This week the United States has blown by another milestone, surpassing 1,000,000 [typed out for dramatic effect] confirmed cases of COVID-19. That’s nearly 1/3 of the world’s confirmed cases.
26 million Americans are out of work due to the fallout from Coronavirus. Numbers that are approaching Great Depression levels. The impact on the economy is undeniable.
While these numbers may seem dire, we’re a long way from finding ourselves burning trash can fires for warmth in a dark alley like the dystopian aesthetic of past decades…but gas is pretty cheap.
People are still shopping and states are gradually beginning to loosen restrictions on businesses. The next few weeks will be telling.
Thanks to Klaviyo’s data, we can see how consumers are planning to use their stimulus money. As expected, it varies based on demographics, especially when you compare employed to unemployed shoppers.
Consumers facing uncertainty in their financial future because coronavirus has impacted their job or recently left them without one tend to spend more conservatively, focusing on necessities.
While the categories are broad, there’s an interesting correlation between both cohorts’ spending on food & beverage and debt. While spending on debt is not a necessity it is an investment in financial stability. Food & beverage doesn’t make the distinction between grocery and restaurant, or even alcoholic beverages for that matter which saw a 55% increase of in-store sales and an astounding 243% increase in online sales.
More generally, beyond necessities, consumers plan to spend their stimulus checks on a wide range of goods and services. The operative message being, they plan to spend them. While money is being pumped in the economy there is an opportunity for your business to benefit.
When assessing your COVID-19 customer journey it’s important to take into account what people find most important in that experience. Since supply chains have been affected by the pandemic, many retailers have had a hard time keeping up with demand.
First and foremost, make sure your products are available!
Consumers are unequivocally changing their behaviors to adapt to the pandemic. These changes could be lasting and show patterns in consumers educating themselves and developing new habits, as seen in these insights from Google.
People are spending more time online and on devices across the board. Google shows that mobile data usage increase by 50% (including significant spikes in gaming and streaming) in March when coronavirus restrictions were put in place.
People are also looking for more ways to connect with one another and be social while maintaining their physical distance. A prevalent trend is a rise in calling.
Snapchat users have been taking advantage of the app’s calling features to connect with other users with both combined seeing an increase of 50%. The app is also experiencing 218 million active daily users.
Trustpilot has also compiled data on internet users who visit the reviews platform’s customer websites. Perhaps the starkest is the increase in furniture store reviews throughout April, which is likely a trend carried over from March when consumers were shopping more for household items and home offices.
Companies like Zoom Technologies have seen some unexpected success as a result of the pandemic and an unexpected case of mistaken identity. Is it time to consider a name change?
Despite potentially losing some momentum to this minor debacle, Zoom and others are seeing a surge in their share prices.
Our partner Postscript compiled intriguing data on the patterns and efficacy of SMS marketing outreach during the onset and spread of the pandemic.
COVID-related messaging grew to 26% on the platform at the end of March while messaging shifted to being more conversational and empathetic, rather than maintaining a focus on sales.
“COVID-related campaigns had a 70% increase in average positive incoming message score compared to non-COVID campaigns.”
For businesses experiencing some insecurity, Duke University has aggregated relief resources to help businesses with cash flow issues while they battle coronavirus.
This article originally appeared in the HawkeMedia blog and has been published here with permission.