As consumers continued to stay at home during quarantine, in the last two weeks in April and the first two weeks in May 2020, Qubit looked across customer events, transactions, and visitor sessions in the U.S. and U.K. to gain insights on how people are shopping presently and how retailers can adjust.
With revenue per customer down across all verticals, Qubit writes in its report that there is a risk for smaller AOV becoming the “new normal” for online shoppers once stores re-open. Further, as revenue-per-converter is down across all sub-verticals and retail channels, the company says there are signs of consumers becoming thriftier in spending. This can be attributed, the report states, due to fears of job securing and disposable income.
“There’s no doubt in my mind that brands that have been able to pivot quickly are those that are going to thrive and perhaps even survive in the midst of the coronavirus,” said Graham Cooke, founder and chief executive officer of Qubit. “What our trending data is telling us is that customer behavior patterns have probably changed forever and will likely never return to pre-coronavirus times. For instance, no longer will consumers be chained to an office desk as their main way of working. As a result, e-commerce brands will increasingly need to use AI in order to understand new and emerging customer behaviors to scale the effectiveness and relevance of their online store and serve their customers through personalization.”
Notably, Qubit’s report also saw the affordable luxury sector as being heavily impacted as thrifty shoppers look elsewhere. Data showed a 20 percent decrease in visitors in the evening on weekdays during quarantine in comparison to the same time in 2019. The report further stated that while these affordable luxury brands have lost out on key moments during the day, where professionals had been browsing on mobile devices after work, or during commutes, for wardrobe purchases.
Conversely, Qubit’s report finds higher-end luxury buyers are finding their fix online. High-income shoppers who do not normally shop online are showing higher activity in online purchases. Online revenues are up 115 percent year over year on weekends and up 30 percent year over year on weekdays. Conversion rates are up during both the day and evening.
The peak time for fashion shopping has become 9pm with a rise in mobile shopping at 10pm. The company notes this may be a result of consumers changing sleeping behaviors as people have adjusted to sleeping in and coming online later in the day. At the same time, while conscious fashion consumers have continued to browse, Qubit’s data finds conversion in this area is down.
Similarly, weekday conversion patterns have shifted to mirror what was previously behaviors of weekend activity. This is particularly clear in fashion and affordable luxury. “Time is fluid in a pandemic,” said the report, “so brands must adapt offers and campaigns to reflect this ‘new normal’.”
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