Hawke Media Special Report: August 26, 2020

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California is burning, US campaign season is heating up, Hurricane Laura is making its way to the Gulf Coast, and yet another unarmed black man, Jacob Blake, has been shot by police.

The news cycle turns around stories faster than most of us can keep up these days. Negative news and sensationalism have a profound effect on stress, anxiety, and quality of life.

“More than half of Americans say the news causes them stress, and many report feeling anxiety, fatigue or sleep loss as a result, the survey shows. Yet one in 10 adults checks the news every hour, and fully 20% of Americans report “constantly” monitoring their social media feeds—which often exposes them to the latest news headlines, whether they like it or not.”, according to a 2017 survey from the American Psychological Association as reported by Time Magazine.

Staying informed is important, unequivocally. However, as with every aspect of life, there needs to be balance. Try to substitute checking the news multiple times a day with picking up a big, taking a walk, or doing another healthy activity for 10 minutes to help you refocus.

Consumer Trends

Shopping Preferences

Source: Facebook IQ

  • 50% of shoppers are ready to get back into stores, but many are still listing health and safety concerns as a top priority for making their way back into retailers.
  • 50% are also willing to pay more for companies that go the extra mile in ensuring quality and safety.

Spending: Overview

Source: Barron’s

  • While there was a clear decrease in spending due to the pandemic, there are early signs of a recovery as shoppers continue to spend on non-essential items.
  • Many shoppers are opportunistic. Perceived deals on sought after items are a major driver for conversions.

Spending: By Category

Source: Facteus

  • The last week saw the smallest decline in spending since early July.
  • Consumer spending on video games has steadily increased after a 101% growth spike in June.

Business Trends

Retail & eCommerce

Source: United States Department of Commerce

  • Online retail sales jumped 31.8% in Q2 of 2020 according to the US Commerce Department.
  • eCommerce accounted for 13.1% of all retail sales during this period.

Source: OrderGroove

  • The pandemic accelerated the growth and adoption of eCommerce as consumers became more concerned about going out to shop for items.
  • During the first 8 weeks of the pandemic, eCommerce grew from 16% to 27% of all sales.

Spotlight: Small Business

Source: Google

  • 86% of small businesses in the United States report being able to open in some capacity.
  • Many businesses, small and large, are worried about revenue declines and attracting new customers throughout restrictions imposed by the pandemic.

Advertising

Source: eMarketer

  • Programmatic display ads continue to grow in terms of the percentage of total spend for display ads.
  • That growth was slowed this year, but still remains positive and is projected to continue upward.