Take 5 with Genie Goals

Hannah Hooton
March 31, 2021

Take 5 with Genie Goals

We are living in unprecedented times – no one knows what is around the corner and no one could have guessed we would be here even 3 months ago. Our focus is on people’s health and wellbeing through this turbulent time, but as your partner, it seems only right to share news and articles which can support your business. We will try to keep our finger on the pulse of this enormous change, and although we can’t promise to have the right answers – we will do our best to provide opinion and content to ensure together we do our best to make the right choices for our wellbeing, our communities and our businesses.

This Week

Behaviour and shopping habits continue to evolve as consumers adjust to the ‘new normal’ – we explore gifting, the new ‘lipstick effect’ and actions we are taking to keep our finger on the pulse of this ever-changing landscape.

PPC Insight

“Consumer confidence has been falling, and this means that consumers are shopping carefully when looking at expensive purchases, household expenses and making comparisons to find the best deals, using language like “compare” and “best” in searches.

However, buying small gifts for yourself, friends or family members during the pandemic as a form of self-care or a way to show your loved ones that you’re thinking about them has grown in recent weeks, and we’ve seen rises in trends for ‘little (or sometimes larger) luxuries’ such as perfumes, skincare, makeup and cosmetics, virtual makeovers, jewellery, underwear, pyjamas, slippers, jewellery, alcohol, baked goods, and bedding & linens.

Lockdown and isolation are difficult, and users are doing what they can to make themselves and their families more comfortable during this time, with purchases of items such as computing and gaming equipment, home & garden equipment and furniture, household appliances, cleaning equipment, food and drink, equipment related to hobbies and education, and fitness equipment continuing to rise.

As for categories which have been struggling, in retail we’ve seen apparel finally showing YOY growth, with queries moving in the right direction after weeks of growth after a large drop post-lockdown. The category growth is driven primarily by sports & fitness, loungewear, leisurewear and sleeping apparel.”

Imogen Collins, Head of PPC.

Social Insight

“With more habits being broken, we are starting to experiment at mass!

With a heightened awareness of preventing further spread of COVID 19, there has been a shift in payment solutions. Germany has had to change due to ‘cleaner’ transactions, with card payments increasing to +38% and cash payments are down by – 42% (YouGov) Could cash really be a thing of the past when we go back to ‘normal’?

In terms of online activity, there has been an increase of traffic across Europe of +66% MOM. 78% of adults in the UK and 76% in Germany are spending more time with connected devices with Smart Phones having the biggest increase.

This overall trend is being reflected in Paid Social. Currently, we are seeing +147% in clicks to site and +181% of online sales.

I feel that this is partly driven by the fact we are also behaving differently. During the lockdown, the shape of our internet use has changed, we do not have peak times anymore. In the UK, online expenditures of particular verticals are seeing an increase. Clothing has increased by 53%, Entertainment has increased by 52% and Groceries have increased by 59% (YouGov COVID Tracker).

I feel we also have to be mindful that currently these increases are still not fully filling the void of not being able to have brick and mortar sales, but it is encouraging to see.

There does seem to be an emerging new lipstick effect which is being driven by substitutions. This is likely to be due to 25% of spend in impossible or severely discouraged as our ‘luxury’ activities, such as nails bars, restaurants, coffee shops, and pubs are closed. There has been an overall increase in nail products, +24%, new customers to Mindful Chef, +425% and an increase of off-trade alcohol,+22%.

As we navigate our way around becoming home chefs, baristas and beauticians, we are also seeing a big increase in Instagram interactions around how to’s. Being present around these behaviour changes could be a new method to build brand awareness and consideration long term.

Rachel Milner, Head of Paid Social

Gifting and Self-indulgence

“With birthdays, anniversaries, would-be-wedding days and so many other special occasions still taking place behind closed doors during lock-down, when we can’t be together physically for these moments, gifts are becoming even more valuable. Whether it be a small token to make someone smile or say thank you, or a larger gift in the absence of a face to face or an event – gifting friends and family feels even more needed in this current climate – this is proven in the 80% rise in ‘Gifts’ searches year on year. It’s not just about others, but self-gifting, looking after your wellbeing and treating yourself to those ‘little luxuries’ are helping many people get through this time of self isolation, boredom and solitude.

Notonthehighstreet.com’s positioning of unique gift ideas remains unchanged – they have chosen to hero gift categories which are current and relevant to their consumers needs –  popular gifts for ‘quality family time’, ‘outdoor living’ and ‘the rainbow collection’. Whilst BuyAGift have had to think of new ways to bring gifting experiences to people during lockdown offering online learning and hobbies like language courses, cooking masterclasses and interior design diplomas.

As Rachel, our Head of Paid Social remarked we are seeing a ‘lipstick effect’ and people making time for new skills, reinvigorating forgotten hobbies or filling the void left by lock-down with baking, cocktail making, crafts, gaming, gardening, DIY-ing – heroing product categories which fit into this new behaviour is a great opportunity for brands to have a positive impact on their consumers wellbeing and mood.”

Emily Long, Head of Client Services & Digital Strategy

Suggested actions to take away

  1. Review your product range and explore whether you have categories that you think are organically performing well with a gifting audience
  2. Review your campaigns (PPC, Social, CRM, Display) to see if some product categories are performing strongly due to being a potential gifting opportunity  
  3. Ensure you have a landing page built on your website specifically for gifting (messaging, heroed products), add a gifting site link and/ or reference on your homepage
  4. Create specific gifting campaigns if appropriate with tailored ad copy
  5. Consider enhancing product feeds by adding ‘gift’ keywords into product descriptions for giftable items

Actions we are taking at Genie Goals

“In this ever changing environment, what performs today might no longer tomorrow and vice versa. We have seen a drastic change in demand over the last 2 weeks in the Garden Furniture category due to a combination of people having to stay indoors and the warm weather fast approaching. One week to the next, we noticed a huge spike in demand as people looked into refreshing their gardens. Those kinds of changes tend to happen in a very short period of time which can have a massive effect on your accounts. At an agency level we constantly monitor search queries with the support of Google so we can invest in the right areas for our clients. However, not all brands or small business owners have the time right now to monitor those macro-changes and this is where Google Trends come into place. Google Trends let you analyse search demand for terms that matter to you and your business whether in the UK or abroad. Take the example of ‘garden furniture’ which I was referencing to above. In the space of a couple days the demand reached the highest peak in the last 12 months which led to a considerable increase in traffic and spend on those terms and equally on conversions. The good news is that you can subscribe to multiple terms that are key to your business so that you get an email alert when there is a big shift in demand week after week, handy in normal times but even more so during this period of uncertainty.”

Jérémy Courty, Account Director

Wellbeing - How we are looking after ourselves and our families

“Home baking is a big part of office life at Genie Goals, so while we can’t share our culinary skills physically with the Genie Family, we can share the yummy photos of the food we are creating at home – pizzas, risottos, bread, cakes, cookies, stews – enjoy just a snapshot of the deliciousness…”

Hannah Hooton, New Partnerships

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