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COVID-19: E-Commerce Trends & Tactics

Attentive is a personalized mobile messaging platform that works with over 1,000 leading brands, including many of the top online retailers in the world, generating billions of dollars in online sales. At the onset of COVID-19 impacting the US in early March, Attentive launched this COVID-19 E-Commerce Trends & Tactics microsite with the aim of helping brands and organizations navigate a completely new landscape.

Using anonymized data from over 1,000 of our customers across 15 verticals, we tracked rapidly changing consumer behaviors and drew actionable insights to help marketers pivot their mobile strategies and create successful campaigns.

As consumers begin to settle into the so-called “new normal” and brands have adapted to have more agile approaches to plans, we will no longer be publishing monthly data updates.

To summarize the findings of this project nearly four months after we launched the microsite, we've written a final blog post about how the pandemic has made a lasting impact on consumer behavior—and, in turn, the trajectory of e-commerce.

Revenue trends by vertical:

*Please note, we are no longer updating this publication with new data.

The following charts are provided from anonymized Attentive data, updated as of end of day Tuesday, May 26, 2020.

All Verticals

Month-over-Month Sales: +14.29% (May pacing compared to April) Prior Month-over-Month Sales: +33.14% (April compared to March) Trending Up: Auto, Beauty, Health & Wellness, Home, Sports, most Apparel - see charts below for details Trending Down: Electronics, General, Pets, some Apparel - see chart below for details

Apparel - Overall

Month-over-Month Sales: +24.38% (May pacing compared to April) Prior Month-over-Month Sales: +23.19% (April compared to March) Trending Up: Swimwear, comfort clothing, fitness-related, men's shirts, children’s and babies’ apparel, loungewear, luxury dresses, casual summer apparel Trending Down: Shoes, formal men’s apparel, cold weather clothing, bridal, fast fashion

Apparel - Men's

Month-over-Month Sales: +39.19% (May pacing compared to April) Prior Month-over-Month Sales: -2.70% (April compared to March) Trending Up: T-shirts and most comfort apparel, fitness apparel, button-down shirts, golf-related apparel Trending Down: Some comfort apparel, dress pants, suiting, business-casual apparel, men’s streetwear

Apparel - Women's

Month-over-Month Sales: +20.46% (May pacing compared to April) Prior Month-over-Month Sales: +5.64% (April compared to March) Trending Up: Comfort apparel, tops & blouses, maternity, dresses, swimsuits, casual summer apparel, formalwear (potentially opportunistic purchases due to deeper discounts during this time) Trending Down: Coats and jackets (likely due to seasonal shifts), dress pants, business casual apparel, fast fashion and clubwear (like dresses)

Apparel - Children & Baby

Month-over-Month Sales: +14.25% (May pacing compared to April) Prior Month-over-Month Sales: +40.56% (April compared to March) Trending Up: Home-focused items (bathrobes, comfort onesies, pajamas), discounted apparel, seasonal & holiday-related clothing, baby gear (bassinets and cribs, strollers, carriers) Trending Down: High-end children’s clothing & accessories, shoes

Apparel - Luxury

Month-over-Month Sales: -9.02% (May pacing compared to April) Prior Month-over-Month Sales: +65.89% (April compared to March) Trending Up: Discounted luxury brand items, casual styles, handbags, dresses Trending Down: Resort wear and travel-focused accessories, coats & jackets (potentially due to change of seasons), eco-friendly/sustainable clothing

Apparel - Intimates & Basics

Month-over-Month Sales: +25.56% (May pacing compared to April) Prior Month-over-Month Sales: +32.40% (April compared to March) Trending Up: Discounted items, women’s comfort bras, men’s undergarments, socks Trending Down: Lingerie

Auto

Month-over-Month Sales: +11.68% (May pacing compared to April) Prior Month-over-Month Sales: +39.67% (April compared to March) Trending Up: Tires, car maintenance parts, commercial truck parts & accessories, performance & racing parts Trending Down: Classic restoration/sports cars parts & accessories

Beauty

Month-over-Month Sales: +18.69% (May pacing compared to April) Prior Month-over-Month Sales: +36.68% (April compared to March) Trending Up: Skincare, hand creams, “self-care” items such as face masks, clean beauty, hair styling tools, perfume, hair care and styling products Trending Down: Some cosmetics (such as lip color), nail care, at-home hair color, body care

Electronics

Month-over-Month Sales: -21.44% (May pacing compared to April) Prior Month-over-Month Sales: +47.60% (April compared to March) Trending Up: Personal audio accessories, entertainment-related electronics (gaming), home office, portable accessories, recreational electronics such as drones Trending Down: Photography cameras, speakers, internet

General

Month-over-Month Sales: -4.58% (May pacing compared to April) Prior Month-over-Month Sales: +6.62% (April compared to March) Trending Up: Crafts, toys, music, gift boxes and flower delivery (likely for celebrating holidays like Mother’s Day remotely), photography printing, fabrics Trending Down: Sewing accessories, stationery

Health & Wellness

Month-over-Month Sales: +4.25% (May pacing compared to April) Prior Month-over-Month Sales: +49.09% (April compared to March) Trending Up: at-home oral care, water dispensers & bottles, suncare, diet-related supplements Trending Down: Corporate-related, home gym equipment, health supplements, home fitness programs & virtual training services

Home Furnishings & Supplies

Month-over-Month Sales: +26.14% (May pacing compared to April) Prior Month-over-Month Sales: +62.80% (April compared to March) Trending Up: Furniture, home accessories & non-seasonal decor, mattresses, bulk supplies, kitchen items (particularly coffee accessories), entertaining, novelty, cooking equipment, art Trending Down: Seasonal decor, pillows & bedding, china

Pets

Month-over-Month Sales: -0.82% (May pacing compared to April) Prior Month-over-Month Sales: +44.44% (April compared to March) Trending Up: Treats, toys & accessories Trending Down: Pet food, pet health medicine & supplements

Sports Apparel & Equipment

Month-over-Month Sales: +12.37% (May pacing compared to April) Prior Month-over-Month Sales: +16.80% (April compared to March) Trending Up: Cycling equipment, mountain biking equipment & gear, golf equipment, team sports uniforms, professional-focused sports apparel Trending Down: Some individual sports like skateboarding & surfing equipment, some team sports gear (like soccer cleats)

Messaging examples around COVID-19

Most Attentive partners are maintaining their planned campaign message calendar to engage subscribers as they spend more and more time on their mobile devices at home.

COVID-19 & Its Impact

“Feel Good” & Community Building Messages

Deal-Driven Text Messages

Text message content analysis: 2020 word usage frequency

We analyzed the text messages sent by our 1,000+ customers throughout 2020 so far. The two charts below show the top words used in one-time text messaging campaigns.

The first chart indicates the top words consistently used from December 30 through May 25. The second chart indicates trending words that have emerged due to COVID-19 messaging, peaking after the week of March 2. The sudden burst of COVID-19-related word usage—like WFH, stay, safe—lasted about two months, but now are rarely being used. We’ve seemingly entered into this ‘new normal’ marketing era.

One-Time Text Message Content - Consistent Top Word Usage

One-Time Text Message Content - Changes Influenced by COVID-19

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