There’s no denying it. The road to reopening has been and will continue to be one fraught with hardship as business owners have to grapple with regaining their livelihoods and the safety of their employees and customers. But there is hope among entrepreneurs who stand tall in the face of the challenge.
Those like Allan Reetz, Director of Public and Government Affairs for Hanover Co-op Food Stores (via The New York Times):
“Think through everything, and ask: ‘What are unintended consequences?’” said Mr. Reetz of Hanover Co-op. “You want to be quick, but don’t rush. Calm and focus is going to win the day. And let the staff know they have your support. The staff takes the brunt of things that fail.”
While there are a number of elements to consider, it’s not as out of reach as some might believe with varying restrictions and upticks in some localities. June saw a nearly 16% increase in open small businesses from a similar period in mid-April, although there appears to have been a 4% month-over-month decrease.
Although incremental, we are pushing forward. Progress doesn’t usually come all at once and requires learning, testing, and more learning until we can get something that works.
At the national level, consumer spending has been making a steady recovery since stimulus checks were dispersed in mid-April.
Spending by Category
Of the 2,137 respondents surveyed, overwhelmingly, consumers are spending more health, hygiene, and cleaning products in the United States and similarly in the other countries surveyed.
These spending habits can be traced directly back to the influence of COVID-19 and concerns over the spread of the virus.
COVID-era digital engagement continues to outperform pre-COVID numbers, which remains consistent across most categories except sports and travel.
However, since engagement peaked in mid-April, there has been a steady decline in visits to digital properties across the board, which signals that people are spending less and less time on devices as reopening proceeds.
Somewhat surprisingly lots of consumers are planning to travel this summer with 54% of respondents to a Klaviyo survey reporting that they were planning a getaway.
While many are planning to travel, most are planning to stay within the country and many within their states.
People want to get away but are often aware of the risk to their health and the health of those around them.
Brands everywhere that have traditionally relied on events to connect with their customers, partners, and vendors have pivoted their strategy to a digital approach with companies like Brand Assembly launching an online platform for their retailers and buyers with a 3-day virtual event series.
Hawke Media chose to pivot early in the onset of COVID with Quarantine Conference and is planning to launch Los Angeles’ inaugural eCommerce Week, a full week of programming to highlight LA’s vibrant eCommerce community and another event series.
eCommerce retailers saw an astonishing increase in orders of nearly 150% YoY in mid-April, marking the high point of a trend of sales shifting online during COVID-19.
In a snapshot of data from over 5000 shippers, it looks like manufacturing and wholesale shippers have taken on the lion’s share of the demand as eCommerce demand skyrocketed during the height of COVID with an assumed preference toward D2C brands as consumers often didn’t find retail accessible or available.
One of the best new ways to reach consumers while they’re spending more time on their devices is through SMS marketing, however, communicating in this medium requires a level of finesse and knowledge that only comes with knowing your customer and being able to have a conversation.
Postscript has launched a learning repository of Really Good Texts campaigns to help brands reach their audiences with empathy, value, and skill.