Adjusting to the New (Ab)Normal

Without question this is a time of uncertainty and anxiety throughout the world.  Our thoughts have shifted, with a primary focus on the health of their family, friends, and co-workers.  We’re experiencing the sudden reality of isolation, with more than 2 billion people staying at home. It has changed our lives, our livelihoods, our relationships, and our economy. At Zaius, our steadfast focus is on the care of our customers and the well-being of our employees.   

As we aim to assist our brand and retail customers to understand and adjust to these incredibly challenging business conditions, we spent some time analyzing shopper behavior over the past three weeks. This analysis includes the shopping activity of more than 200 million shoppers in digital commerce over the last three week period.

While adjusting to this “new abnormal,” we’re increasing our spend on necessities and creature comforts. Food and Beverage brands are seeing the strongest growth across digital retail, with more than half of all brands experiencing growth. Shoppers are also trafficking the home-based categories, as small appliances, sporting goods and housewares are also achieving positive comps over the past three week period. With so much focus on the challenges of our economy, these verticals provide some evidence of positive growth.

For more detail on verticals, check out this growth comp chart:

Even for brands classified within a vertical experiencing growth challenges, some bright spots do exist. While some health and beauty brands have experienced decreased comp sales, others have achieved growth, reflecting a diversity of shopping behavior within H&B.  And while shoppers have decreased big ticket purchases on household items like furniture, home accessories brands have seen some positive signs, potentially because we are spending more time within our homes. Many people are seeing this disruption to our routines as an opportunity to reset and start better, healthier habits.

This is undoubtedly a challenging retail environment. Your approach to your shoppers has clearly shifted. One thing that hasn’t changed? It is still a great time to deepen shopper relationships by focusing on content, even if your – and their – focus is not directly on conversion.

We hope this brings some positive news to brands, that it is not all negative. Be well, be safe and together we’ll get through this difficult time.

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