Commentary

The Pandemic Draw: New Customers Poured In And Spent More From March Through June

Online consumer purchasing rose dramatically from March through June, especially in the food and beverage and home delivery sectors. And email played a big role, pulling 166% more new customers than it did during the same period last year, according to a new study by Alliant.

What’s more, total order volume was up 175% for customers acquired by email, and there was with a 25% increase in average order amount per customer, with Food & Beverage contributing a large part of this lift.  

But the overall news is not as great as it seems: Despite the influx of new customers, the average order size is down in most verticals, showing that the newcomers are not spending as much as pre-pandemic customers, the study notes. 

Direct mail delivered  a 31% hike in new customer acquisition in April, and 53% in May. But there was a 9% decline in June, probably because firms were cutting back on mailings as their budgets were squeezed. 

Yet direct mail achieved growth in the average order size of 12% in March, 27% in April, 33% in May an 22% in June. 

An  the order size was 90% higher than it was for email offers, and 10% more than that achieved by online ads. 

Meanwhile, digital advertising drove 35% more customers than it did in 2019. What’s more, these shoppers spent 31% more and had and had an 8% average order amount. This area includes

TV supplied 82% more new customers from March through June with a 168% increase in total spend per buyer an 40% hike in average order size.  

Among verticals, the Food & Beverage category, including grocery delivery and subscription boxes, saw a 45% increase in new consumers from March through June, compared to the same time period in 2019. And there was a 28% increase in the average order per customer. 

Moreover, the new customers have an average age of 46, versus 44 I 2019, and income of $128,919 compared to $117,772. 

Crafts Merchandise saw a 118%  spike in new customers, but the average order size was down 13% despite the fact that the most recent shoppers had 16% higher income than those that came before.  

Children and Educational products score a 19% boost in new customers, with average order amount showing incremental change. The average income was 8% higher for these new buyers. 

DTC Subscription brands drew 43% more new customers than it did in the same period last year. 

Beauty Merchandise saw a 72% increase 

“While advertisers understandably have had to adjust marketing plans in these uncertain times, this data shows that many D2C brands can still find growth with smart, targeted marketing,” says JoAnne Monfradi Dunn, CEO of Alliant.

Monfradi Dunn adds, “Especially notable is that many marketers with home-oriented products and services delivered strong year-over-year growth across channels, including digital, television and direct mail.”

Alliant studied trends new customer acquisition and order size across its DataHub cooperative database. The DataHub gathers transactional data from over 700 product and brand categories, reflecting behavior by 250 Million US consumers.

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