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. 

WITHIN is monitoring the effects of COVID-19 on ecommerce. Using data from a sampling of clients, we are tracking year-over-year trends in ecommerce revenue, ad spend, and conversion rate relative to the pre-COVID benchmark period.

Visit for daily updates to see how your performance compares to your competitors as the volatility continues.

For insight into how to best weather the storm, read our recent whitepaper, "Digital strategies to get your brand through Coronavirus."

WITHIN is monitoring the effects of COVID-19 on ecommerce. Using data from a sampling of clients, we are tracking year-over-year trends in ecommerce revenue, ad spend, and conversion rate relative to the pre-COVID benchmark period.

Visit for daily updates to see how your performance compares to your competitors as the volatility continues.

For insight into how to best weather the storm, read our recent whitepaper, "Digital strategies to get your brand through Coronavirus."

COVID-19 
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HOW TO READ THESE GRAPHS

These graphs illustrate how sectors are performing now versus their pre-COVID benchmark periods. 

So if the sector was up 10% YoY before COVID-19, and the sector is now down 15% YoY, we would report that as down 25% versus the benchmark period.

You can click the graph keys to turn on & off different data points. E.g., if you want to see just revenue and CvR, click the color icons to turn off Facebook and Google spend. 

HOW TO READ THESE GRAPHS

These graphs illustrate how sectors are performing now versus their pre-COVID benchmark periods. 

So if the sector was up 10% YoY before COVID-19, and the sector is now down 15% YoY, we would report that as down 25% vs the benchmark period. 

You can click the graph keys to turn on & off different data points. E.g., if you want to see just revenue and CvR, click the color icons to turn off Facebook and Google spend. 

ABOUT THE DATA

This data is based on our clients' first-party data in US ecommerce. We manage over $500MM in media spend for fast-growing VC-backed startups and Fortune 100 companies. Our partners collectively drive over $5B in ecommerce revenue. We place clients into their respective verticals for these graphs, and some clients appear in more than one vertical. For example, if you are an omnichannel fashion brand you would be grouped into both the omnichannel and fashion sectors. An average-sized client has the following daily metrics: 100k sessions, 1900 transactions, $350k revenue.

ABOUT THE DATA

This data is based on our clients' first-party data in US ecommerce. We manage over $500MM in media spend for fast-growing VC-backed startups and Fortune 100 companies. Our partners collectively drive over $5B in ecommerce revenue. We place clients into their respective verticals for these graphs, and some clients appear in more than one vertical. For example, if you are an omnichannel fashion brand you would be grouped into both the omnichannel and fashion sectors. An average-sized client has the following daily metrics: 100k sessions, 1900 transactions, $350k revenue.

Sat, March 28, 2020

Saturday, March 28, 2020

At the time of this writing, at least 123,072 people across every state, plus Washington, D.C., and four U.S. territories, have tested positive for novel coronavirus. That’s nearly 20,000 new confirmed cases in 24 hours. The tactics and strategies that businesses need to employ to stay afloat must grow in sophistication as this virus shows no signs of slowing.

STRATEGIES FOR A NEW LANDSCAPE — DOUBLE DOWN ON EMAIL

Though the past month has seen big drops in performance across out-of-home, social, display, search, and other marketing efforts, email marketing continues to perform, now even outperforming previous benchmarks.

To maximize profits delivered by your email marketing program, consider the following strategies passed along by our friends at BounceX during our first co-hosted webinar, 
Retail Pulse Live (click the link to register for the next webinar on Tuesday, March 31).

Take advantage of high open rates and low unsubscribes by doubling your email send. For fast, low-stress turnaround, repurpose or re-promote content from your previous high-performing, no-sell content.  

Reach out to the top 10% of high-lifetime value customers with a personal message to show them how valuable they are to your company.

If you’re low on time, 
send simple text emails. They often perform just as well, if not better, than HTML emails and often get through firewalls easier.

Consumer confidence is low. 
Treat these next two weeks as Black Friday or Cyber Monday by pushing sales that help customers buy products without blowing through their bank accounts.

