COVID-19 
RETAIL PULSE

BY WITHIN

The tangible effects of the COVID-19 outbreak are increasing in intensity and spreading hourly. This is quite possibly the largest global Black Swan Event since the 2008 housing crisis.

WITHIN is monitoring the business effects of this outbreak. Using data from a sampling of omnichannel and pure-play ecommerce clients, we are tracking year-over-year trends and day-to-day trends in total business revenue, total ad spend, and total conversion rate to see how businesses are responding to sudden economic volatility. 


Check here every day to see how your competitors are doing across revenue, ad spend, and conversion rates during the COVID-19 outbreak. 

BY WITHIN


The tangible effects of the COVID-19 outbreak are increasing in intensity and spreading hourly. This is quite possibly the largest global Black Swan Event since the 2008 housing crisis.

WITHIN is monitoring the business effects of this outbreak. Using data from a sampling of omnichannel and pure-play ecommerce clients, we are tracking year-over-year trends and day-to-day trends in total business revenue, total ad spend, and total conversion rate to see how businesses are responding to sudden economic volatility. 


Check here every day to see how your competitors are doing across revenue, ad spend, and conversion rates during the COVID-19 outbreak. 

Wed, March 4, 2020

Wednesday, March 4, 2020

As of this writing, in the US, 80 confirmed cases of COVID-19 have been detected across 13 states, not included 49 repatriated Americans who have not officially been diagnosed.

It’s safe to say that brick and mortar retail businesses will suffer. In the short term, stores may see a brief uptick in business as people seek out scarcer provisions. For the long term, if this pandemic persists, it may be quite some time before people are eager to venture outside of their homes.

In our data analysis of year over year revenue, we’ve seen: 

  • Fashion brands drop more than -15.05% under revenue growth trends.

    Both pure-play ecommerce and omnichannel were trending downward for the past few days, but while omnichannel has continued to drop at -22.25% below growth trends, pure-play has bounced back with a +7.31% gain.


    Subscription brands this time two weeks ago saw, on average, a +1.4% gain, but is now matching expectations.


    Luxury brands dropped from +44.79% above revenue growth trends on February 15 to -3.5%.  

As of this writing, in the US, 80 confirmed cases of COVID-19 have been detected across 13 states, not included 49 repatriated Americans who have not officially been diagnosed.

It’s safe to say that brick and mortar retail businesses will suffer. In the short term, stores may see a brief uptick in business as people seek out scarcer provisions. For the long term, if this pandemic persists, it may be quite some time before people are eager to venture outside of their homes.

In our data analysis of year over year revenue, we’ve seen:

Tues, March 10, 2020

Tuesday, March 10, 2020

Considering the speed and scale at which the COVID-19 outbreak has accelerated, we have decided to update this page on a more regular basis. 

The virus continues to spread. The travel and hospitality verticals have been hit the hardest. And offices across the country have switched to a strict work-from-home policy. 

Fashion brands have held steady at -15.09% below trending revenue growth

Pure-play ecommerce has slowed from our last update to -14.57%, 

Omnichannel has declined to -21.76% from its trending revenue growth.

Subscription brands have seen incredible growth in the past few days, going from +1.4% above growth trends just 6 days ago to its current +71.71% above trending growth.

Luxury goods have continued to drop off, with a new low of -24.57, down from +44.79% on February 15, 2020.

Considering the speed and scale at which the COVID-19 outbreak has accelerated, we have decided to update this page on a more regular basis. The virus continues to spread. The travel and hospitality verticals have been hit the hardest. And offices across the country have switched to a strict work-from-home policy. 

Fashion brands have held steady at -15.09% below trending revenue growth

Pure-play ecommerce growth has slowed from our last update to -14.57%, 

Omnichannel has declined to -21.76% from trending revenue growth.

Subscription brands have seen incredible growth in the past few days, going from +1.4% above trending growth just 6 days ago to its current +71.71% above trending growth.

Luxury goods have continued to drop off, with a new low of -24.57, down from +44.79% on February 15, 2020.

COVID-19 
RETAIL PULSE

Fashion brands drop more than -15.05% under trending revenue growth.

Both pure-play ecommerce and omnichannel were trending downward for the past few days, but while omnichannel has continued to drop at -22.25% below growth trends, pure-play has bounced back with a +7.31% gain.


Subscription brands this time two weeks ago saw, on average, a +1.4% gain, but is now matching expectations.


Luxury brands dropped from +44.79% above revenue growth trends on February 15 to -3.5%.  

Friday, February 28, 2020

Today, the US Center for Disease Control has confirmed two new cases of COVID-19 in California. Neither patient had traveled to affected areas or had known contact with infected persons.

Though the current outlook for US-based infections is uncertain, the ramifications of Asian markets’ outbreak hit the stock market hard this morning.

The Dow fell by 761 points, a drop of 2.96%.

The S&P 500 dropped by just over 3%.

The NASDAQ dropped by 3.1%.

Whether the novel coronavirus spreads in the US or not, the global economy will undoubtedly suffer during its spread. This page is where we will keep close tabs on trends across key business metrics from a sampling of our omnichannel and pure-play ecommerce clients.

