Novel coronavirus or commonly known as COVID-19 was declared a pandemic by the World Health Organisation (WHO) on 11th March 2020. The impact of this pandemic has been so severe that none of the aspects of the business has been left untouched. It has affected each one of our life directly.
Apart from over 341,000 lives being claimed by COVID-19 (as of May 25th, 2020), it has taken a toll on the world economy. Top-notch financial bodies like the World Bank have declared that the entire world has slipped into a deep recession. In a nutshell, every business has been impacted. Apart from this, millions have been unemployed. According to a report published in Business Standard, the unemployment rate has reached a new height of 14.7% (the highest since 1948) and in the US the number has reached over 20 million.
Before going deep into the Coronavirus Impact on Marketing, eCommerce & Advertising, we need to know what is happening in and around and how different businesses are speculating things.
- It was a Busy March for Supermarkets, Malls
The consumer market has somehow guessed what it’s going to be in the upcoming months. Therefore, amidst the depressing news of Covid-19 business impact and effect, supermarkets witnessed a significant rise in the consumers‘ demand for daily products. Whether it was the US, Mediterranean countries, Pacific countries, Africa or Asia, people were seen piling up products. According to a report, supermarkets witnessed a whopping surge in sales of products- a staggering increment of 20%.
Not only supermarkets but also the bigger retail stores and stores selling products of daily use saw an increase in their overall sale in the month of April-May.
- Social Media Platforms became Popular
With the declaration of lockdown and shutting down of stores and malls, global sales continued witnessing a sharp downfall (except for the ones that were based on the internet i.e. eCommerce websites). The businesses too took the other means of showcasing their products and services through various social media platforms. The most popular one has been YouTube. Companies with the help of their YouTube channel are trying to create brand awareness and spread out the message of business amongst the people (existing customers apart from alluring the new ones). These videos are then shared on other platforms as well with an aim to increase the audience numbers.
- Consumers Seen Spending Time Online
People being confined in their homes; they are supposed to do something. The digital world witnessed a surge in the number of surfing hours. People took to the internet and various social media platforms to keep in touch with their close acquaintances and keep themselves updated with the global news and the progress. The businesses took this as an opportunity and strategically framed their eCommerce & advertising elements that would successfully target more consumers.
The companies also deduced the following–
- Almost 34% of people were in favour of advertisement and believe it leaves an imprint in the mind of the consumers
- The affluent section of the society too believes that advertisements in any form (images, videos, or clippings) can do wonders. One-third of the people believed this.
Amidst this pandemic what can be concluded that without human touch and with less interaction, any business can be promoted. What it needs is a strong eCommerce & advertising with a fair social media marketing.
A Sneak Peek into the Stats of COVID-19 Impact
As already said, the impact of COVID-19 has been severe. The priorities of the people across the globe have changed. The expense pattern has also changed. But businesses cannot incur losses for long. Therefore, to reach out to the consumers, various global organisations are taking the help of the social media platform to spread their messages. Irrespective of the sector, the wrath of this pandemic can be felt severely.
Let us have a detailed insight into the various data associated with the Marketing, eCommerce & Advertising.
- A Wobbling Marketing Sector
COVID-19 had a serious impact on the purchasing trend of the people even in the developed countries. According to a report, the United Kingdom registered a drop of 18.1% in the overall retail sales in the month of April. COVID-19 business impact can be witnessed from the fact that according to the Office for National Statistics, it is the worst downfall ever recorded since 1988.
The same can be analysed if compared to the previous year’s month of April. It marked a drop of 23.1%- a steep decline that was never seen before.
There are certain segments in retail that were the worst affected ones- clothing and footwear- a decline of astounding 39.1% and 27.6% respectively.
If the loss is calculated, then the report says that the retail sector is going to make a loss of $2.1tn in the year 2020.
- eCommerce Industry- Can it be the Game Changer?
The advent of the digital world has brought in the consumers on the same buying platform. Popular global organisations dealing with online trading are the least impacted. In fact, almost all the eCommerce sites witnessed a surge in the numbers of first-time buyers. As compared to the April 2019 condition, the eCommerce industry grew at mind boggling 149%.
Considering this fact, the eCommerce sites are not only going online but also are promising to deliver the products of your needs/requirements at your doorstep. Digital advertisement has made it possible.
- Advertisement Matters in Creating Branding
You must have watched how a branded product becomes the apple of the eye and hardly anyone questions it. In the same way, advertisements have a crucial role to play in brand building. It is because of this that a local organisation turns global and brings in global sales successfully.
Opinion varies. People love to have something that is fresh and healthy. Therefore, 42% of people barely believed in branded packed food.
Another major change witnessed amongst the consumers has been their awareness regarding the availability of the product. 72% of people admitted that they were more aware now than what they were before the outbreak and lockdown.
Who is the Biggest Beneficiary?
Amidst this Covid-19 business impact, what is continuously reminding me is Darwin’s theory of Survival of the Fittest. Those businesses that made full use of the digitalisation survived the impact. Global organisations dealing with eCommerce like Amazon cited an increase of 26% in Q1 of 2020. as compared with the 2019 Q1 sales.
Undoubtedly the pandemic outbreak has taken a toll on everything. However, the businesses that have successfully and smartly dealt with the process like marketing and promotion with the help of various social media platforms have emerged as a gainer.
Apart from this, on one side where digital advertising and promotion have reached its peak, the offline advertisement industry has witnessed a jolt as 89% of the ad firms have either stopped or paused their advertising campaigns. The impact is going to be long-time and will be witnessed in the form of unemployment and wages.