COVID-19 through Untappd Data
It feels like ages ago that we were able to freely go to a bar or restaurant and have pint of our favorite suds in a glass. COVID-19 has impacted almost every facet of the beer industry from festivals to bars and restaurants to as you can imagine, Untappd check-ins! Most people make the assumption that Untappd is only used in a physical world when people are out at bars or breweries, but in a pre-COVID world, we were about 80% public venue check-ins and 20% non-public venue check-ins (or no venues at all).
Starting on March 13th, 2020, we saw a drastic decrease around the world. Starting that week, we went from 20% check-in at home (or non-public) to 50% over a short time period. People were still checking in, but now at home. As the week turned over on March 17th, 2020 - check-ins at public were in straight decline. We were seeing a 93% decrease in check-ins to public venues pre-COVID-19 numbers, in the time span of a week.
This trend continued until the middle of May when we started to witness the first increase in check-ins since mid-March when lockdowns went into place. It was certainly a struggle for many bars and restaurants and customers of Untappd. We quickly launched gregslist, which was our way of trying to help the industry pull together and publish information about pickup, delivery, and curbside for all of our venues in the database. Our sales team played a big role in helping get this out as soon as possible by calling on our venues to get this information updated for them.
Additionally in March, we launched Untappd at Home, a new first-of-its-kind global venue that encouraged everyone to check-in at "home" and show that they were drinking safely. This was the first time we had ever implemented a global venue that allowed everyone to come together and check-in at one place from wherever they were. The venue has seen close to 25M+ check-ins since launch. With decreased check-ins happening in the public world, the Untappd at Home venue helped users connect and see what everyone else was checking in, fostering that shared experience of drinking socially...just virtually.
This small concept of drinking virtually inspired our Virtual Happy Hour events, which is how Untappd TV was born, creating live broadcasts in the app where people connect with each other over a beer while they listen to and interact with interviews with industry professionals and influencers.
As countries started lifting lockdowns and rolling out plans to re-open in June, we saw an increase in check-ins week by week. Before COVID, the following venue categories had the highest number of check-ins:
- 1) Bars & Nightlife
- 2) Food
- 3) Travel & Transport
- 4) Arts & Entertainment
- 5) Shops & Service
Looking at the data now in mid-August, Bars & Nightlife still rank number 1, but Arts & Entertainment (which includes Festivals) and Travel & Transport categories dropped out of the top 5. In their place, we've seen a rise in Outdoors (Parks, Hiking, etc) which took over the 3rd spot.
We saw a major change in serving styles during the month of July, compared to the previous month. Cans had jumped close to a 50% increase from the prior year, and draft check-ins dipped 65%. This ultimately has a major impact on the industry, with more pressure placed on aluminum can makers to make more supplies to deal with the demand.
Similar to the global check-in graph to public venues, check-ins at Breweries are starting to increase as well. With more and more taprooms, practicing "COVID Safety" measures, it appears globally that people are starting to venture out in support of their local breweries. When the lock down started, we saw an average decrease in check-ins at venues categorized as a Brewery, by 80% percent*. Yes, you saw that number right. However since early July, we're starting to see an average daily increase of 4% in check-ins to Breweries. More importantly, comparing Saturday to Saturday (our biggest day on Untappd), we're seeing an average increase in unique users by 6%, each weekend. While we are certainly not out the woods of this pandemic, it does show signs of improving for our local breweries.
* Average of Percent Decrease based on week of 3/9/20 to 3/16/20
Along with Purchased At usage increasing, users are finding new ways to engage with our Untappd for Business venues through their digital menus. Comparing our menu view data, we are seeing an average of 11% increase since March 2020 across all menu sources. While foot-traffic may be slowly coming back amid the pandemic, users are finding what bars and restaurants are offering through the menus of these venues in the app, their Facebook page and their website via our business tools. With times changing, consumers are also changing how they find out what what beers are available "to-go" via our menu solutions. If you are interested in checking out how our business products work, check out untappd.com/business to learn our offerings and how it can work for your business.
Even with the pandemic, we're seeing more usage of both Untappd At Home venue and our purchased at field. The Purchased At field was added to help provide user to provide data about where they purchased a beer from in a retail setting. With the launch of the "Untappd at Home Venue" in March, we saw people flock to supporting their local businesses via curbside pickup or delivery by using this field by 25% within the first week. By the end of April, our usage of the feature was up 135% versus March.
So here we are, future uncertain, the Untappd at Home venue holds close to 25M+ check-ins since launch but we're finally starting to see the check-in numbers decrease to the venue as users are able to venture out into the world again.
Many users have asked us what we are going to do with the "Untappd at Home" venue when COVID-19 is in the past.
End of an era with Untappd at Home?
Frankly, we think it's an amazing way to allow users to connect with each other virtually across the world - another way to drink socially and bring everyone together. The venue has created and fostered a deep sense of community during an incredibly trying time and we think that's really something special. So, it just may stick around!