So far, we haven’t seen these effects ripple into our clients’ key metrics, but we suspect the temperature may change soon, and we want to be prepared.

Check in next week for more updates. 

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Friday, Feb. 28, 2020

Today, the US Center for Disease Control has confirmed two new cases of COVID-19 in California. Neither patient had traveled to affected areas or had known contact with infected persons.

Though the current outlook for US-based infections is uncertain, the ramifications of Asian markets’ outbreak hit the stock market hard this morning.

Friday, March 13, 2020

Sun, March 15, 2020

COVID-19 continues to spread, with 1,629 confirmed cases across the US. The economic impact is being felt across retail verticals too.

  • The fashion category has been hit hard, with revenue -40.96% from where it was trending around this time in January (the baseline benchmark we’re using).

    Pure-play ecommerce growth has slowed from our last update from -14.57% on 03/10 to -35.30 from its growth trend.

    Omnichannel has declined to -41.42% from trending revenue growth.

    Subscription brands continue to grow at an incredible pace, at +127.19% from its baseline trending growth this time two months ago.

    Luxury goods continue to drop, now at -35.99%.

The fashion category has been hit hard, with revenue -40.96% from where it was trending around this time in January (the baseline benchmark we’re using).

Pure-play ecommerce growth has slowed from our last update from -14.57% on 03/10 to -35.30 from its growth trend.

Omnichannel has declined to -41.42% from trending revenue growth.

Subscription brands continue to grow at an incredible pace, at +127.19% from its baseline trending growth this time two months ago.

Luxury goods continue to drop, now at -35.99%.


COVID-19 continues to spread, with 1,629 confirmed cases across the US. The economic impact is being felt across retail verticals too.

Mon, March 16, 2020

Monday, March 16, 2020

Considering the speed and scale at which the COVID-19 outbreak has accelerated, we have decided to update this page on a more regular basis. 

The virus continues to spread. The travel and hospitality verticals have been hit the hardest. And offices across the country have switched to a strict work-from-home policy. 

As of this writing, the number of reported COVID-19 cases has grown by 114% since yesterday. Across the country, stores, gyms, restaurants, bars, venues, movie theaters, and schools are closing their doors indefinitely. The retail world is likewise not faring well.

FASHION

From its pre-COVID trend, fashion ecommerce revenue has fallen -63%

Conversion rates are down by -46%

PURE-PLAY ECOMMERCE

Revenue has fallen -46.43% from its pre-COVID trend.

Conversion rates are down by -32.63%.

OMNICHANNEL

Revenue has fallen -57.3%

Conversion rates are down by -7.44%

SUBSCRIPTION & 
AT-HOME CONVENIENCE

Revenue has risen by +204.88%.

Conversion rates are up by an amazing
 +119.36%.

LUXURY

Revenue has fallen -37.87%.

Conversion rates are up by +25.4%, likely because they've pulled back ad spend which has decreased traffic. Repeat buyers and lack of new site traffic make the CvR appear higher.

FASHION

PURE-PLAY ECOMMERCE

OMNICHANNEL

Revenue has fallen -57.3%.

Conversion rates are down by -7.44%


SUBSCRIPTION & 
AT-HOME CONVENIENCE

LUXURY

Revenue has risen by +204.88%.

Conversion rates are up by an amazing +
119.36%.

Revenue has fallen -37.87%.

Conversion rates are up by +25.4%, likely because they've pulled back ad spend which has decreased traffic. Repeat buyers and lack of new site traffic make the CvR appear higher.

Tue, March 17, 2020

Tuesday, March 17, 2020

The effects of the COVID-19 outbreak in the US are growing, with 4,226 documented cases as of this writing. San Francisco has order a shelter-in-place policy while New York City ponders doing the same. Likewise, the retail world is in upheaval. 

The effects of the COVID-19 outbreak in the US are growing, with 4,226 documented cases as of this writing. San Francisco has ordered a shelter-in-place policy while New York City ponders doing the same. Meanwhile, for now, retail metrics seem to be leveling off.

FASHION

From its pre-COVID trend, fashion ecommerce revenue has fallen -61.68%, up a bit from yesterday's -63%.

Conversion rates are down by -34%, higher than yesterday's -46%

PURE-PLAY ECOMMERCE

Revenue made a slight rebound from -46.43% to today's -29%.

Conversion rates are likewise slightly up at -26.5% compared to yesterday's -32.63%.

OMNICHANNEL

Revenue has fallen -63.13%

Conversion rates continued to fall, now at -16.3%.

SUBSCRIPTION & 
AT-HOME CONVENIENCE

Revenue has risen by +204.3%.

Conversion rates are up by
 +159.22
%.

LUXURY

Revenue saw a little bump, up to -31% compared to yesterday's -37.87%.

Conversion rates fell to 0.40% from yesterday's +25.4%.

FASHION

PURE-PLAY ECOMMERCE

OMNICHANNEL

Revenue has fallen -57.3%.

Conversion rates are down by -7.44%


SUBSCRIPTION & 
AT-HOME CONVENIENCE

LUXURY

Revenue has risen by +204.88%.

Conversion rates are up by an amazing +
119.36%.

Revenue has fallen -37.87%.

