COVID-19 quarantines and safety measures have meant that brick and mortar retail stores have had to close their doors for the time being, reducing in-store activity, and adding digital and pick up options. Other than essentials like groceries and medicine, consumers have had to turn to online shopping in order to get the goods they want and need.
As BDO Digital reported, companies are finding creative ways to promote eCommerce as consumer priorities shift. We’re seeing a global digital transformation as Chinese lingerie brand Cosmo Lady shifted their focus to WeChat app sales, high-end Italian handbag and shoe manufacture Les Petits Joueurs launched a virtual showroom that allows one to try out the products using virtual reality, and JD health launched an online health service that helps patients with chronic illnesses receive their meds. The video chat app Zoom isn’t just for remote conference calls anymore — their subscription service is booming as the tech has become a go-to way for people to stay connected, hosting virtual game nights and happy hours along with group calls.
It’s easy to assume that digitally native shoppers would have transitioned seamlessly to shopping online without disrupting sales too dramatically, but research by Retail Dive shows that’s not the case. Overall, DTC brand week-over-week spending fell 7% between March 2 and March 22, while the same brands saw a week-over-week increase of 1% from January 6 to March 1. When it comes to non-essential items, consumers are spending less on the whole.
Grocery industry sales, including meal kits, online grocers, and alcohol sellers are climbing as consumers focus on cooking (and drinking) at home as restaurants and bars are closed for dine-in service. Understandably, travel and events industries are taking a blow as citizens around the world observe different shelter-in-place measures.
We chronicled our client findings in our latest infographic; we’ve seen a 40% enrollment increase in subscriptions across all verticals over the past few weeks. Health and wellness, in particular, has seen a 37% increase in subscription programs week after week, as consumers prioritize obtaining their wellness needs safely and predictably. If companies want to stay afloat during the coronavirus crisis, one thing is clear: they need to embrace recurring revenue programs and make it easy for consumers to order their products online. The current COVID-19 crisis will have a lasting impact on retail, and consumers will rely on eCommerce for months to come.
Ordergroove collaborated with research gathered by the Head of BDO Digital, Yael Kander for this article.