Rotate different offers every 3-5 days, to see which emails most resonate with your audiences.

Understand your cost-per-email before starting campaigns by looking at how many emails you need to acquire before one converts onsite.

Pair email with SMS to make sure you’re reaching people wherever they go online.

At the time of this writing, at least 123,072 people across every state, plus Washington, D.C., and four U.S. territories, have tested positive for novel coronavirus. That’s nearly 20,000 new confirmed cases in 24 hours. The tactics and strategies that businesses need to employ to stay afloat must grow in sophistication as this virus shows no signs of slowing.

STRATEGIES FOR A NEW LANDSCAPE — DOUBLE DOWN ON EMAIL

Though the past month has seen big drops in performance across out-of-home, social, display, search, and other marketing efforts, email marketing continues to perform, now even outperforming previous benchmarks.

To maximize profits delivered by your email marketing program, consider the following strategies passed along by our friends at BounceX during our first co-hosted webinar, 
Retail Pulse Live (click the link to register for the next webinar on Tuesday, March 31).

Take advantage of high open rates and low unsubscribes by doubling your email send. For fast, low-stress turnaround, repurpose or re-promote content from your previous high-performing, no-sell content.  

Reach out to the top 10% of high-lifetime value customers with a personal message to show them how valuable they are to your company.

If you’re low on time, 
send simple text emails. They often perform just as well, if not better, than HTML emails and often get through firewalls easier.

Consumer confidence is low. 
Treat these next two weeks as Black Friday or Cyber Monday by pushing sales that help customers buy products without blowing through their bank accounts.

Rotate different offers every 3-5 days, to see which emails most resonate with your audiences.

Understand your cost-per-email before starting campaigns by looking at how many emails you need to acquire before one converts onsite.

Pair email with SMS to make sure you’re reaching people wherever they go online.


FASHION

After consecutive days of above-benchmark Facebook spend, the Fashion vertical has taken its biggest revenue leap yet, jumping 10% from -38% to -28%.

PURE-PLAY ECOMMERCE

Pure-play brands see a modest rise in revenue (from -55% to -49%) as spend continues to rise on Facebook, now at its highest level (-27%) in two weeks. 

OMNICHANNEL

Today marks five consecutive days of rising revenue for omnichannel retailers, now up to -2% for the first time in March. Will they get back in the black by the month's end?

ESSENTIALS

Essentials brands are experiencing a second wave, shrugging off concerns that demand for their products was plateauing or even dropping. At 240% yesterday, these brands have good reason to keep up their heavy levels of investment across Facebook (+137%) and Google (+472%).


LUXURY

After limited movement over the past 14 days, the luxury vertical has taken a huge leap from -27% to -9% in just two days. After waiting it out for so long, these typically promo-averse brands have collectively decided that there is no shame in discounting a bit during these desperate times. 


OMNICHANNEL

PURE-PLAY ECOMMERCE

FASHION

Today marks five consecutive days of rising revenue for omnichannel retailers, now up to -2% for the first time in March. Will they get back in the black by the month's end?

ESSENTIALS

LUXURY

Essentials bounces back to +143% after a slide down to +129%. On 3/21, the category peaked at +268%. 

These brands are shifting focus to the supply chain to ensure they can withstand this run of higher demand

The luxury segment continues its slow-and-steady recovery, up now to -27% from -31%

Look for this number to hold relatively steady until these brands are willing to spend more to replenish the funnel with prospects.

Sun, March 29, 2020

Sunday, March 29, 2020

A direct result of social distancing is economic slowdown. To slow this pandemic, people have stopped going to stores, restaurants, and workplaces. The labor market is sequestered, and the supply chain is grinding to a near halt in many industries.

The near-term result is a recession — defined as two consecutive quarters of negative growth. In the long-term, we may see an economic depression. For an explanation of the possible scenarios facing our economy, see Harvard Business Review's article, 
"Understanding the Economic Shock of Coronavirus."

With this discouraging outlook, we recommend prioritizing consumers' emotional connection to your brand.