Conversion rates are up by +25.4%, likely because they've pulled back ad spend which has decreased traffic. Repeat buyers and lack of new site traffic make the CvR appear higher.

Wed, March 18, 2020

Wednesday, March 18, 2020

The latest numbers show 7,038 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the United States, up from yesterday's count of 4,226. 

SPOTLIGHT

One of our subscription clients has seen conversion rates increase significantly, resulting in more purchases and higher revenue. The company is still making every effort to be discoverable, convenient, and accommodating.

The company has shifted its marketing focus to search and shopping in Google Ads. 


To encourage consumers to stock up, they have lowered free-shipping thresholds and offered cash-back on orders over $100.


They've also been very public about increasing health and safety measures in their warehouses, where they’ve stocked extra inventory to meet demand.

The latest numbers show 7,038 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the United States, up from yesterday's count of 4,226. 

SPOTLIGHT

One of our subscription clients has seen conversion rates increase significantly, resulting in more purchases and higher revenue. The company is still making every effort to be discoverable, convenient, and accommodating.

The company has shifted its marketing focus to search and shopping in Google Ads. 


To encourage consumers to stock up, they have lowered free-shipping thresholds and offered cash-back on orders over $100.

They've also been very public about increasing health and safety measures in their warehouses, where they’ve stocked extra inventory to meet demand.

FASHION

Fashion revenue continues to drop, now at -66% vs its pre-COVID19 trend

 
Conversion rates have slowly ascended from its lowest point on March 16, 2020. 


With search volume plummeting, Google spend is now down -58% vs just -32% for Facebook

PURE-PLAY ECOMMERCE

Revenue takes a dip from -29% to -63%, its worst day yet. 


Conversion rates continue to fall, now at a new low of -35.6% vs its pre-COVID19 trend. 


Pullbacks in Facebook budget (-66%) now exceed pullbacks on Google (-55%).


OMNICHANNEL

Revenue made a slight recovery from -63% to -54%.

Omnichannel ecommerce conversion rates climbed by up +1.75% above its pre-COVID19 benchmark.


Facebook budgets continue to decline from -9% to -13% while Google holds steady at -40%.

SUBSCRIPTION & 
AT-HOME CONVENIENCE

Revenue holds steady at +205%


Though revenue has held steady, CvR has increased to a new high of +183%


Google ad spend is taking the lion's share of incremental budget for this thriving category, now up +193% compared to the pre-COVID19 benchmark period.


LUXURY

Revenue dips from -31% to -45%, its lowest point to date.

Luxury conversion rates continue to turn around — currently at +12.6% vs its post-COVID low of -18% — even as its revenue falls.

Luxury brands continue to pull back budgets across the board, now down -37% on Google and -27% on Facebook

FASHION

PURE-PLAY ECOMMERCE

OMNICHANNEL

Revenue made a slight recovery from -63% to -54%.

Omnichannel ecommerce conversion rates climbed up to +1.75% above its pre-COVID19 benchmark.


Facebook budgets continue to decline from -9% to -13% while Google holds steady at -40%.

SUBSCRIPTION & 
AT-HOME CONVENIENCE

LUXURY

Revenue holds steady at +205%


Though revenue has held steady, CvR has increased to a new high of +183%


Google ad spend is taking the lion's share of incremental budget for this thriving category, now up +193% compared to the pre-COVID19 benchmark period.

Revenue dips from -31% to -45%, its lowest point to date.

Luxury conversion rates continue to turn around — currently at +12.6% vs its post-COVID low of -18% — even as its revenue falls.

Luxury brands continue to pull back budgets across the board, now down -37% on Google and -27% on Facebook

Thu, March 19, 2020

Thursday, March 19, 2020

COVID19 has now spread entirely across the country. Even with a severe lack of available tests, the number of confirmed cases spiked from yesterday’s 4,226 to today’s 10,442. Retailers are now realizing that this will not be a hiccup, but a new way of life for months to come.

Beating the Benchmarks Spotlight

One of our omnichannel food & beverage clients closed their 70+ brick & mortar stores last week, promising to pay all affected employees for their regularly scheduled hours.

While it’s to be expected that — even for stores that don’t close — brick & mortar revenue would go down, this omnichannel client has made excellent use of their ecommerce business.

The entire company is now focused on the goals of pushing bulk orders and subscriptions.

They’ve switched to free-shipping and released a new “Buy 3, Get 1 Free” promotion that has boosted sales incredibly, beating the revenue and conversion rates of their Black Friday/Cyber Monday periods.

Compared to the pre-COVID19 January benchmark period, these efforts have resulted in:
+163% increase in ecommerce CvR
+86% increase in transactions
+48% increase in revenue
+77% increase in unique purchases

Do you have your own Beating the Benchmarks story to tell? Share it with impact@within.co to be featured in the Retail Pulse.

COVID19 has now spread entirely across the country. Even with a severe lack of available tests, the number of confirmed cases spiked from yesterday’s 4,226 to today’s 10,442. Retailers are now realizing that this will not be a hiccup, but a new way of life for months to come.

Spotlight: Beating the Benchmarks


One of our omnichannel food & beverage clients closed their 70+ brick & mortar stores last week, promising to pay all affected employees for their regularly scheduled hours.

