We’ve produced a lot of content since the outbreak of COVID-19, using fascinating trend data from the PriceSpider Platform. So, we thought, this might be a good time to compile all that content into one convenient place. So, here you have it, the PriceSpider Blog Digest – Coronavirus Edition.
This is a guide to every COVID-19-related piece we’ve published on the PriceSpider blog, starting with the most recent content. You’ll find brief descriptions of each post with a link to where you can read the whole thing.
Over the last couple of months, brands that neglected ecommerce had a rude awakening. This post shares some of the big takeaways brands should have from the pandemic, including:
- Every brand needs to create a high-quality online experience
- It’s harder to prepare for a crisis during a crisis
- Consumers will buy just about anything online
- Shoppers needed help finding products in stock
- You can’t put all your business in one retailer
- You still have to protect your price during a pandemic
- Americans don’t want “we’re all in this together” ads
Some brands have “tightened their belts” by abandoning their price protection software, so we outlined reasons why this temporary budget solution can have long-term consequences, such as:
- Some trusted retail partners may be going out of business, leaving you more vulnerable to less-trustworthy sellers
- eBay sellers have increased
- Unauthorized sellers are on the rise
If brands go soft on violators now, it could change how consumers (and retailers) see their brand in the future.
As we were preparing our post about how consumer electronics was the most in-demand product category, hardware overtook it. Traffic to hardware brands increased more than 500% from early April to early May, and transactions increased 181%. We listed several possible reasons why this product category has been so in-demand, including:
- People are staying home, with home improvement projects staring them in the face
- Construction projects began resuming in some states
- Local availability has increased
- Stimulus checks are still coming in
- Hardware is likely a category people prefer to buy in-store, where they can inspect materials and tools (which could explain why traffic has increased so much more than transactions)
During the week of April 22-April 28, our platform showed more total transactions than the week of Black Friday 2019 (November 29 to December 5). We highlighted some of the biggest differences between pandemic shopping and holiday shopping, including:
- Deals aren’t driving sales
- People are buying a wider range of products online
- Consumers are getting stimulus checks
- Brands are working harder to create quality online experiences
The data has fluctuated a lot since March, but we noticed early on that of all the product categories seeing an increase in web traffic and transactions, consumer electronics was seeing the most (hardware overtook consumer electronics before we published this post). We shared insights from our data and suggested some of the factors that likely contributed to the increased demand for consumer electronics:
- People were spending more time indoors
- Schools were closed (parents needed to keep kids busy and access online learning)
- More people began working remotely and needed equipment
- Stimulus checks started coming in
- And more
When Amazon started prioritizing essential products, consumers reacted quickly, and began making other purchases through retailers like Walmart and Target. Our data showed that Target had actually surpassed Amazon in clicks, and we offered an analysis of why that happened and why it might be a lasting change.
Many brands weren’t prepared for the huge increase in traffic and transactions that came with COVID-19. We gave six tips for brands that suddenly found themselves trying to improve their online experience:
- Optimize product pages
- Identify “content gaps” on your website (i.e. topics you need to create a page about)
- Highlight your best retail partners (ideally with Where to Buy)
- Get better visibility into your marketing campaigns (via Where to Buy)
- Double-down on your highest converting channels
- Experiment with new opportunities (like influencer marketing, retargeted advertising, and social media content)
One of the early surprises of the pandemic was that consumers showed a willingness to embrace online grocery shopping. We used our data to show that there was a significant increase in demand for online food and beverage products, then discussed how the pandemic (and the risk/fear of contracting COVID-19) likely influenced this change in consumer behavior.
Our platform saw a 76% increase in traffic to brands’ websites, so we explored the difference between a brand’s product detail pages and their website, emphasizing the importance of optimizing your website for conversions and creating a high-quality customer experience.
As every brand wrestles with if and how they should talk about COVID-19, we recommended brands find ways to be relevant, not repetitive. The world doesn’t need another “we’re all in this together” ad, but if COVID-19 has changed the way your customers interact with you or you have unique insights into how it’s affecting your industry, you should share that. And of course, brands should highlight stock availability in Where to Buy.
We rounded up some of the early observations about COVID-19’s effect on online sales and shared some insights from our internal data. Specifically, we highlighted that:
- There was an increased demand for “nonessential” product categories like food and beverage
- Consumers were avoiding brick-and-mortar stores
- Perks and preferences appeared to be less important
- Displaying stock availability was becoming more helpful
- Brands and retailers were adjusting their supply chains
We continue to keep our eyes on the data and will keep writing data driven stories to help ecommerce brands identify trends and navigate the ever-changing waters of ecommerce. In fact, we just passed yet another milestone in PriceSpider History as platform traffic outpaced black friday traffic every single day in May and it looks like we may have a new baseline for traffic to your brand website. If you haven’t already, now is the time to invest in ecommerce tools that protect your brand and optimize digital touchpoints so you can capitalize on that traffic.
Schedule a demo today to see how PriceSpider can help you protect, drive, and track sales while giving you valuable consumer shopping data to optimize your customer journey.