The majority of the US has been living in a shelter-at-home world for almost three weeks. Annual springtime rituals, such as March Madness and Opening Day, have been canceled, and in-home occasions have moved from novelty to the norm. New health regimens and shopping behaviors have emerged and people are learning how to navigate their new normal of working from home, homeschooling, and maintaining their health and well-being.
Easter will be the first of the spring celebrations that is not being canceled, and will serve as an extraordinary shopping occasion in this new normal. According to a recent survey conducted by Publicis Commerce and BIGtoken, 84% of respondents plan to celebrate Easter, with 57% planning to do so virtually. This year we will see people engage in shared celebration on social channels enabled by digital platforms – think in-home Easter brunches (maybe facilitated via FaceTime), virtual Easter Egg Hunts and streaming church services.
For brands looking to provide a service to consumers in this new normal, here are some trends and implications to consider:
Strong E-Commerce Availability Can Attract New Consumers
At this moment, e-commerce has become overwhelmed with demand. Brands who make sure their availability is strong can skillfully redirect an out of stock item back into its own portfolio versus a competitor’s. During the Easter season, sweets and confectionaries are top-of-mind for consumers as opposed to impulse buys throughout the year.
Brands that secure a place in the basket for Easter today will also be added to consumers’ consideration set for impulse buys throughout the rest of the year. Brands that are on the digital list tend to stay on the list.
Grocery Game Shifting
People are looking for options and ready-made solutions. Stock-up culture still reigns, and as a result, mobile grocery is outpacing desktop with four times more growth (Criteo).
When we look at the fastest growing searches happening last week, Easter is expanding far beyond just dinner – breakfast and other Easter meal ideas are quickly gaining momentum. With so many families eating three meals a day together, we have seen a shift away from décor-related searches, and a move toward the actual meal planning. Many families are planning to make their favorite dishes at home, with 50% of survey respondents using less restaurant delivery services and 51% buying spirits and wine online. According to Pinterest, the fastest-growing Easter searches on Pinterest include, “Easter dinner,” “Easter breakfast” and “Easter side dishes.”
Leading up to the holiday, grocery lists will pause from necessities to wants and indulgences – but within reason; people are still focused on the economy and spending.
Sending Easter Cheer Virtually
Families who cannot be together physically are also finding new ways to celebrate virtually – not only through digital platforms, but also by leaning on delivery services to ship gifts, food or spirits to a loved one. In addition to using digital platforms to share their celebrations, 60% of survey respondents are sending gifts to family due to limited celebrations and gatherings, and 15% are donating to charities for Easter instead of planned holiday expenses.
Keeping Up Appearances
With more people having Zoom meetings for work and social purposes, fashion should balance value and variety to help bring in a festive spirit – and look good from the shoulders up. 51% of survey respondents reported they are still planning Easter outfits. Pinterest searches for “Easter eye makeup” are also up +75% YoY, “Easter color nails” up +65% and “Easter makeup” is up +17%.
These virtual experiences also showcase more than the person on the video conference. Kitchens and living rooms and “MTV Crib-style” tours are taking place more and more on these virtual chats. As the holiday approaches, brands should focus on lightening up fashion and ways to spruce up interior design without breaking the bank.
In this time of celebration with an enhanced focus on new ways to create connectedness, consumers are looking to brands to help bring traditional Easter experiences to the virtual world, while also remaining mindful of the current environment. Let’s fill up our Easter baskets with strong (and available) product offerings, reasonable indulgences, unique digital innovation and fashion and design that make people hopeful and more connected.