MARKET INSIGHTS
Note that the insights for today’s page are comparing how we are pacing this week (May 26 - 31, 2020) compared to the same timeframe last week and also the average over the last 30 days; charts are updated daily.

MuteSix, recently acquired by the Dentsu Aegis Network, helps D2C e-commerce brands drive paid media performance to grow and scale.  Our brands spend over $500 million per annum across all digital channels. Our strategy is a holistic omni-channel effort utilizing creative and data analytics across the funnel. 

As performance marketers, making adjustments is nothing new. Given the concerns of COVID-19, MuteSix will be releasing key metrics and insights to help brands / advertisers make sense of what’s happening and feel confident in this space.

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Why are we sharing these insights?

We have a much more nuanced look into the digital economy right now than most outlets. We want to ensure that the industry and our community has up-to-the-minute insights into how the market is actually performing. 

What is this data comprised of? 

We are aggregating data in the following ways: 

• All Vertical Spend and CPM Trends
• Spend Against Benchmarks
• Spend and Conversion Rate Trends

The data is then broken up into the following verticals:

• Health & Wellness
• Home Fitness
• Supplements
• Beauty & Skincare
• Fashion & Apparel
• Food & Beverage
• Home Goods

*As new vertical trends and insights come to light, we will update this accordingly.

FASHION & APPAREL

MUTESIX 2020

HELPFUL PARTNERS

Our key partners are here to help during this crisis. 
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With ShipBob's fulfillment center network, take advantage of the proven leader in DTC logistics by distributing your inventory across multiple states and closer to your customers.

WHAT WE'RE READING

Who do we have in mind when creating this resource?

MuteSix manages over $500 million advertising spend for clients in all verticals and we wanted to share these key metrics and learnings during this time to be helpful for clients, partners, and beyond. We are in unprecedented times and know this information can be useful in navigating the next few weeks.

No spin, no misinformation. Just aggregates of real market data collected by the MuteSix Strategy team.

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HEALTH & WELLNESS

BEAUTY & SKINCARE

FOOD & BEVERAGE

HOME GOODS

We'll periodically update this with more articles as we gather them. 
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Postscript powers SMS for thousands of Shopify stores. Ecommerce businesses can use the platform for free for 30 days. During their free trial, Postscript sees brands earn 5 digits in attributed revenue, making SMS a reliable source of revenue during this time.

Shopify has already taken action to support business owners who may be struggling by providing them with tools and solutions to keep them afloat.  They have extended the 14-day free trial of Basic Shopify, Shopify, and Shopify Advanced plans to 90 days to allow prospective merchants more time to get comfortable. They've also moved up the launch date of their new local pickup & delivery options (previously planned to be released with the all-new Shopify POS), made Gift Cards available to Basic Shopify merchants, and are rushing to make their Shopify Capital offerings available in more countries as soon as possible.

During this time ShipMonk will remain open and their operations functioning at full capacity. They are continuing to onboard new accounts during this situation. 

COVID-19 is affecting many merchants both small and big, so finding creative ways to engage with customers on a personal level is extremely important. Gorgias is helping merchants by bringing in all communication channels and displays into one centric place.

ShipStation is working to keep brands informed and updated on anything that can impact or improve your shipping experience as we navigate this together.

With many consumers feeling increasingly isolated, now is an important time for merchants to prioritize customer engagement and interaction. Okendo enables merchants to build community with a suite of tools for collecting and sharing customer reviews, customer-generated photos and videos and Q&A. 

Now more than ever, it’s essential to give customers flexible payment options that do not rely on high-interest credit lines. Afterpay allows customers to spread their cart purchase into four equal installments with 0% interest and no impact on credit scores.

While e-commerce is a relatively young space, it already is proving to be better positioned for this current landscape. Although we know this is a time of uncertainty, we are all in this together as a community and MuteSix is happy to be a resource.

Paid Media Insights From D2C e-Commerce Brands Through The COVID-19 Crisis

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4/15/2020


4/6/2020

4/1/2020

  • WSJ - Coronavirus pandemic widens divide between online, traditional businesses with online sales up 24% week 3/1-3/17.