While it’s to be expected that — even for stores that don’t close — brick & mortar revenue would go down, this omnichannel client has made excellent use of their ecommerce business.

The entire company is now focused on the goals of pushing bulk orders and subscriptions.

They’ve switched to free-shipping and released a new “Buy 3, Get 1 Free” promotion that has boosted sales incredibly, beating the revenue and conversion rates of their Black Friday/Cyber Monday periods.

Compared to the pre-COVID19 January benchmark period, these efforts have resulted in:
+163% increase in ecommerce CvR
+86% increase in transactions
+48% increase in revenue
+77% increase in unique purchases

Do you have your own Beating the Benchmarks story to tell? Share it with impact@within.co to be featured in the Retail Pulse.

FASHION

Revenue rebounds slightly vs its pre-COVID trend, now at -63% vs -66% yesterday.

Conversion rates climb from -30% to -23% as budgets drop.  


While Facebook spend rebounded slightly, more budget is pulled out of Google, now at 38% of its pre-COVID level.

PURE-PLAY ECOMMERCE

Revenue rebounds slightly from its worst day yet, from -63% to -58%.

Conversion rates seem to improve, likely due to decreased spend on upper-funnel marketing, from yesterday’s -36% to its current -21%.

 
Spend continues to be pulled out of Google, now at just 38% of its pre-COVID trend.

OMNICHANNEL

Revenue makes a significant rebound to -45% vs -54% yesterday.

CvR is up to +13.4% from yesterday’s +1.75%


Although budgets are now down -43% on Google and 10% on Facebook, this category is still holding steady compared to pure e-Commerce brands. 

SUBSCRIPTION & 
AT-HOME CONVENIENCE

Revenue growth settles down to 194%, the first day below 204% this week.

CvR holds steady at about +184% for the second straight day. 


Google continues to get the lion's share of the incremental budget, but Facebook spend also creeps up 7% to +34%.

LUXURY

Revenue makes a strong rebound from -45% to -31%

Conversion rate jumps to +34% as pullbacks continue on upper-funnel activity. 


Budgets across Google and Facebook are now down ~35% for this category.

FASHION

PURE-PLAY ECOMMERCE

OMNICHANNEL

Revenue makes a significant rebound to -45% from -54% yesterday.

CvR is up to +13.4% from yesterday’s +1.75%

Although budgets are now down 43% on Google and 10% on Facebook, this category is still holding steady compared to pure e-Commerce brands.

SUBSCRIPTION & 
AT-HOME CONVENIENCE

LUXURY

Revenue growth settles down to +194%, the first day below +204% this week. 

CvR holds steady at about +184% for the second straight day. 


Google continues to get the lion's share of the incremental budget, but Facebook spend also creeps up 7% to +34%.

Revenue makes a strong rebound from -45% to -31%

Conversion rate jumps to +34% as pullbacks continue on upper-funnel activity. 


Budgets across Google and Facebook are now down ~35% for this category.

Fri, March 20, 2020

Friday, March 20, 2020

As of the CDC's last update, medical professionals have confirmed 15,219 cases of COVID-19 in the United States, more than doubling yesterday's count of 7,038.

One of our pure-play ecommerce apparel clients is highly promotional, running on average 2–3 flash sales per month. Reacting to the COVID-19 outbreak, they considered adding more flash-sale days to boost topline revenue. Because we are working with them on increasing LTV for 2020, we advised against adding this tactic to avoid acquiring discount-sensitive, low-LTV customers.

Rather than adding sitewide sale periods, they have targeted high-LTV customers with discount codes via email and SMS to boost topline revenue.

And for paid media, they have switched from topline revenue as the north star to GPAPA (gross profit after paid ads).

During this unstable period, the brand has also paused incrementality testing to avoid confusing results, as no one can predict the duration and magnitude of the COVID-19 outbreak.

Something that this client recognized that all brands should pay attention to is how to reorient your success metrics, testing plans, and to avoid false results during times of volatility.

Do you have your own re-strategizing story to tell? Share it with impact@within.co to be featured in the Retail Pulse.

The United States now has 26,747 diagnosed cases of the novel coronavirus, the third-highest total globally. Friday's end-of-day case count in the US was 15,129. 

Spotlight: Beating the Benchmark

One of our pure-play ecommerce apparel clients is highly promotional, running on average 2–3 flash sales per month. Reacting to the COVID-19 outbreak, they considered adding more flash-sale days to boost topline revenue. 

Because we are working with them on increasing LTV for 2020, we advised against adding this tactic to avoid acquiring discount-sensitive, low-LTV customers.

Rather than adding sitewide sale periods, they have targeted high-LTV customers with discount codes via email and SMS to boost topline revenue.

And for paid media, they have switched from topline revenue as the north star to GPAPA (gross profit after paid ads).

During this unstable period, the brand has also paused incrementality testing to avoid confusing results, as no one can predict the duration and magnitude of the COVID-19 outbreak.

The lesson here that all brands can learn from is to be quick to re-orient your success metrics and testing plans to keep your business healthy and steer clear of false results during times of volatility. 

Do you have your own re-strategizing story to tell? Share it with impact@within.co to be featured in the Retail Pulse.

