Impact of Coronavirus on Digital Marketing & Ecommerce Industry
Impact of Coronavirus on Digital Marketing & Ecommerce Industry –
The Coronavirus outbreak has affected the entire global economy, tech industry, corporate governance, and businesses, stock markets, and consumer behavior to a considerable extent.
Even if the outbreak is contained right now, still businesses around the world are going to take over a year to cover up their losses. According to Bloomberg, in February alone China experienced the retail sales to drop by 20.5% and the unemployment rate soared to 6.2%.
Even after shutting down their stores in China, Apple still has enough capital to pay off its employees and utilities, but not all companies have the same level financial stability.
The travel industry is expected to incur a loss of $820 billion as airlines like Virgin Atlantic have asked their workforce to take several weeks of unpaid leave.
Speaking of the entire global economy, the loss is estimated to reach around $2.7 trillion. So how are digital marketers and ecommerce businesses faring amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic?
Digital Marketing – Low organic traffic in most industries.
Apparently, a number of major industries witnessed a great drop in their organic traffic. For instance, the advertising, technology, and travel industry got hit with almost 19%, 5%, and 45% drop respectively.
But some other industries like news, financial services, etc. registered a rise in their traffic. While ecommerce businesses got a somewhat mixed reception, depending on what types of goods were sold, traffic fluctuated up and down.
For example, sellers dealing in baby diapers or wipes saw an increase, while sellers handling luxury or exclusive items, for instance, large screen 4k LEDs, saw a drop in their traffic.
Low conversions for major businesses –
Conversions too, were hit by drastic drops in all major industries worldwide. Even the financial sector which clearly saw a rise in traffic, saw fewer conversions as compared to its usual figures.
But the news industry enjoyed top conversions as people viewed more and more paid content to stay updated with the COVID-19 status and global economy minutiae. For example, readers are required to pay for continue reading in The Washington Post or The New York Times after viewing some free articles.
Although some players in the travel sector are offering huge discounts, which is even helping them pull back some of the lost traffic, but the revenue cut is still considerable.
PPC Data –
Frankly speaking, there haven’t been many fluctuations in the cost per click data, even for the travel or other most affected businesses.
Although there have been far lesser searches for flight and hotel bookings after the outbreak, there hasn’t been a noticeable decline in CPC, but a substantial increase in the cost per acquisition.
Putting it simply, you can still pay around the same amount per click, but do note that the CPC has been increasing in most industries. However, the case will be different if you’re selling relevant items like toilet paper.
A lesson for digital marketers is to hold back when others are greedy, but take full advantage when others are afraid.
Ecommerce Business – Going cashless could become an outbreak trend in itself.
Cashless payment adoption is on the verge of becoming the new trend, as WHO has been instructing people to avoid making contact or using cash during transactions. Some countries, like South Korea, have taken this step to a further extreme, quarantining all the cash received at the central bank for a couple of weeks before disinfecting the bills and distributing it back for usage.
The efforts to contain cash usage along with WHO’s concern of the likelihood of spreading virus through contact can frequent the use of non-cash payments. Prior to the COVID-19 outbreak, cashless payments were already predicted to grow by 10.5% CAGR from 2019 to 2024, especially if the trend is followed in industries with excessive cash inflow and outflow.
These measures can create an adoption curve for such payments given users are tempted to go cashless.
Ecommerce is expected to grow as consumers are ditching physical stores or commuting to crowded places.
Around 28% of US internet users are avoiding commuting to public areas, and 58% more plan to follow suite if the pandemic worsens (seemingly, which already has).
Fortunately, for ecommerce businesses this growing percentage of avoidance is turning into positive shopping figures: around 74.6% of US internet users have admitted to give up traveling to shopping malls if the COVID-19 gets from bad to worse, and over 50% claimed to avoid shopping in stores in general.
The housing retail market which constitutes over 85% of the total retail sales in US, could turn routine shopping to platforms like Amazon and similar digital retailers in order to boost sales. According to CNBC, the idea has already been adopted by online grocery providers like RedMart in Singapore.
Moreover, the shift could uplift the adoption of omni channel commerce such as buy online, pick up in-store (BOPUS), etc. for customers who are willing to shop at physical stores, but with no crowds in sight.
Apparently, the rise in demand could see major logistics issues for both providers and their labor. Hence, needing ecommerce platforms to reconsider their strategies for meeting the demand and delivery needs in a timely fashion.
Delivery services might register a new customer base, but maintaining customer trust will be a priority –
If customers continue avoiding physical stores and crowded gatherings, they’ll opt for digital platforms to order day-to-day groceries and other items. Therefore, a rise in demand for delivery companies such as Postmates, Grubhub, and DoorDash as well as online groceries like FreshDirect and Instacart.
According Business Insider, Meituan-Dianping is already reporting an increasing number of orders for online grocery delivery in China.
As we’re still unclear on how long the COVID-19 pandemic survives, such delivery services might need to offer loans, discounts, and installment plans and affordable services if they are to retain their customer base.
Couriers services also need to display good health from their delivery personnel with extreme hygiene and a “contactless” delivery approach in order to alleviate risk and gain customer trust. A positive endeavor that companies like Instacart and Postmates are already doing.
Author Bio –
Sami Is a Digital Marketer. He manages the whole software development team at CMOLDS.He is a talented different kind of Mobile Game Development Company worked. He is experienced in business administration and mass communications.