What We’re Reading: 5 Stories on How the Coronavirus is Impacting Ecommerce | 04.13.20 | Coronavirus Series
Editor’s Note: This article is part of a series that explores the impact the coronavirus crisis is having on the world of ecommerce. Explore daily insights surrounding the coronavirus crisis or check out these additional resources to help you navigate your marketing strategy during this time.
Nearly all Americans are under stay-at-home orders. Unemployment is at its highest level since the Great Depression. And consumer shopping habits have drastically changed in just a few short weeks.
Here a few stories we recently read that may provide you with some helpful insight about what’s happening in the broader world of ecommerce as a result of the global coronavirus pandemic.
Source: New York Times
With nearly the entire American population currently under stay-at-home orders and unemployment rising to its highest level since the Great Depression, according to the New York Times, how people are shopping, how much they’re spending, and what they’re spending their money on has profoundly transformed in recent weeks and will likely continue for the foreseeable future.
“How people spend determines which companies survive, and who has a job. In recent weeks, more than 16 million workers in the country have filed for unemployment. And with no end to the outbreak in sight, consumer spending is likely to be fundamentally different for many months to come,” wrote Lauren Leatherby and David Gelles for the New York Times.
Source: Retail Dive
The impact of the coronavirus is likely to transform the way people shop post-pandemic. For years, we’ve been seeing people shift their shopping habits online. But how else will their consumption habits change after this experience?
Will they consume less after socially distancing for lengthy periods of time while a recession looms? That’s to be determined.
Will fears sparked during this time persist long after social distancing restrictions are relaxed? They may.
In either case, retailers can expect to see consumers increasingly demand services like touchless payment options, curbside pickup, and contactless delivery, as well as a heightened requirement to communicate how they keep their stores clean, how they limit the number of shoppers allowed in a store at any given time, and more.
“I would say the deeper the economic impact is and the longer everybody is cooped up, the more of a shock there will be to the system and it may take longer for the consumer to come back… That’s why I think it’s really important that we continue to build our relationship with the consumer during this period of time of isolation,” said Chip Bergh, CEO of Levi’s.
Source: Search Engine Journal
As more businesses rely on ecommerce while their physical stores are closed and consumer shopping habits evolve, now is the time to examine your digital marketing strategies to ensure you’re spending your money wisely and maximizing the impact of these channels for your business.
“Many businesses will be reviewing their budgets in light of COVID-19, with digital marketing spend naturally a soft target for businesses looking to make cuts. There is certainly a need to work smarter under the current circumstances, but it’s a crucial time for marketers to adopt strategies for long-term profitability.”
Source: Marketing Dive
Experiential marketing is on hold indefinitely as a result of the coronavirus, so brands that once relied heavily on in-person experiences as part of their marketing strategy are having to get creative to adjust their marketing mix. Many are, instead, focusing on building community online around their brands, and if done right, this strategy could change perceptions and lead to longer-term customer loyalty.
“The idea of ‘where the consumer is’ has become simplified. It’s now on a mobile phone or TV, so targeting isn’t as complicated. It’s now all about the messaging… Right now, it’s about building community through not just advertising, but building it through your services. Even after all this, people will still be highly sensitive. Consumer patterns will change for the long term, and figuring out how and when people will emerge from their homes will be in every marketer’s mind,” said Ken Harlan, CEO of MobileFuse.
Source: USA Today
As consumer shopping habits change amid the coronavirus pandemic, brands are having to figure out how to stay top-of-mind and relevant at a time when shoppers are spending less on wants and more on needs.
“Retail has hung a closed sign on the door literally and metaphorically. This is the most catastrophic crisis that retail has faced – worse than the financial crisis in 2008, worse than 9/11. Almost overnight, the retail economy shifted from being about things people want to things that they need, said Neil Saunders, managing director of GlobalData Retail.
How has the coronavirus impacted your business? Share your insights by taking this daily poll. You’ll get a daily digest of fresh data and insights to help you stay up-to-date with what’s happening across the broader ecommerce community. Use them as you make decisions for your business.
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