FASHION

Fashion brands make a bull run heading into the weekend, with revenue up from -63% to -43% on the back of the several brands launching new promotions.


PURE-PLAY ECOMMERCE

Revenue for pure-play brands rebounds slightly from -58% to -53%

This revenue bump follows an increase in Facebook spend (up to -45% from -62%).

OMNICHANNEL

Revenue for omnichannel brands rebounds from -45% to -32% on the back of new promotions. 

Incremental spend is up from -10% to +6% on Facebook — the first instance of spend in the black for this vertical since 2/24.

SUBSCRIPTION & 
AT-HOME CONVENIENCE

Revenue for subscription brands holds steady at +204%

Investment continues to increase vs baseline for Facebook (+36%) and Google (+225%).

LUXURY

Luxury brands seem to have found their floor between -30% and -40%, down 37% yesterday. 

Investment increases across the board on Facebook (up from -36% to -14%) could help buck that trend though.


OMNICHANNEL

PURE-PLAY ECOMMERCE

FASHION

Revenue for omnichannel brands rebounds from -45% to -32% on the back of new promotions. 

Incremental spend is up from -10% to +6% on Facebook — the first instance of spend in the black for this vertical since 2/24.

SUBSCRIPTION & 
AT-HOME CONVENIENCE

LUXURY

Revenue for subscription brands holds steady at +204%

Investment continues to increase vs baseline for Facebook (+36%) and Google (+225%).

Luxury brands seem to have found their floor between -30% and -40%, down 37% yesterday. 

Investment increases across the board on Facebook (up from -36% to -14%) could help buck that trend though.

Tue, March 17, 2020

Satuday, March 21, 2020

The effects of the COVID-19 outbreak in the US are growing, with 4,226 documented cases as of this writing. San Francisco has order a shelter-in-place policy while New York City ponders doing the same. Likewise, the retail world is in upheaval. 

As of today, the US has become the country with the third-highest number of infections,  with more than 24,000 confirmed cases. 

SPOTLIGHT: BEATING THE BENCHMARK

One of our pure-play ecommerce clients has proven its business model to be nearly crisis-proof, at least in this early stage in the outbreak of US-based COVID-19. A subscription and convenience food & beverage supplier, this company has experienced such high demand that they’ve paused all paid media because they cannot keep up with demand. Their primary struggle in this time will be keeping their supply chain moving at pace.

Must be nice.

For the rest of us, there are still opportunities to drive revenue. For more information, see our whitepaper, 
"Digital strategies to get your brand through Coronavirus." and register for our twice-weekly webinars with WITHIN CEO Joe Yakuel and BounceX (soon to be Wunderkind) CEO Ryan Urban on improving strategy for hard times.

FASHION

Fashion brands enjoyed a second consecutive rally day, although revenue remains down 48% vs the benchmark.
 
Incremental media spend on Facebook has risen — up to -3% from -28% earlier this week — where CPMs have fallen dramatically, is aiding their recovery.

PURE-PLAY ECOMMERCE

Pure-play brands hold relatively steady, with revenue at -51% vs -53% the day before.
 
These brands are not significantly shifting their budgets, finding a happy medium at about -40 to -50% on Facebook and -50% to -60% on Google. 

OMNICHANNEL

Revenue for omnichannel brands rallies for the second straight day, holding at -34% vs -58% just earlier this week. 

The heightened prevalence of promotions in this vertical is making an impact, with CvR improving for the fifth straight day.

SUBSCRIPTION & 
AT-HOME CONVENIENCE

Subscription brands make their first step-wise jump in revenue since leveling out at about 200% since 3/16, now up to 268%

These brands are starting to take advantage of the low CPMs on Facebook, raising their investment from 36% to 96%.

LUXURY

Revenue for luxury brands continue to fluctuate between -30% and -40% as budgets and market demand hold flat.

FASHION

PURE-PLAY ECOMMERCE

OMNICHANNEL

Revenue has fallen -57.3%.

Conversion rates are down by -7.44%


SUBSCRIPTION & 
AT-HOME CONVENIENCE

LUXURY

Revenue has risen by +204.88%.

Conversion rates are up by an amazing +
119.36%.

Revenue has fallen -37.87%.

Conversion rates are up by +25.4%, likely because they've pulled back ad spend which has decreased traffic. Repeat buyers and lack of new site traffic make the CvR appear higher.

Sun, March 22, 2020

Sunday, March 22 2020

As of this writing, the number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 infection worldwide has topped 349,000.

Amazon announced putting a hold on receiving non-essential goods at their FBA (fulfilled by Amazon) warehouses. New product categories are also being “gated” in response to an influx of sellers trying to capitalize on the COVID19 pandemic.

Consumer habits are also changing on Amazon. Shoppers are: 

Stocking up on essentials.
Buying necessities online to avoid going in-store.

Window shopping while quarantined at home.


Brands & Amazon Sellers should:


Re-evaluate advertising campaigns to reflect these new consumer behaviors.

Reduce campaign budgets on advertisements generating impressions but not purchases.

DEFINITELY NOT manipulate their listings to include pandemic-related search terms unless relevant.