  • 55% boost in alcohol sales in one week

  • Signs of recover in online fashion starting March 20th

  • In March, most shoppers on Amazon looked for toilet paper, face masks, hand sanitizers, and other essentials, as well as items for working from home, at home sports equipment, and offline entertainment.

3/31/2020

3/30/2020

3/27/2020

3/25/2020

3/24/2020

3/23/2020

3/19/2020

During these challenging times, consumers are paying closer attention to their personal finances and spending. Installment payments give shoppers the freedom to spread the cost, interest-free over time.

Today online shoppers are feeling vulnerable. The last thing they want is to feel like they are stuck with the wrong product. Loop automates the return process and makes it easy for customers to exchange the wrong product for the right one.

Klaviyo is built to help brands personalize communication to their audience, which is more important at this moment than ever before. Their team is ready and here to help brands talk through strategies on how Klaviyo can help with stronger communication through their segmentation and automation.

HELPFUL RESOURCES

As the market becomes more unpredictable, Brex is offering longer repayment periods with no interest or fees. With true net 60-day payment terms, Brex gives ecommerce companies more runway for inventory purchases, ad campaigns, and more.

In a time where everyone in our ecosystem has whiplash from the constantly-changing circumstances, Yotpo is doing everything they can to strengthen their position as a long-term partner, invested in whatever happens, in COVID and beyond.

Recent Insights

Home Goods - Spend + Conv. Rate

  • Home Goods media spend trends:

    • -2.3% from previous week
    • -5.5% from month average
    • -27.0% month over month (MoM)
  • Home Goods conversion rate trends:

    • -0.9% from previous week
    • -0.6% from month average
    • -20.3% month over month (MoM)
  • Media investment levels in the Home Goods vertical last week paced behind the previous week, month average, and month over month, as brands are focusing on efficiency while conversion rates are normalizing following a spike in consumer demand. 

  • Conversion Rates in the Home Goods vertical were down last week versus the previous week and month average, largely driven by fulfilled demand during Memorial Day Weekend promos. 

  • Marginal utility for Home Goods related products is declining as parts of the country begin to open back up, evidenced by a -20.3% decline in conversion rates in May versus April.

FACEBOOK / INSTAGRAM
by Caroline & Moody

  • A much better week from a revenue and ROAS standpoint. Starting to see some rebound in the fashion & apparel industry as consumers get comfortable at home and brands pivot to satisfy new consumer needs.

  • Digital attention remains at all time highs. CPM’s have reduced anywhere between 30-40% and there’s no sign of them increasing anytime soon.

  • Overall we are feeling much more optimistic about Facebook & instagram performance outside of the verticals that have been thriving in this market.

  • Many clients are running sales to combat low sales volume, brands may consider running sales to stay competitive.

CHANNEL UPDATES

EMAIL / SMS
by Drew

  • Open Rates remaining steadily higher than average (pre-COVID times)! 

  • SMS is on the rise with open rates as high as 95 - 100% this is a great channel to add personal messages, additional branding moments, and quick updates! 

  • Tips: 

    • Update onsite messaging if necessary to reflect the realities of how COVI-19 is or is not affecting your brand
    • Check all automation messaging to make sure that it is relevant and applicable
      • Ex: if you have messaging around next day delivery and that is not possible at this time, you will want to update that messaging
    • Leverage back in stock flows if you are experiencing inventory constraints 
    • Continue to send soft, inspiring, empathetic, and understanding messages

AMAZON
by David

  • Although Amazon had said they will open up FBA shipments completely on April 5, they still have not fully opened up shipments into Amazon’s warehouses for all products

  • Amazon has increased product return windows. For anyone who purchased products within Mar 1-Apr 30, they are allowed to return products until May 31

  • Amazon has altered the algorithms so that Seller Fulfilled listings carry more weight than previous in buy box rankings due to delayed shipping from Amazon’s FBA warehouses

GOOGLE / YOUTUBE
by Harrison and Elmar

  • Overall consumers are more pessimistic about the economy than their personal financial situation

  • Overall shopping demand is still decent; just over half are just as likely or more to be shopping

  • Category growth YoY, especially in March (dollar/drug/club/food stores up, specialty retail/beauty/liquor down, compared to Feb).

