We’ve all had to bend and adjust our normal routines over the last four months. It’s been said that we’re all in the same storm, but everyone has a different boat. That sentiment actually holds water no matter what time period you’re referencing in America. If we look at geography alone we can see that. If you live in a city and couldn’t find toilet paper at the grocery store it was easy to walk to a neighborhood bodega and find some. But, if you live in a suburb or rural area that wasn’t such an easy option. Differing shelter-in-place orders by state had some folks shopping with ease and others standing in long lines.
One thing is for certain, the numbers show that across the board, consumers turned to online shopping to keep their homes stocked. Forbes synthesized Adobe’s data stating “Fitness product sales are up 55%. Toilet paper sales are up 231%. Laptops and other computer sales are up 40%. Overall... e-commerce in the U.S. is up 25%.”
Beyond the volume change in certain verticals, what else changed? The answer appears to be the delivery mechanism. Previously, Amazon led the online shopping space with their famed two day Prime delivery. Supply chain issues changed that and found stalwart consumer publications like Business Insider compiling lists of 40+ retailers of trusted brands who could deliver better shipping results than Amazon.
And in areas of the country where people couldn’t wait for shipping we saw the rise of buy-online-pickup-in-stores (BOPIS)--with USA Today noting that Kohl’s, Best Buy, and Dick’s Sporting Goods all added curbside pickup increasing such sales “87% year over year between late February and March 29.”
As areas of the country open back up in the absence of a vaccine, consumers may find themselves a bit wary of going back to in-store shopping. The uncertainty of when or if another spike could occur will likely continue the current bulk purchasing trend. Certainly the convenience of ordering online--be it for delivery or store pick-up--offers a way to streamline our overprogramed lives while keeping our families safe. And we’re not likely to see the trend reverse anytime soon.
Knowing that your charity’s supporters are shopping for their household items online provides you with an opportunity to meet them where they already are. When you align your cause with trusted brands working in the affiliate marketing space you give your donors a meaningful way to make their everyday purchases provide for their family, and fulfill their mission to buoy your cause.
If this time has shown us anything it is that people care. They want to help in any way that they can. With the short-term future looking like volunteer opportunities could be limited, creating a new channel for your donors provides an essential way to keep people engaged with your cause.
We all have to pull through this situation together--and with new ways of working, we can, and we will.