While it seems obvious that lockdowns will have a direct impact on shopping, what exactly is that? Data is still scarce but several trends are emerging. For example, a certain product saw a whopping 2,675% increase in sales—and no, it’s not hand sanitizers: it’s puzzles (hand sanitizers only saw a 30% increase).
The data below was mined from Skroutz.gr, Greece’s largest e-commerce portal. Greece is a COVID-19 success story, having been on complete lockdown for over a month now. So, it is likely that the trends identified here would also hold for economies facing similar restrictions in the future.
Yotpo has published a poll reporting on what people expect to spend their money on.
However, Greece suggests that actual buying may differ significantly from expectations. Within a month of lockdown, the following sectors have seen an increase as follows:
- Hobby and Sports increase: 70.40%,
- Health and Beauty increase: 54.30%,
- Technology increase: 43.70%,
- House and Garden increase: 35.60%.
Growing product categories
Yotpo reports that consumers are buying more household cleaning supplies (34.95%) and toilet paper (30.85%). Respondents also wrote that they’re looking to buy water, camping gear, frozen food, beer, and liquor.
In Greece, after a month of lockdown, the following products have seen an increase in sales:
|Kids & Baby Games||224.00%|
|Various Medical Consumables||183.50%|
|Keyboards & Mice||163.10%|
|Cleaning & Home Use Items||108.00%|
|Laptops & Accessories||99.90%|
|Small Home Appliances||75.20%|
|Tablets & Accessories||74.80%|
|TV & Accessories||59.50%|
|Sunscreen & Tanning||52.20%|
|Listening & Breathing||27.60%|
|PC Hardware (Computer Upgrade)||21.50%|
As Yotpo reports, a quarter of consumers are ordering more products online than they used to. So, this is a great time to be in marketing, as over a third of consumers report checking out marketing messages more often than in the past.
Another third is browsing more often, so plenty of retargeting opportunities there. Especially since 40% of the people polled would consider purchasing similar products from another brand if the product they normally use is not available.
However, price matters. Over half the consumers polled are looking to spend less during this time, and only a quarter expect to spend more.
A crisis and an opportunity
With a cure being possibly months away and a vaccine even longer, this information can offer a handy guide for any business looking to expand into new sectors or products. Build up your brand by connecting with your customers on a basic human level. Listen to their anxieties and concerns and respond to them.
Now more than ever, your online presence is the primary channel for your brand. Create content that provides real value to consumers. Whether this is entertaining videos or informative blog posts, make your brand and team more authentic and accessible. Use this as an opportunity to deepen your relationship with your community.
For this is how you should think of your customers and clients: an online community built around your brand. Encourage them to share their experiences and visual content on your media. Ask them to showcase how they use your products at home. And stress that we are all in this together.