  • Biggest shopping challenge: Items being in stock

  • Consumers want to know how brands are responding

INFLUENCER
by Sarah

  • Social media platforms are taking action to prevent the spread of fake news around COVID-19

  • Searching #coronavirus on Instagram will give you a pop-up directing you to cdc.gov

  • Instagram is restricting posts with COVID related hashtags if they detect misinformation

  • Youtube is restricting the reach of videos including information about COVID from unreliable sources

  • TikTok includes a banner for most videos including hashtags related to COVID to consult with local authorities for more information

STUDIOSIX (Creative)
by David & Stacy

  • We are seeing a need for brands to quickly shift messaging and create new creative for the  ‘shelter in place’ world that we are now living in.

  • Brands have to be particularly careful when shifting messaging and making culturally relevant creative to walk the line of acknowledging certain new cultural norms (wfh, boredom, etc) while not overtly looking to profit off of the public health crisis (mentions of COVID-19 by name, or illness in general).

  • Although large productions are not possible with current CDC and State restrictions, there are still socially responsible ways to make new content, including leveraging content creators, influencers, and sourcing self-filmed content that can drive social proof.

  • Socially Responsible Creative

Justuno is the #1 CRO tool to keep your e-commerce site thriving - from growing your email list, collecting numbers for SMS messaging, or showing smart product recommendations, Justuno helps you convert visits to sales. It's the best time to have an e-commerce site, so make the most of it with Justuno.

PROGRAMMATIC
by Camille and Matt

  • CPMs continue to show dramatic decreases across Programmatic publishers, with CPMs declining between 20% to 40% depending on the advertiser category from March

  • This has been partly driven by a significant increase in traffic (i.e. supply), especially across certain utility sites, gaming, and educational sites

  • T-Mobile network data shows an 85% increase in mobile gaming since the beginning of March

TIKTOK / PINTEREST / SNAPCHAT
by Caroline & Josh

TIKTOK

  • Continuing to see extremely cheap CPMs and CPC’s across the board. Leveraging this channel to drive top of funnel metrics and using Facebook and Google to close prospects. Pixel 2.0 is in the works to help better track users through the conversion path. Influencers willing do to content for cheaper rates and in most cases free given the COVID-19 environment.

SNAPCHAT

  • Seeing an increase in eCPMs from this week to last week, although down 25% MoM

  • Engagement with ads is barely fluctuating (Swipe Ups & Story Opens), but conversion rates have steadily improved WoW 10%+

  • According to Snapchat reps - health and wellness / daily essential clients are seeing the best performance (similar to Facebook), but also seeing great performance for younger demographic brands with a lower price point.

During these uncharted times— the Attentive team is helping brands adapt and manage their text messaging strategies to communicate with subscribers in an empathetic and personalized way.

Health & Wellness - Spend + Conv. Rate

  • Health & Wellness media spend trends:

    • +1.9% from previous week
    • -14.6% from month average
    • -12.1% month over month (MoM)
  • Health & Wellness conversion rate trends:

    • -12.7% from previous week
    • -4.2% from month average
    • +3.5% month over month (MoM)
  • Media investment in the Health & Wellness vertical paced ahead of the previous week, but paced behind the month average and month over month as consumer demand has been fulfilled, expect to see media spend levels normalize. 

  • Conversion rates in the Health & Wellness vertical last week paced behind the previous week and month average yet remain higher in May versus April at +3.5%, expect to see this trend continue as the spread of COVID slows.   

  • Upward vertical-specific media investment trends have primarily been driven by an increase in consumer demand for immunity boosting products as health becomes a bigger priority for many consumers in lieu of COVID.

Beauty & Skincare - Spend + Conv. Rate

  • Beauty & Skincare media investment trends:

    • -11.0% from previous week
    • -12.8% from month average
    • +20.0% month over month (MoM)
  • Beauty & Skincare conversion rate trends:

    • -30.3% from previous week
    • -30.9% from month average
    • -9.9% month over month (MoM)
  • Beauty & Skincare vertical media spend levels are pacing well ahead in May versus in April at +20.0% yet paced behind last week compared to the previous week and month average.

  • Conversion rates in the Beauty & Skincare vertical last week paced behind the previous week, month average, and in May versus April, largely due to fulfilled consumer demand. 

  • The spike in media investment recently has largely been driven by increased consumer demand for self-care related products like face serums & face masks as consumers are spending more time at home.

