Navigating the coronavirus outbreak is a global effort, uniting us in ways we could have never predicted. Now, more than ever, we have to continue to work together to overcome this challenge. Companies are offering their resources to help those in need. In a survey to small and medium businesses, UPS shows that the future is digital as a means of continued economic growth and connection. We are starting a path to recovery and planning for a post-coronavirus world.
To fully recover, grow, and evolve, we need to understand the real-time data and keep up-to-date with any tools and resources available that will help us through this crisis.
May 2020 Forecast As Coronavirus Continues
NetElixir has been monitoring the impact of coronavirus on ecommerce sales and online shopping behavior since February. Ecommerce sales across most retail categories are growing, as shown by our data:
The Apparel retail category is unfortunately still suffering the brunt of the coronavirus damage. The distribution of the stimulus checks across the United States offered some relief to the Apparel industry. This suggests pent-up demand that could boost sales as states slowly begin to open. The stimulus checks correlated with the first week-over-week increase in sales for the Apparel industry. While still negative year-over-year for April, we are seeing growth from March 2020 to April 2020.
The change in ecommerce sales has not deterred the spirit of American innovation, entrepreneurship, and community. Dozens of retailers have turned over their resources to produce masks for their clients and those in need. Safety doesn’t have to compromise style, as fashion industries pivot to keep their wares unique and effective. Kaki Zell of Ames Walker discusses how her company re-engineered their manufacturing capabilities and resources overnight to produce masks for her client’s continued medical aid and protection.
Of course, there will be some changes to retail stores as they reopen. Some brick-and-mortar shoppers will return to their favorite stores. However, many who were introduced to online shopping during the pandemic can become accustomed to it. We will see a continued acceleration to a digital landscape, as virtual connections help us to stay in touch and communicate with each other and our customers.
At NetElixir, based on our continued research, we expect May will continue to be a strong month for most ecommerce categories. As states slowly emerge from lockdown, we expect overall retail sales to go up across categories.
Small Business Aid
Small businesses bear the brunt of the difficulties created by the coronavirus crisis. NetElixir has a resource of free ecommerce tools available. These tools help small businesses manage and optimize their ecommerce website. Ecommerce provides a lifeline to continued business growth. Get your ecommerce site up and running to capture new online shoppers and connect with your customers.
Supplier diversity will help in the recovery process. We have seen strong examples of business resilience to inspire hope as we continue to move forward together.
Based on our research, we have compiled some recommendations for marketers:
- Low CPCs and high online conversion rates reveal an attractive opportunity to increase ad spend ROI. Invest now to earn more later.
- Reserve an incremental amount from your planned media budget for small testing and experimenting to entice new online shoppers and engage your high-value and returning customers.
- Effectively engaging the new online shopper demographic (18-24 and 45-54 age groups) will increase the chances of these customers remaining at least partially loyal to online shopping, even as brick-and-mortar stores begin opening.
To continue to provide you with information to enrich your business strategy, connect you with the world at large, and continue learning, we have multiple upcoming webinars:
Our X=Experience: Expert Webinar Series kicks off on Tuesday, May 12 at 2 PM ET with Anindya Ghose, acclaimed NYU Stern Professor of Business and Director of the Masters of Business Analytics Program. His presentation on Leveraging AI, Data, and Tech Platforms To Understand Health Pandemics will cover:
- How tech has been used for predictive analytics in Covid-19
- What academics have learned from research on mobile location data
- How cell phone location data has been used to analyze the extent of American social distancing
Our partners at BWG Strategy present Real Time Data on eCommerce Sales and Online Shopper Behavior on Tuesday, May 19 at 11 AM ET. Founder and CEO of NetElixir Udayan Bose will discuss:
- Let the Data Dictate Direction – A path to a successful recovery
- Impact of COVID-19 on online shopper behavior, conversion rates & eCommerce sales
- Checklist for digital marketers
- Update on Hand Sanitizers – Are they still a “hot product”
The fifth installment in our Impact of Covid-19 on Retail Ecommerce Webinar series will be live Thursday, May 21 at 2 PM ET.
Our second expert will be Jerry Wind, Professor of Marketing at Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.Wind will present Opportunities in Times of Crisis on Thursday, June 4 as part of our monthly X=Experience: Expert Series.
Our Covid-19 Updates Webinar series can be viewed in its entirety. The schedule is as follows:
- March 11: The first of the series on tracking the impact of the coronavirus on ecommerce sales and online shopping behavior
- March 26: Meet our first Retail Superhero, Parag Shah, the Vice President of Grocery at Wakefern Food Corporation for Shoprite, and learn over a month’s worth of research
- April 9: Our third update featured UPS’s President of SMB and US Marketing, Gerard Gibbons, for a live Q&A
- April 23: We detailed over two months’ worth of research and introduced Kaki Zell, Co-Owner and Vice President of Ames Walker for a story of innovation in the apparel industry
While we have covered an extensive dataset, it is by no means exhaustive. Please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org for specifics into your category.
Learn More about Ecommerce Updates During Coronavirus
You can join the conversation on social media using #NxInsights.
For further reading, you can see our prior retail analytics updates on retail ecommerce and online shopping behavior:
- In Honor of Teacher Appreciation Week 2020, from Monday, May 4
- Brief Ecommerce Sales Updates, from Friday, May 1
- Brief Retail Analytics Updates Amid Coronavirus Outbreak, from Wednesday, April 29
- Apparel Industry Leader Weighs in on Impact of Coronavirus Outbreak, from Monday, April 27
- Retail ECommerce Throughout the Coronavirus Outbreak: April Updates, from Friday, April 24