STRATEGIES FOR A NEW LANDSCAPE — USE YOUR CONTENT TO DEMONSTRATE UNDERSTANDING

Now is the time to do a full audit of every customer-facing piece of content attached to your brand. This includes digital ads, emails, social posts, webinars, and even partner blogs from years ago. Reassess and unpublish past content that could come across as insensitive to current conditions. Examples of this may include unexpected content, such as pictures or videos of large gatherings or crowded stores.

Think about new and upcoming content planned before COVID-19 and avoid aggressive sales pitches. People are worried about where they will land in this new economy. 
Brands that seem to be capitalizing on fear will alienate both prospects and long-time customers. 

Experiment with different messaging and formats while avoiding a sales-forward approach. 
Learn from these tests and lean into driving emotional connections with authentic, empathic content as a means for long-term success.

A direct result of social distancing is economic slowdown. To slow this pandemic, people have stopped going to stores, restaurants, and workplaces. The labor market is sequestered, and the supply chain is grinding to a near halt in many industries.

The near-term result is a recession — defined as two consecutive quarters of negative growth. In the long-term, we may see an economic depression. For an explanation of the possible scenarios facing our economy, see Harvard Business Review's article, 
"Understanding the Economic Shock of Coronavirus."

With this discouraging outlook, we recommend prioritizing consumers' emotional connection to your brand.

STRATEGIES FOR A NEW LANDSCAPE — USE YOUR CONTENT TO DEMONSTRATE UNDERSTANDING

Now is the time to do a full audit of every customer-facing piece of content attached to your brand. This includes digital ads, emails, social posts, webinars, and even partner blogs from years ago. Reassess and unpublish past content that could come across as insensitive to current conditions. Examples of this may include unexpected content, such as pictures or videos of large gatherings or crowded stores.

Think about new and upcoming content planned before COVID-19 and avoid aggressive sales pitches. People are worried about where they will land in this new economy. 
Brands that seem to be capitalizing on fear will alienate both prospects and long-time customers. 

Experiment with different messaging and formats while avoiding a sales-forward approach. 
Learn from these tests and lean into driving emotional connections with authentic, empathic content as a means for long-term success. 

FASHION

Fashion carried momentum through the weekend, with revenue (-19%) now up to its highest point since March 12.

PURE-PLAY ECOMMERCE

Revenue for pure-play brands holds steady at -50%, as this vertical continues to lag behind its omnichannel counterparts, who are seeing an influx of in-store demand shift to ecommerce.

OMNICHANNEL

Omnichannel revenue finally breaks into the black! The question is: will it be able to maintain this growth as sales conclude or begin to fatigue?

ESSENTIALS

Essentials brands continue to build back toward their all-time-high revenue growth, hitting +277% yesterday. 

If you thought investments couldn't climb any higher, think again — these brands are now at +152% and +486% spend on Facebook and Google. 

LUXURY

Luxury brands post two strong days over the weekend, averaging -8% revenue vs their pre-COVID benchmark — compared to -30% for the three weeks prior.

FASHION

PURE-PLAY ECOMMERCE

OMNICHANNEL

Omnichannel revenue finally breaks into the black! The question is: will it be able to maintain this growth as sales conclude or begin to fatigue?

ESSENTIALS

LUXURY

Essentials brands continue to build back toward their all-time-high revenue growth, hitting +277% yesterday. 

If you thought investments couldn't climb any higher, think again — these brands are now at +152% and +486% spend on Facebook and Google. 

Luxury brands post two strong days over the weekend, averaging -8% revenue vs their pre-COVID benchmark — compared to -30% for the three weeks prior.

Mon, March 30, 2020

Monday, March 30, 2020

At the time of this writing, at least 164,424 people across every state, plus Washington, D.C., and four U.S. territories, have tested positive for novel coronavirus. Two weeks ago, that number was just over 5,000.

