Learn from Fast Growing 7-8 Figure Online Retailers and eCommerce Experts

EPISODE 239 55 mins

Coronavirus: eCommerce is witnessing explosive growth – Klaviyo

About the guests

Jake Cohen

Kunle Campbell

Jake Cohen is Klaviyo’s Head of Product Marketing. He loves coffee almost as much as he loves marketing funnels. Which is a lot.

When we heard that eCommerce Sales were up by 30% in the last six weeks compared to the previous six weeks, we couldn’t help but want to know how and why this has happened. How is it possible?

Given that we are in the middle of a pandemic and hardly any country is back to normal, how is the eCommerce industry thriving amid the closure of bricks and mortar retail and Amazon not operating at full capacity? At a time where everybody thought that the pandemic is going to shut down numerous businesses and negatively impact the eCommerce industry, it left us utterly speechless and wondering how are we seeing a spike in sales instead?

Non-Essentials vs Essentials vs New Essentials

Overall sales across Klaviyo’s customers up till 4/4

Well, according to Klaviyo’s Coronavirus eCommerce insights, e-tailers’ seem to have seized the opportunity to serve a continuously surging customer-demand for specific products that align with consumers’ hierarchy of needs.

Kunle’s interview today with Jake Cohen, Head of Product Marketing at Klaviyo is a must-listen if you would like to understand eCommerce verticals currently thriving (there are some surprises) as well as understand how to make the best use of this unique opportunity.

Jake explains that Klaviyo has a customer-base of 100,000 eCommerce stores, and 30,000 of which are paying customers.

They selected 19,000 stores from their cohort of paying customers that were in business all through 2019 as well as 2020 and found that they have not only significantly grown Year-on-Year but sales over the last 6 weeks (over this current quarantine lockdown period) has increased across the board for ‘new-essential’ products. I will outline eCommerce verticals that fit this classification. Jake explains what you should be doing to make 2020 and 2021 a great year, regardless of the industry you find yourself.


  • Food & Beverage

New Essentials

  • Apparel & Accessories – Activewear
  • Electronics
  • Hardware & Home Improvement
  • Health & Beauty Housewares,
  • Home Furnishings, & Garden
  • Office Supplies
  • Specialty Sporting Goods
  • Toys & Hobbies
  • Education
  • Telecommunications

Non Essentials

  • Apparel & Accessories
  • Automotive
  • Jewelry
  • Mass Merchant
  • Banking, Financial Services, and Insurance
  • Events and Entertainment
  • Travel
  • Non-Profit
  • Software / SaaS Agency,
  • Marketing, and Consulting
  • Politics and Government
  • Real Estate and Construction

Klaviyo has also been running a daily eCommerce brand and customer survey to get a sentiment and pulse so be sure to check it out.

Covered Topics:

  • Data Insights from Klaviyo’s COVID-19 Daily Pulse Update
  • Amazon Shipping
  • Shifts in Consumer Buying Patterns
  • Advertising amid the COVID-19 Outbreak
  • Social Media Marketing
  • Email Marketing

Podcast Show Notes:

