- Collinson clients’ commerce platforms are seeing significant year-on-year variations in the habits of online shoppers in 2020, tracking with the ongoing effects of the COVID-19 outbreak
- The substantial swing in consumer spending habits in 2020 highlights the growing relevance of loyalty commerce platforms, which give travel and financial service providers a flexible and robust way to continually engage with consumers
Charting the effects of the coronavirus pandemic on commerce trends*, Collinson shares a snapshot on how COVID-19 has affected online shopping habits around the world.
A global leader in customer benefits and loyalty, Collinson supports over 25 online shopping portals where consumers can earn and spend loyalty currency linked to leading travel and financial services reward programmes. The newly launched business unit, Collinson Valuedynamx, further connects customers to branded earning and redemption programmes which drive engagement opportunities. This broad and robust loyalty commerce network gives Collinson unique data insights into shifting online spending patterns in 2020.
Loyalty commerce platforms key in 2020
Commenting on the important role loyalty commerce platforms play, James Berry, Commercial Director, Valuedynamx at Collinson, said, “Loyalty commerce platforms are now seeing a massive growth in relevance, especially for travel and financial service providers. The coronavirus pandemic has caused a substantial swing in consumer spending habits and we expect the effects of this to ripple out for the next few years at a minimum. We’ve seen unprecedented shopping spikes and demand over the outbreak period, much of it concentrated around specific commerce categories. Understanding this data, we can help partners to better connect to their customers, in terms of communications and delivering on end-consumer needs with the right products at the right moments. Via a commerce ecosystem like Collinson Valuedynamx, we can provide a means and a method to keep engaging.”
Travel, electronics, sports and fitness
At the very early stages of the coronavirus outbreak, travel purchases in all measured regions were down year-on-year (YoY). APAC saw the greatest fall of 69%, compared to 29% in EMEA and 19% in the US. Across the regions, sales of electronics and appliances were up for merchants such as Sonos, Walmart and Kogan.com as consumers prepared to cook, work and entertain themselves at home. EMEA saw a 32% increase of these sales, whilst the US and APAC experienced increases of 72% and 19% respectively. Sales of sports and fitness products also spiked during this time, with EMEA experiencing a 56% YoY increase in purchases from brands like Nike and Lululemon, compared to a 13% increase in the US from similar retailers.
Health and beauty
After a few weeks of lockdown, sales of health and beauty items as well as gifts and flowers were up YoY in EMEA, 20% and 83% respectively – indicating consumers’ desire to pamper themselves and stay connected to friends and family during this forced time apart. Health and beauty sales were also up in APAC 21% YoY with the region experiencing an increase in purchases from merchants such as iHerb, lookfantastic.com and L’Occitane. This indicated consumers' preparations to re-enter daily life and once again be face-to-face with friends and colleagues; and underlining the deeper interest in personal health and wellness in the COVID19 era.
Food and beverage
Throughout the lockdown period, food and beverage sales including fast food deliveries and alcohol climbed 46% YoY in EMEA. Collinson also saw food and beverage retailers in Europe looking for new channels to replace the drop in demand from travel and hospitality clients. This led to brands like BrewDog, Joe & Seph’s Popcorn and Dash Water engaging with Collinson’s network of shopping portals to reach an extended customer base comprising millions of members, reminding them that they could still buy the brands they love.
In the US, food and beverage sales experienced an increase of 115% YoY following increased demand for more food home delivery style merchants, whilst in APAC it was existing online delivery brands, such as Menulog and PARKnSHOP, that performed well.
Clothes and fashion
As restrictions around social distancing began to lift, the shopping portals in EMEA recorded an 11% YoY lift in clothes and fashion, for brands like ASOS, Boden and H&M, as well as a 144% YoY uptake in luxury goods from Burberry, Gucci and others, as consumers prepared for the cautious return to face-to-face work and socialising. In contrast, luxury goods purchased in APAC remained consistent.
Navigating loyalty strategies in a COVID world
Collinson supports organisations to create a differentiated loyalty strategy that reinforces brand preference and delivers personalised engagement with customers. Collinson’s offerings were bolstered in early 2020 with the launch of Collinson Valuedynamx, which was created to deliver on the rising need for an integrated and secure commerce ecosystem that enables the delivery of personalised, low friction earn-and-redeem experiences. Valuedynamx supports travel, retail and financial services partners by leveraging the unique size and scale of the Collinson business: more than 5,000 retailers and merchant partners, 1,400 banking partners and over 90 airline and 20 hotel group partners, reaching millions of consumers around the globe.
James Berry added, “Like many businesses in 2020, we’ve been working fast to evaluate and evolve our strategies in order to best support our clients and their customers at this unique moment in time. With a rich history of connecting different members of the travel, retail and loyalty ecosystem together, Collinson is uniquely positioned to help brands navigate their loyalty strategy in the COVID world. We are increasingly supporting financial institutions to grow their relevance and frequency of customer interactions, retailers to provide added value and stand out, and travel brands to drive deeper engagement in anticipation of the travel recovery. Going forward, we will continue to uncover meaningful data and explore how we can create mutually valuable networks to engage customers, drive spend, and support diversified revenue streams.”
New retailers are encouraged to join the Valuedynamx network, dedicated to delivering exceptional travel products and loyalty solutions that win deeper, more valuable customer relationships.
* Data based on Loyalty Commerce trends from January-June 2020.