COVID-19 has created disruption across the globe, though impacts across industries have undoubtedly shown contrasting results. To better understand how the coronavirus pandemic has impacted direct-to-consumer companies, PipeCandy analyzed data from more than 1,000 DTC brands in the U.S., which looked at traffic, demographics, and customer acquisition trends pre- and post-COVID-19 quarantine orders.
Notably, only 24 percent of the brands tracked in this report surpassed peak monthly visits that they scaled in 2019. In fact, 36 percent of the brands declined more than 50 percent from the respective 2019 peaks. One of the three brands that fell from the peak of 2019 fell by more than 50 percent.
The company’s data found categories that saw increases in averages to peak traffic in April included fitness at 14.37 percent and pets at 7.45 percent. The report noted even categories including food, grocery, cookware and nutraceuticals, which have seen strong uptakes during the pandemic, have not yet scaled their 2019 peaks. When PipeCandy examined peaks from 2019, they found these peaks were launch-related and driven by p.r. or paid acquisitions. These peaks, therefore, could not represent real consumer demand.
According to the report, nearly 80 percent of the DTC brands have less than 5 percent of total monthly traffic contributed by paid traffic.
During the pandemic, various reports have found seniors, a market that has traditionally shopped in-store, have attributed to increasing online sales. PipeCandy’s research showed only a 2-5 percent increase in distribution between 2019 and April 2020 from this age group. In categories other than food, grocery, and meal delivery, the company found a consistent rise in traffic share from seniors which ranged between 2-11 percent.
PipeCandy’s report states, “If there is one takeaway, all is well with DTC. Even categories like mattresses and meal kits that were beleaguered before the crisis have gotten a second lease of life it looks like.”
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