  • 01:51 – Figure out how the eCommerce industry is affected by the COVID-19 pandemic through Klaviyo’s COVID-19 Daily Pulse Update. Check out Klaviyo
  • 04:58 – Who is Jake Cohen?
  • 06:15 – What was your initial reaction when COVID hit?
    • Focus on giving value to consumers
    • Pool information that can help your consumers manage their business and weather the storm
  • 10:31 – How the Pulse Update was formed
  • 12:19 – Insights from Klaviyo’s COVID-19 Daily Pulse Update
    • Some categories like Health & Beauty, Health & Fitness, and Housewares were exploding.
    • The same trends in consumer spending are happening all over the world.
    • Consumer spending patterns will follow Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs with psychological needs such as safety and security which are consumers’ first priority
  • 18:02 – Changes and Challenges in Amazon Shipping
    • Slow down in warehouse operation due to health protocols
    • Increased demand
    • Increased intent to purchase from new brands
  • 22:27 – Shift in Consumer Buying Patterns
    • 25% more spending happened last March, 2x the normal spending of an average consumer
    • Dramatic increase in food spending and basic necessities in a week
    • Sales in categories like Health & Fitness such as sporting goods started to go up.
  • 26:18 – Get the easiest way to backup your Shopify or BigCommerce store and undo unwanted changes with Rewind.io… Mention you heard about them at 2x eCommerce Podcast and get a ONE MONTH FREE TRIAL
  • 27:06 – Impact on the Fashion Industry
    • Massive sales and discounts than Black Friday
    • Launched sales to increase cash flow
    • Appealed to emotion to entice consumers to buy coupled with discounts
  • 31:41 – Thoughts on Advertising now
    • The media is showing that people are not spending any money.
    • eCommerce stores are actually up by 26%
    • The longer that someone is at home by mandate, the more impulsive they are to buy.
    • Empathize with the needs of potential customers and then offer your solution.
  • 37:59 – What are the categories that were worth noting over this period?
    • Fitness Apparel, Electronics, Food & Beverages, Gold, Home & Garden, Health & Beauty, Toys & Hobbies, Office Supplies
  • 40:08 – Data Insights
    • Hypothesis: The amount of time that people are in a state of stay-at-home mandate, influences what they buy.
    • Look at the data on the changes by state and by category over time.
    • Klaviyo predicts that there’s going to be an increase in spending in home office supplies as more consumers are stuck at home.
  • 44:03 – What would you advise consumers to get those micro-conversions in?
    • Take advantage of the power of email marketing.
    • Partner up with complementary brands/products to promote your business.
  • 48:11 – How do you increase engagements in your social media channels?
    • Occupy mind share with current and new customers.
    • Create and share posts frequently even if it’s not directly related to your product. Demonstrate empathy and understanding.
  • 46:20 – Join the 2xEcommerce Facebook Group

Topic Takeaways:

  • The two things that are driving people to buy when they’re looking is Available Inventory and Free Shipping.
  • Today, people are buying from new stores; they’re exploring their options online but the real question is: how do you make sure that you’re the brand that gets discovered?
  • The longer that someone is at home by mandate, the more impulsive they are to buy.
  • You need to be able to empathize with the needs of potential customers and then offer them your solution.
  • Your ad visuals should also align with the current scenario.
  • Being transparent and explicit both in your website and email around shipping delays goes such a long way because consumers are so paranoid about getting tricked or hoodwinked.

Tweetable Quotes:

“You should be advertising. And the messaging, the positioning around your product needs to connect to a trigger or a specific need or desire that someone has today.”

“You should be advertising. And the messaging, the positioning around your product needs to connect to a trigger or a specific need or desire that someone has today.”

Facebook Group • Continue the Conversation

The eCommerce GrowthAccelerator Mastermind Facebook Group has just launched.
It is a community…

✔️ for founders and experts passionately involved in eCommerce
✔️ for the truly ambitious wanting to make an impact in the markets they serve
✔️ for those willing and open to help and share with other members

Here is where to apply to join the Facebook group



This episode is brought to you by:


This episode is brought to you by Klaviyo – a growth marketing platform that powers over 25,000 online businesses.
Direct-to-Consumer brands like ColourPop, Huckberry, and Custom Ink rely on Klaviyo.

Klaviyo helps you own customer experience and  grow high-value customer relationships right from a shopper’s first impression through to each subsequent purchase, Klaviyo understands every single customer interaction,  and empowers brands to create more personalized marketing moments.

Find out more on klaviyo.com/2x.




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About the host:

Kunle Campbell

An ecommerce advisor to ambitious, agile online retailers and funded ecommerce startups seeking exponentially sales growth through scalable customer acquisition, retention, conversion optimisation, product/market fit optimisation and customer referrals.

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