For the long-term, brands who use Amazon as their sole or dominant distributor should consider diversifying their distribution channels and/or transitioning to a fulfilled by merchant (FBM) model because this outbreak could persist and it’s not unlikely that we’ll encounter a similar catastrophe in the future.

Do you have your own re-strategizing story to tell? Share it with impact@within.co to be featured in the Retail Pulse.

As of this writing, the number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 infection worldwide has topped 349,000.

Amazon announced putting a hold on receiving non-essential goods at their FBA (fulfilled by Amazon) warehouses. New product categories are also being “gated” in response to an influx of sellers trying to capitalize on the COVID19 pandemic.

Consumer habits are also changing on Amazon. Shoppers are: 

Stocking up on essentials.
Buying necessities online to avoid going in-store.

Window shopping while quarantined at home.


Brands & Amazon Sellers should:


Re-evaluate advertising campaigns to reflect these new consumer behaviors.

Reduce campaign budgets on advertisements generating impressions but not purchases.

DEFINITELY NOT manipulate their listings to include pandemic-related search terms unless relevant.

For the long-term, brands who use Amazon as their sole or dominant distributor should consider diversifying their distribution channels and/or transitioning to a fulfilled by merchant (FBM) model because this outbreak could persist and it’s not unlikely that we’ll encounter a similar catastrophe in the future.

Do you have your own re-strategizing story to tell? Share it with impact@within.co to be featured in the Retail Pulse.


FASHION

Fashion brands continue to rally, spending more across the board and pushing stronger promotions. 

Revenue is up from -48% to -39% day-over-day and CvRs are nearly back to their pre-COVID benchmark.

PURE-PLAY ECOMMERCE

Pure-play ecommerce brands continue to slide, now down to -59% on revenue, the lowest revenue has dropped yet. 

These brands are holding steady on spend, but it will be interesting to see if they make a change in strategy over the coming days.

OMNICHANNEL

Revenue for omnichannel rallies now for the fifth day in a row on the back of stronger promotions across many brands. 

In concert with a 33% increase in Facebook ad spend, revenue is up from -37% to -30% and rising. It will be interesting to track how sustained the impact of the increased promotions and spend will be.

ESSENTIALS

The Essentials category comes back down to earth after a +268% revenue day on Saturday, now at 210%

Investments continue to rise on Facebook and Google, as these brands take full advantage of the heightened demand for their services and fight for market share before the time has passed.

LUXURY

Revenue for luxury brands slides further to -46% while investments rise just slightly across Facebook and Google properties.

OMNICHANNEL

PURE-PLAY ECOMMERCE

FASHION

Revenue for omnichannel rallies now for the fifth day in a row on the back of stronger promotions across many brands. 

In concert with a 33% increase in Facebook ad spend, revenue is up from -37% to -30% and rising. It will be interesting to track how sustained the impact of the increased promotions and spend will be.

ESSENTIALS

LUXURY

The Essentials category comes back down to earth after a +268% revenue day on Saturday, now at 210%

Investments continue to rise on Facebook and Google, as these brands take full advantage of the heightened demand for their services and fight for market share before the time has passed.

Revenue for luxury brands slides further to -46% while investments rise just slightly across Facebook and Google properties.

Tue, March 24, 2020

Tuesday, March 24 2020

The number of confirmed COVID-19 cases continues to grow by the day; the current count at the end of Tuesday, March 24, was 44,183, a 32% increase from Monday’s EOD count.

The CDC also released Clara, a bot to help people make decisions about what to do if they have potential symptoms of COVID-19, created in partnership with Microsoft Azure’s Healthcare Bot service.

STRATEGIES FOR A NEW LANDSCAPE — SEGMENT DIFFERENTLY

If you rely on ROAS or CAC to measure performance, today's strategy is definitely for you.  

Setting up your targeting to acquire customers at the lowest-cost or with the highest first-order returns is easy. Still, it leaves a considerable arbitrage opportunity on the table to acquire the customers that will be most valuable in the long term. To do this, start by identifying the most interesting variables (e.g., age, location, or product category) and split your customer data into 3–5 segments to assess which variables are most indicative of high lifetime value.

From there, target those segments aggressively with all the money you're currently spending on low-value customers. You can do this by adjusting your relative ROAS and/or CAC targets accordingly by segment.

This is not a "target high-value customers" strategy; it's a "pay what they're worth" strategy. If one cohort has a $50 LTV and another is $100 LTV, be prepared to pay up to double for the second cohort.

The strategy of paying the right amount to acquire a customer is a keystone strategy that will serve you beyond the COVID-19 pandemic. But at the moment, it's mission-critical to maintaining healthy revenue.


The number of confirmed COVID-19 cases continues to grow by the day; the current count at the end of Tuesday, March 24, was 44,183, a 32% increase from Monday’s EOD count.

The CDC also released Clara, a bot to help people make decisions about what to do if they have potential symptoms of COVID-19, created in partnership with Microsoft Azure’s Healthcare Bot service.

STRATEGIES FOR A NEW LANDSCAPE — SEGMENT DIFFERENTLY

If you rely on ROAS or CAC to measure performance, today's strategy is definitely for you.  

