Discovering Buying Trends Through COVID-19
Navigating the New Normal
Life has changed quite a bit for Americans over the past 2-3 weeks due to the spread of COVID-19 in our communities. Going from “panic on Aisle 5,” to pondering what the “new normal” of our daily lives will be, Mirus is continuing to track the needs of consumers in relation to how it may affect our clients’ in-person marketing goals. We’ll continue to share our research here and as always, offer services with the intent to engage and connect with the public in unique and positive ways.
What We’re Buying and How it’s Changing Over Time
Things moved fast in March, with retailers making daily modifications to store policies and cleaning standards to adjust to the growing health and safety concerns. We all saw the news reports showing lines of hundreds of people swarming stocks of toilet paper. Now as we have adhered to social distancing warnings and are consciously aware of our stress purchases, we have a better understanding of what we need and what we want.
Research done by Criteo suggests a slow down and normalization of our combined purchases after the initial rush to stock our pantries and medicine cabinets.
Consumers are now seeking fresh foods like fruits, vegetables and dairy items which perhaps suggests a more health-focused and immunity boosting outlook. Pet owners also see the likelihood that Fido will still need his flea treatment through this pandemic and are stocking up on items like pet toys to keep their furry friends happy.
As more companies encourage work-from-home scenarios, we apparently still envision our perfect living spaces and home offices: furnishings and electronics are on the rise. The increase in candy and chocolate purchases offers a likely scenario that we are all trying to get through this time the best we can, tolerating extended periods of isolation and forgiving our strict dietary habits to allow for sweet treats.
- Pet food, toys, vitamins and supplements
- Non-perishable milk
- Home furnishings
- Consumer electronics – webcams, modems, educational software, etc.
- Fruits and vegetables
- Candy and chocolate
- Shelf stable items and dry foods
- Face masks and medical supplies
- Household cleaning supplies
How can we continue to support our favorite brands?
Are we near the end of local retail and in-store shopping? Likely not, as they’re still deemed an essential service to us and in-store visits are so ingrained into our routines. However, as our society practices more social distancing, we will likely adapt new habits of shopping as a whole.
Criteo studies anticipate more than half (52%) of Americans will increase their online shopping in the next two weeks due to COVID-19, and 51% say they plan to buy their groceries online. This means that for some small, new, or local brands that don’t have vast distribution capabilities will rely heavily on optimizing their e-commerce potential.
Many brands like hard kombucha makers, JuneShine, have offered services like local delivery to their San Diego community. Door-to-door service? That’s an offer we couldn’t pass up.
Influencer marketing experts Collectively, Inc. suggest social media and influencers are cultivating even stronger connections with audiences during this time of increased information sharing. With strategic use of influencer marketing, this time offers a unique opportunity to directly contribute to brand growth while event and experiential marketing techniques may not be available.
In compliance with our retail partners and with the safety of our trusted field team in mind, Mirus has halted sampling demos nationwide. We have turned to alternative marketing strategies to encourage the continued growth of our clients’ brands.
Managing store stock with Mirus’ Retail Merchandising Support can be essential to maintaining growth and prominence in thriving accounts. As we all continue to navigate changes in consumer needs and public health policies, our merchandising team is ready to offer their help and feedback at a local level in your most needed accounts.
For more information on how we can support you during this time or to learn more about our merchandising program, please set up a time to discuss your needs HERE.
Written by: Jeannine Boisse
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