During the month of May as states, counties, and cities started to open back up across the US, the setting was primed for many businesses to stage their comebacks.
Like an underdog in a feel-good movie, many businesses happily opened their doors to customers eager to shop. Scrappy businesses everywhere took it upon themselves to take the necessary precautions to get back to work.
And the numbers are in for May. According to data from the US Census Bureau, while retail sales are down -6.1% YoY, they have rebounded +17.7% MoM. Interestingly enough, online sales account for just over half of this growth.
These are hopeful numbers. Economists only predicted retail sales to grow by around 8% MoM from April to May. This is a massive historical achievement and gives businesses a lot to look forward to in the short term.
While the online experience continues to grow in popularity and convenience, people are making their way back in-store as well, offering a look into what pandemic-era shopping might look like for the foreseeable future. A clear preference for a mixed online and offline experience.
Nearly one-third of consumers are continuing to shop at levels consistent with their pre-COVID habits.
That same group of consumers has shifted their focus to online shopping.
The preference for online shopping is fairly consistent across every region in the United States.
After reaching low points, consumer sentiment has begun to rebound from lows in May based on criteria that include personal finance, business conditions, and current buying conditions.
For more information on the methodology, visit Morning Consult for a closer look at the data.
Winners: Food Delivery
Pandemic-era food delivery exploded during the height of COVID, the biggest beneficiary being Doordash as people are hesitant to go out and under orders to stay in their homes.
Domino’s also saw a 14% spike in same-store sales for the first 8 weeks of Q2, according to MarketWatch.
Road to Recovery
While it may take a significant amount to time for things to return to normal, the large majority of businesses believe that they will be able to return to normal operations sometime in the next 2 years.
According to Omnisend’s data, email open rates are up an astounding near-29% YoY from 1/1-4/26 2020 compared to the same period in 2019.
Email conversion rates have also been on the rise as COVID-era email interaction trends upward. They peaked in March and have declined slightly as shoppers wrestle with financial uncertainty.
Brands cut a total of nearly $50 billion from their ad spend to make up for projected losses from COVID-19.
Categories that were hit the hardest, like travel & leisure levied more dramatic budget cuts as business came to a virtual standstill.
While there have been spending cutbacks across the board, digital channels are still seeing growth as brands focus on quick returns and fast deployments.