Setting up your targeting to acquire customers at the lowest-cost or with the highest first-order returns is easy. Still, it leaves a considerable arbitrage opportunity on the table to acquire the customers that will be most valuable in the long term. To do this, start by identifying the most interesting variables (e.g., age, location, or product category) and split your customer data into 3–5 segments to assess which variables are most indicative of high lifetime value.

From there, target those segments aggressively with all the money you're currently spending on low-value customers. You can do this by adjusting your relative ROAS and/or CAC targets accordingly by segment.

This is not a "target high-value customers" strategy; it's a "pay what they're worth" strategy. If one cohort has a $50 LTV and another has $100 LTV, be prepared to pay up to double for the second cohort.

The strategy of paying the right amount to acquire a customer is a keystone strategy that will serve you beyond the COVID-19 pandemic. But at the moment, it's mission-critical to maintaining healthy revenue. 

FASHION

Fashion revenue held relatively steady at -51% despite conversion rates dropping from -11% to -28%.

These brands are re-investing in Google, up to -42% from -55%, as last week's dearth of demand begins to turn around. 

PURE-PLAY ECOMMERCE

Revenue for pure-play brands continues to be volatile, settling at -54%

This wane coincides with conversion rates dropping to their lowest level (-43%) since we started tracking this data.

OMNICHANNEL

Revenue for omnichannel rebounds from -42% to -31%

This rebound follows several days of elevated investment on Facebook, up an average of 28% over the last three days vs just +5% the three days prior.

ESSENTIALS

Essentials brands face their third consecutive day of dropping revenues and conversion rates; revenue falls from +181% to +124% and CvR from 101% to 53%

Google budgets hold steady at +323%, but Facebook falls from +113% to +86%.

LUXURY

Luxury brands rally for the third straight day, exceeding -25% in revenue for the first time in two weeks

Investments remain low and steady across Facebook and Google, but there are signs of increasing demand, as CvR jumps from 17% to +31%.

OMNICHANNEL

PURE-PLAY ECOMMERCE

FASHION

Revenue for omnichannel rebounds from -42% to -31%

This rebound follows several days of elevated investment on Facebook, up an average of 28% over the last three days vs just +5% the three days prior.

ESSENTIALS

LUXURY

Essentials brands face their third consecutive day of dropping revenues and conversion rates; revenue falls from +181% to +124% and CvR from 101% to 53%

Google budgets hold steady at +323%, but Facebook falls from +113% to +86%.

Luxury brands rally for the third straight day, exceeding -25% in revenue for the first time in two weeks

Investments remain low and steady across Facebook and Google, but there are signs of increasing demand, as CvR jumps from 17% to +31%.

Wed, March 25, 2020

Wedneday, March 25, 2020

Novel coronavirus has spread to all 50 states, Washington D.C., and three US territories. The last official count from the CDC was 54,453 infected people, a 23% increase from the previous day. If you’re looking for a bright side, we might point to the Monday-to-Tuesday 32% increase versus the Tuesday-to-Wednesday 23% increase. Let’s hope this slowdown materializes as a trend.

STRATEGIES FOR A NEW LANDSCAPE — WHOLESALE PRICING

One of our Pure-Play clients who also falls into the Essentials category recognized that COVID-19 would cause major disruption to the consumers’ daily routines. Consumers would also be running up against issues with staying stocked on daily necessities.

To get people’s attention and appeal to their preparations mentality, the brand created a line of wholesale-sized offerings. The ad campaign for this offering focused on working from home, leading with themes of variety, discovery, and convenience.

This campaign not only boosted sales for the larger sizes but also subscription rates for regular products. Since launching their wholesale-sized products:

The brand has
 increased spend on search to match the increased demand for essentials. 


New customers acquired through Facebook has increased by 302% between March 16 and March 24. 

Customer acquisition costs fell by 56%.

Recognizing and serving your audience’s pain points has never been more important, and this brand has delivered on its call to action. 

Do you have a crisis strategy or success story? Share it with impact@within.co to be featured in the Retail Pulse. 

Novel coronavirus has spread to all 50 states, Washington D.C., and three US territories. The last official count from the CDC was 54,453 infected people, a 23% increase from the previous day. If you’re looking for a bright side, we might point to the Monday-to-Tuesday 32% increase versus the Tuesday-to-Wednesday 23% increase. Let’s hope this slowdown materializes as a trend.

STRATEGIES FOR A NEW LANDSCAPE — WHOLESALE PRICING

One of our Pure-Play clients who also falls into the Essentials category recognized that COVID-19 would cause major disruption to the consumers’ daily routines. Consumers would also be running up against issues with staying stocked on daily necessities.

To get people’s attention and appeal to their preparations mentality, the brand created a line of wholesale-sized offerings. The ad campaign for this offering focused on working from home, leading with themes of variety, discovery, and convenience.

This campaign not only boosted sales for the larger sizes but also subscription rates for regular products. Since launching their wholesale-sized products:

The brand has
 increased spend on search to match the increased demand for essentials. 


New customers acquired through Facebook has increased by 302% between March 16 and March 24. 

Customer acquisition costs fell by 56%.

Recognizing and serving your audience’s pain points has never been more important, and this brand has delivered on its call to action. 