STRATEGIES FOR A NEW LANDSCAPE — MARKETING 

Many retailers we talk to right now are worried about how to adjust their promotional strategies depending on their supply chain needs. Here are solutions to common supply chain problems:

Temporarily out of inventory
Be forthright about any delays with the estimated shipping time. In a time of unprecedented global pandemic, being open about suboptimal business conditions will humanize your brand.  

Customer care
For your highest-value orders or products of focus, consider having actual employees email customers who have ordered these products to show a personal touch and reassure them. The theme here is to lead with a humanized brand, so your customers reciprocate the empathy you extend to them.

Continue to engage
Once you have their email, send them soft touches of topics they may be interested in to keep them engaged with your brand without annoying them with salesy content they don't want.

Out of inventory for the foreseeable future
You have a few options. If you aren't sure you'll ever have the product again, you may want to remove the page from your website. You can also very clearly mark items as out of stock and use the opportunity to ask for emails to let the prospects know if or when it's back in stock.

If you have a page for an out-of-stock product, be sure to feature other ways to engage with the prospect. This could include relevant products currently in stock or a full-page overlay to capture that email before they bounce. 

At the time of this writing, at least 164,424 people across every state, plus Washington, D.C., and four U.S. territories, have tested positive for novel coronavirus. Two weeks ago, that number was just over 5,000.

STRATEGIES FOR A NEW LANDSCAPE — MARKETING 

Many retailers we talk to right now are worried about how to adjust their promotional strategies depending on their supply chain needs. Here are solutions to common supply chain problems:

Temporarily out of inventory
Be forthright about any delays with the estimated shipping time. In a time of unprecedented global pandemic, being open about suboptimal business conditions will humanize your brand.  

Customer care
For your highest-value orders or products of focus, consider having actual employees email customers who have ordered these products to show a personal touch and reassure them. The theme here is to lead with a humanized brand, so your customers reciprocate the empathy you extend to them.

Continue to engage
Once you have their email, send them soft touches of topics they may be interested in to keep them engaged with your brand without annoying them with salesy content they don't want.

Out of inventory for the foreseeable future
You have a few options. If you aren't sure you'll ever have the product again, you may want to remove the page from your website. You can also very clearly mark items as out of stock and use the opportunity to ask for emails to let the prospects know if or when it's back in stock.

If you have a page for an out-of-stock product, be sure to feature other ways to engage with the prospect. This could include relevant products currently in stock or a full-page overlay to capture that email before they bounce. 

FASHION

Fashion brands fall back to -31% after a big day on Sunday (-19%), the result of heavy promotions and cheap Facebook CPMs enabling creation of new demand.

PURE-PLAY ECOMMERCE

Pure-play brands hold steady at about -50% for the third consecutive day. Investment on Facebook dropped yesterday as CPMs picked up coming out of the weekend.

OMNICHANNEL

Omnichannel revenue settles back down to its pre-COVID benchmark level after one day above benchmark. This is likely because of a handful of concluding sales and demand falling from its Sunday peak.

ESSENTIALS

Essentials brands peaked on Sunday, when Facebook CPMs are at their lowest and demand for these products is at its highest. Those facts notwithstanding, revenue for these brands (+248%) beat its total for last Monday (+180%), indicating overall demand for products in this vertical is going to sustain a while longer.


LUXURY

After limited movement over the past 14 days, the luxury vertical has taken a huge leap from -27% to -9% in just two days. After waiting it out for so long, these typically promo-averse brands have collectively decided that there is no shame in discounting a bit during these desperate times. 


OMNICHANNEL

PURE-PLAY ECOMMERCE

FASHION

Omnichannel revenue settles back down to its pre-COVID benchmark level after one day above benchmark. This is likely because of a handful of concluding sales and demand falling from its Sunday peak.

ESSENTIALS

LUXURY

Essentials brands peaked on Sunday, when Facebook CPMs are at their lowest and demand for these products is at its highest. Those facts notwithstanding, revenue for these brands (+248%) beat its total for last Monday (+180%), indicating overall demand for products in this vertical is going to sustain a while longer.

Luxury brands continue their steady climb towards their pre-COVID benchmark levels, with revenue now at -4%.