

    Brands said that using Facebook, Instagram, and email have helped them during this crisis.

    One home decor brand mentioned that they’ve shifted their messaging to focus on what they can offer during this time:“We’ve been focusing our efforts on marketing our virtual design specialists. We want to make sure our community knows that we have multiple ways for them to communicate with us and they don’t have to change out of their pajamas for any of them. Our motto has changed to ’get design assistance from the comfort of your couch.’ We’ve also been focusing messaging on home projects and creating a space at home that you love.”

More resources for businesses affected by Covid-19