Marketers across the globe have all looked over last year’s holiday trends, to better understand how to plan for Christmas of 2020. However, we marketers have more on our hands than Black Friday of 2019, so it’s hard to prepare for something with an unknown impact. However, there is one reliable source of data that we can rely on, and that’s the consumers themselves.
Many people aren’t phased by the pandemic anymore and have said they’d visit a physical store, but the majority of consumers don’t want to risk exposure to the virus. With some studies carried out in the UK, as many as 59% of the e-commerce market customers said they’ll most likely spend more online this year than they did the last. However, this means that a total of 32% said their concerns remain minimal and will still take part in the physical store shopping, regardless of the current pandemic.
How the E-commerce World Will be Affected During COVID-19
Retailers across the board have growing concerns around the effects the virus has and will have on their customer base. However, all sectors are bracing for the impact that this will bring to their sales and growth, including B2B, B2C, and physical stores! Nobody knows the impact it’s going to have over the festive period, especially due to each city/town having its tier of lockdown restrictions.
Data shows that the total percentage of people shopping online since the rise of COVID-19 has risen by over 8% to 36%. However, as many as 35% of people admit to still shopping both online and in-store, whereas 29% say they shop online more frequently than in-person. Well, what happens after the coronavirus dies down? A study of around 2,000 UK adults was conducted and it shows e-commerce is seeing a boom, rather than slowing down. More of the UK population are using online shopping as a ‘safe way to purchase’ and retailers are utilising this increase in search traffic, by offering discounts and voucher codes.
Will Marketers Need to Review Current Strategies?
There’s no doubt that the coronavirus pandemic has massively impacted the way we live our lives, from the places we’re allowed to spend time and ways in which we can’t spend money (becoming a ‘cashless society’). This has impacted buyer behaviour and consumer interaction, especially in the world of e-commerce.
Some giant online banking companies like Klarna, have released stats around consumer online buying habits, and they said that around 71% of the British shoppers are hesitant to return to shop in-store in the run-up to Christmas. This is positive news for online retailers, as consumers on average spend more online than when they visit a physical store, meaning better quality conversions for marketers across the board. Around 56% of the same audience are expecting to do more online shopping, compared to previous years.
This could mean a drastic change in the target audience for specific campaigns, or they could remain the same. However, with the large increase in online consumers, coupled with the huge events like Black Friday fast approaching, it’s a great time to focus on marketing efforts towards them. On the other hand, some reports say that consumers predict they’ll be cutting back on their festive spending this year, due to the financial difficulty the pandemic has brought upon them.
Online sales for luxury goods on a national scale saw an increase of 170% year over year, in August through to September, meaning the consumers that would rather spend a lot of money in-store, are now more comfortable shopping online. Marketers will need to adapt to this change because as mentioned earlier, the target audiences could quickly change, and campaigns must target these additional demographics.
The COVID-19 Pandemic is Changing Consumer Behaviour Around the World
Whatever the change has been in consumer behaviour, total advertising spend has had to adjust in direct response. Some audiences have diminished, whilst other new audiences have grown to un-expected levels, meaning marketers have had to shift the advertising budget to campaigns with new audiences. As there was a decline in the number of people visiting cinemas, companies like Amazon seized the opportunity to use their video streaming services to advertise the latest cinema titles on their Prime Video service.
The pandemic has created job uncertainty and mass redundancies across the globe, meaning more and more people are spending their time at home. This has been directly linked to a surge in the home media usable and TV viewership, as well as the use of social platforms and streaming services. Online advertisers are now encouraged to focus on ‘direct response’ campaigns, to try and encourage fast purchases by consumers.
It’s safe to say many industries have been affected during the COVID-19 pandemic, and uncertainty remains around the subject of marketing. Many marketers’ strategies will remain mostly the same, but others will require adaptation and new trial and testing periods for new audiences. In addition to this, the competition will raise, and competitor analysis will need to be researched over and over again.