Bizrate Insights In the News: April 2020

by Scott Spivack •

April changed lives drastically when the coronavirus hit the U.S. in full force. With the vast majority of states closing nonessential businesses, consumers had to adapt quickly to a new normal. Two-thirds of customers changed how they shop for essential items causing retailers to rethink their operations and delivery options.

Bizrate Insights has been working closely with eCommerce publications to track how consumers have adapted to their new normal. Here’s where our research was used this month:

  • Digital Commerce 360, “The Shopper Speaks: I miss store returns.” April 1, 2020.
    • Even actions as simple as returning a purchase have become more complicated as a result of the coronavirus. Although Bizrate Insights data showed that most consumers hadn’t reported many significant shifts in their online shopping habits at the beginning of April, many are becoming frustrated as they adapt to returning items without a physical store.
  • Digital Commerce 360, “The Shopper Speaks: The coronavirus and online shoppers 2.0.” April 16, 2020.
    • As the country continues to shelter in place, Digital Commerce 360 has been tracking these changes using Bizrate Insights research. In the April follow up to their initial March report, they found that the majority of shoppers had made changes to their online shopping behavior and buying many more products digitally than ever before.
  • eMarketer, “Consumers Are Spending Less on Clothes and More on Food, Health Products.” April 21, 2020.
    • Consumers have not only changed where they shop – they’ve also changed what they’re buying. A recent survey conducted by eMarketer and Bizrate Insights shows how these priorities have shifted. Necessities like food, health and cleaning products have all seen dramatic increases in online sales over the last thirty days, while sales of more impulse-driven purchases like clothing and consumer electronics are dropping.
  • Digital Commerce 360, “Look, feel and ease of use put shoppers in a buying mood.” April 23, 2020.
    • The COVID-19 outbreak has led to increased business for many eCommerce retailers, but it has also resulted in drastically more competition as brick-and-mortar companies pivot to digital and startups launch to provide consumers with in-demand goods. In this environment, overall site design has never been more critical to building loyalty and convincing site visitors to stick around and return. Digital Commerce 360 used Bizrate Insights data to create a list of five tips that can help retailers boost online conversions (membership required).
  • Retail Dive, “Poshmark introduces shoppable Posh Stories feature.” April 29, 2020.
    • With physical stores closed, brands are realizing the importance of connecting digitally with their customers. Many are focusing on social media, which Bizrate Insights data has found to be a growing conversion platform. Poshmark, a fashion reseller, is launching a new shoppable “Stories” feature to help boost conversions during what has proven to be a difficult time for the apparel industry.
  • Digital Commerce 360, “E-retailers make technology upgrades during the coronavirus.” April 30, 2020.
    • A recent DC360/Bizrate Insights survey found that 55% of consumers had placed more orders online as a result of the coronavirus. While this has benefited many ecommerce retailers, it has also put their current technology infrastructure to the test, with some merchants seeing their monthly traffic increase by over 1000%. Digital Commerce 360 covers the strategies that retailers are using to keep up with the influx in demand (membership required).
  • eMarketer, “Marketing with stories.” April 30, 2020.
    • Stories – the social media feature popularized by apps like Snapchat and Instagram – are on the rise, with over 40% of Instagram users watching one in the past month, according to a Bizrate Insights survey. Emarketer has released a guide for marketers on understanding stories, using them to their full potential, and how to measure success (purchase required).

These changes in overall behavior are only part of the story that’s beginning to emerge. Curbside pickup is becoming a popular option for a subset of consumers, and many shoppers are reducing impulse purchases likely as a result of economic anxiety.

As a handful of states begin to ease restrictions, Bizrate Insights will continue to monitor consumer behavior to see if shoppers start to revert back to their old habits, or if the shift to digital is here to stay.

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