Fashion & Apparel - Spend + Conv. Rate

  • Fashion & Apparel media spend trends:

    • +3.9% from previous week
    • -4.0% from month average
    • +12.8% month over month (MoM)
  • Fashion & Apparel conversion rate trends:

    • -14.4% from previous week
    • -7.9% from month average
    • -0.4% month over month (MoM)
  • Media investment levels were up in the Fashion & Apparel vertical last week compared to the previous week and are pacing ahead in May versus April at +12.8%.

  • Conversion rates in the Fashion & Apparel vertical last week paced behind compared to the previous week and month average, as consumer demand for luxury goods like non-essential apparel decreased.

  • Loungewear, pajamas, and athleisure continue to be the largest drivers of sales in the Fashion & Apparel vertical. 

Food & Beverage - Spend + Conv. Rate

  • Food & Beverage media spend trends:

  • +1.0% from previous week
  • -9.1% from month average
  • -14.8% month over month (MoM)

Food & Beverage conversion rate trends:

  • +3.4% from previous week
  • -13.0% from month average
  • -9.2% month over month (MoM)
  • Media investment and conversion rates in the Food & Beverage vertical last week paced ahead of the previous week, but paced behind the month average, and in May versus April. 

  • Conversion rates in the Food & Beverage vertical last week paced ahead the previous week, while pacing behind the month average, and in May versus April, a recent trend based on restaurants opening in many parts of the country. 

HOME FITNESS

Home Fitness - Spend + Conv. Rate

  • Home Fitness media spend trends:

    • -5.8% from previous week
    • -29.7% from month average
    • -19.4% month over month (MoM)
  • Home Fitness conversion rate trends:

    • -16.7% from previous week
    • -9.5% from month average
    • +1.5% month over month (MoM)
  • Media spend in the Home Fitness vertical last week paced behind the previous week, month average, and is pacing behind month over month as parts of the country start to open back up, including gyms and fitness classes.

  • Conversion rates in the Home Fitness vertical last week paced behind the previous week and month average, largely due to fulfilled consumer demand and a shift in consumer purchasing away from Home Fitness towards brick and mortar fitness memberships.

  • Despite a shift in consumer habits, conversion rates in May remain ahead of April at +1.5%. 

SUPPLEMENTS

Supplements - Spend + Conv. Rate

  • Supplements media spend trends:

    • +12.7% from previous week
    • +1.3% from month average
    • +3.6% month over month (MoM)
  • Supplements conversion rate trends:

    • -8.7% from previous week
    • +0.3% from month average
    • +8.6% month over month (MoM)
  • Media investment levels in the Supplements vertical last week paced ahead of the previous week, month average, and are ahead in May versus April at +3.6%, largely driven by increased investment immunity boosting supplements media. 

  • Conversion rates in the Supplements vertical trended slightly downward last week versus the previous week, but paced ahead of the month average and month over month.

  • Supplements conversion rate spikes are largely due to repeat purchasers and slowed delivery times, expect conversion rates to trend upwards over the next few weeks as consumers need to repurchase as marginal utility for supplements remains high.

All Verticals - Spend + Conv. Rate

  • All Verticals media spend trends:

    • +1.9% from previous week
    • -6.5% from month average
    • +2.7% month over month (MoM)
  • All Verticals conversion rate trends:

    • -17.8% from previous week
    • -18.1% from month average
    • -20.1% month over month (MoM)
  • Media spend levels last week paced slightly ahead of the previous week at +1.9% while trending downward from the month average at -6.5%. 

  • Conversion rates last week took a sharp decline versus the previous week, month average, and month over month, largely due to decreased conversion rates in the Home Goods and Food & Beverage verticals as most parts of the country are opening up and time spent at home is declining for consumers.

  • Conversion rates in the Supplements, Home Fitness, and Health & Wellness verticals remain steady as marginal utility for health-focused products remains high in lieu of COVID. 

All Verticals - Spend + CPM

  • All Verticals CPM trends:

    • -1.1% from previous week
    • -0.6% from month average
    • +3.0% month over month (MoM)
  • CPMs across All Verticals trended slightly downward last week versus the previous week and month average, indicating a normalization of CPMs after a sharp decline following the start of COVID.

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