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7. April 2020
Global News Trends & Insight

Market Insight: CBD Brands Must Adjust to Changing Online Shopping Behaviour Amidst Global Coronavirus Crisis

Market Analysis | Insight & Trends

eCommerce marketing platform Yotpo, has released its Consumers & Commerce 2020 Coronavirus Trends Report, showcasing findings from a global survey highlighting changing online consumer behaviour. The findings are particularly relevant to CBD vendors as businesses look to try and adapt to the current coronavirus crisis.

The survey examines the changing behaviours, priorities, and shopping trends of consumers in the US, UK, and Canada since they have been encouraged to self-isolate or asked to shelter-in-place.

Among the many emerging trends, that are going hand-in-hand with this unprecedented Coronavirus pandemic, these are some of the main changes in consumer behaviour that marketers for CBD brands should be aware of:

  • Shopping behaviour is beginning to evolve, with consumers more responsive to marketing messages, including email, SMS marketing, social, and more.
  • Consumers prioritise buying food first and foremost, but also products that promote health and wellness, including supplements, superfoods, and items like thermometers and medication.
  • If products are out of stock in stores, consumers will consider less familiar brands.

Consumer Priorities

Consumers are looking to spend less (56.75%) rather than spend more (23.65%) during this time, or they’re aiming to maintain their typical spend (22.80%).

It’s no surprise that 43.2% of respondents plan to do more of their shopping online, but 31.7% are shifting to completely buying online rather than shopping in physical stores. And just what are they buying? Fashion and beauty purchases are put on pause for the time being, as the new ‘survival’ essentials for consumers are food (78.8%), health and wellness products (42.5%), and household cleaning supplies (34.95%).

With food prioritized at the forefront, 46.05% are purchasing non-perishable items such as canned goods and other pantry staples like beans and rice. If the pandemic disruption continues, half of consumers (50.95%) say they plan to cook more often.

Health & Wellness items, as well as household items, are also significantly important, with consumers buying more personal sanitizers (40.15%), medical care items such as thermometers (22.75%), and other wellness items like vitamins, superfoods, or CBD products (21.60%). While 30.85% of consumers said they were buying more toilet paper, they also noted they were focused on buying water, camping gear, frozen food, beer, and liquor.

Driving Consumer Loyalty

At the time the survey was conducted, 65% of shoppers using Amazon said they couldn’t get everything (32.75%) or anything (32.25%) they really needed from the retailer. Less than a week later, it was reported that Amazon Prime delays reached the one-month mark, leaving consumers scrambling to find other online options to get the essentials they need.

Amazon’s relationship with consumers is just one of speed and convenience and lacks human connection or community. Now only Prime members are being prioritized and, of course, that comes with a fee,” said Tomer Tagrin, CEO & Co-founder of Yotpo. “Today’s D2C brands are the world’s Mom & Pop shops of eCommerce, and they truly care about their customers and their communities. Consumers are rallying to support their local small businesses, and we encourage them to rally their support around D2C brands as well, especially as they could be the most heavily impacted during this pandemic.

Additionally, consumers will take extra measures to access the products they need. If an item is out of stock, 40.55% of consumers will turn to a less familiar brand to help meet their need, which means it’s critical for D2Cs to double down on their brand and customer retention.

The pressure the global health crisis has put on retailers is unprecedented, but there is an opportunity for D2C retailers – particularly those in the food, health & wellness, and household products industries.

At the same time, many consumers (35.65%) are starting to pay more attention to brand marketing (via email, SMS, social ads, etc.). Consumers are watching brands and their messages closely, as 79.55% of consumers are looking to maintain spend (22.80%) or spend less (56.75%) because of the pandemic.

What does this mean?

The rub for D2C brands is that their digital marketing budgets are likely being slashed,” said Raj Nijjer, VP of Marketing, Yotpo. “It’s the perfect time for brands to lean on eCommerce marketing best practices to reconnect with existing and new customers in a meaningful way. Examples could range from displaying reviews that provide purchase confidence in this time of massive uncertainty, to creative rewards programs that spur referrals and bolster community, to making every purchase worthwhile by offering support to a current, relevant charity or cause.

For online CBD brands and retailers, the demand for products remains relatively steady despite Coronavirus, but the key is to ensure that restricted budgets can be used to maximum potential. This means:

  • Connecting in meaningful ways with existing consumers
  • Invest in communication channels that allow your brand to be more accessible (SMS, Slack channels, Instagram Live, etc)
  • Building consumer loyalty, that will hopefully extend far beyond the current global crisis
  • Nurturing existing customer communities
  • Maximising engagement with consumers
  • Prioritising customer experience and satisfaction

CBD vendors that can implement these activities effectively will not only see the short-term benefit, but will hopefully build business practices that focus on customer loyalty and providing exceptional customer experiences all of which will endure well beyond the current Coronavirus outbreak.

Yotpo’s Consumers & Commerce 2020 Coronavirus Trends Report presents findings from a survey of 2,000 U.S., Canadian, and U.K. women and men (ages 14 – 73) administered via Pollfish on March 17, 2020.