Grocery sales begin to weaken
Grocery sales fell by 2.6% year on year in the week ending 4 April, a sign that panic buying and stockpiling due to coronavirus may be lessening.
However, baking ingredients bucked the trend, with sales of fresh dough and pasty up 69%, and home baking sundries (such as flour, dried fruit and cake mixes) experiencing growth of 50%.
Some ‘stockpiling’ categories are still in high demand as well with frozen food sales up 17% and shelf stable food increasing 23%, while alcohol sales were up 15%.
Consumer optimism declines as coronavirus outbreak progresses
Confidence in the UK economy’s recovery after the Covid-19 outbreak is declining. Just 15% now think the economy will rebound within two or three months, compared to 23% in late March. Some 27% now think there will be a lasting impact on the economy, up from 24% previously.
As such, consumers are becoming increasingly careful with how they spend their money, with 45% strongly agreeing they are cutting back on spend and 47% saying they have to be very careful of how they spend.
Around 95% of UK consumers believe it will take more than two months before routines can return to normal, with 43% expecting it to take between four and six months, 19% seven to 12 months and 9% more than a year. And 72% believe their finances will be impacted for more than two months.
Source: McKinsey & Company
Britons want ads to be more informative
Almost half (42%) of Britons want brands to be more informative in their ad campaigns, with consumers particularly looking for advertisers to provide messages around Covid-19 (18%), and share how they are supporting staff and customers (18%).
Some 23% wants ads to provide a sense of continuity and normalcy, while another 13% wants ads to be funny or positive in an effort to distract from what’s going on. A further 35% would prefer advertising to make them feel more warm and happy.
Social distancing drives entertainment boom
Social distancing measures in the UK have led to a dramatic change in how people spend their time and a boom in entertainment. Some 49% of UK consumers watched more TV in March, while consumption of news was up 70%.
Total time spent playing games was up 20%, with a similar uplift for time spent listening to the radio. However, music streaming experienced a fall of 5%.
Source: Midia Research
Email open rates up as more people stay at home
Email open rates have increased by 25% on average since the UK went into lockdown, and are increasing by between 5% and 10% every week.
However, performance has been volatile, with hard hit verticals such as fashion seeing an average 30% decrease in conversions and 15% decrease in revenue. Yet while overall ecommerce revenues are down, revenue driven by email marketing is mostly flat, up 1.5% in terms of conversion and 0.4% in terms of revenue.