Do you have a crisis strategy or success story? Share it with impact@within.co to be featured in the Retail Pulse. 

FASHION

Fashion revenue continues to rebound even as many of these brands come out of sales, up from -51% to -41%. It seems less promo lift also means less promo hangover.

PURE-PLAY ECOMMERCE

Revenue for pure-play brands dips slightly from -54% to -58%

Investment on Facebook drops to its lowest point yet, now down -67% vs its pre-COVID benchmark. 

OMNICHANNEL

Revenue for omnichannel brands continues to rebound, up to -23% from -58% early last week. 

Investments across Facebook and Google remain steady, as these brands focus on investing only in the most profitable places. 

ESSENTIALS

Essentials revenue has another low day, but levels out after three consecutive days of dropping revenues, now settling at +129% vs +124% the day before

Budgets hold steady on Facebook, but pull back slightly on Google, where the demand bubble is beginning to shrink.

LUXURY

Luxury brands continue to pull back on upper-funnel investments, dropping from -27% to -33% on Facebook spend.
 
Revenue holds relatively steady at -31% as these brands also elect not to promo their way out of the situation.

FASHION

PURE-PLAY ECOMMERCE

OMNICHANNEL

Revenue for omnichannel brands continues to rebound, up to -23% from -58% early last week. 

Investments across Facebook and Google remain steady, as these brands focus on investing only in the most profitable places. 

ESSENTIALS

LUXURY

Essentials revenue has another low day, but levels out after three consecutive days of dropping revenues, now settling at +129% vs +124% the day before

Budgets hold steady on Facebook, but pull back slightly on Google, where the demand bubble is beginning to shrink.

Luxury brands continue to pull back on upper-funnel investments, dropping from -27% to -33% on Facebook spend.
 
Revenue holds relatively steady at -31% as these brands also elect not to promo their way out of the situation.

Mon, March 23, 2020

Monday, March 23, 2020

The CDC’s last official count of confirmed COVID-19 cases in the US stopped at 4 pm on Monday at 33,404, more than double its final count on Friday afternoon. We’re continuing to monitor the situation for our clients and in the industry at large.

INDUSTRY INSPIRATION

Everlane. 
Though we’re always monitoring performance for our clients, we always keep an eye out for interesting or inspirational things that others are doing. Everlane is one such brand.

Since last week, they’ve started offering “good news” sales, where they offer a discounted current-season product (which they’ve never done) to bring good vibes to their customers.

They’ve also pushed “relief products,” where proceeds of purchases for certain products are donated to their employees, food banks, and other causes.

This two-pronged method of “good news” and “good company” sets a high standard for other retailers looking to both connect with consumers and be a positive force in the world.

The CDC’s last official count of confirmed COVID-19 cases in the US stopped at 4 pm on Monday at 33,404, more than double its final count on Friday afternoon. We’re continuing to monitor the situation for our clients and in the industry at large.

INDUSTRY INSPIRATION

Everlane. 
Though we’re always monitoring performance for our clients, we always keep an eye out for interesting or inspirational things that others are doing. Everlane is one such brand.

Since last week, they’ve started offering “good news” sales, where they offer a discounted current-season product (which they’ve never done) to bring good vibes to their customers.

They’ve also pushed “relief products,” where proceeds of purchases for certain products are donated to their employees, food banks, and other causes.

This two-pronged method of “good news” and “good company” sets a high standard for other retailers looking to both connect with consumers and be a positive force in the world. 

FASHION

Fashion brands fall coming out of the weekend from -39% to -47% as many promotions end. 

Investments fall in concert, down 10% on Facebook and 5% on Google. 

PURE-PLAY ECOMMERCE

Pure-play ecommerce brands have their first rebound day since the first week of March, jumping from -59% to -44%. 

Spend across Facebook and Google holds relatively constant so these brands are rebounding mainly through shifts in merchandising strategy.

OMNICHANNEL

Revenue for omnichannel brands falls on the heels of concluding sales, down to -42% from -30%. 

Investment in Facebook and Google falls by 8% and 5% day-over-day.

ESSENTIALS

Essentials brands face their first two bear-market days since the first week of March, falling from +268 to +210% and now +180%. 

Investments across Facebook and Google properties have flattened out, and seemingly so has the demand bubble for these products. 

LUXURY

In a similar trend to the pure-play ecomm vertical, luxury brands make a slight rebound in revenue and CvR, with both up 10% day-over-day. 

It seems consumer buying behavior is beginning to normalize for these verticals.

FASHION

PURE-PLAY ECOMMERCE

OMNICHANNEL

Revenue for omnichannel brands falls on the heels of concluding sales, down to -42% from -30%. 

Investment in Facebook and Google falls by 8% and 5% day-over-day.

ESSENTIALS

LUXURY

Essentials brands face their first two bear-market days since the first week of March, falling from +268 to +210% and now +180%.
 
Investments across Facebook and Google properties have flattened out, and seemingly so has the demand bubble for these products.

In a similar trend to the pure-play ecommerce vertical, luxury brands make a slight rebound in revenue and CvR, with both up 10% day-over-day. 

It seems consumer buying behavior is beginning to normalize for these verticals.