It’s been exactly one month since the UK was officially locked down on 23rd March due to the Covid-19 pandemic. As a result just about every aspect of our lives has been impacted in some way or other, sometimes quite dramatically.
We’ve been keeping on top of the insights and trends showing how consumers and brands are reacting to the current situation. Here’s our round-up of observations.
Stating the obvious
According to research by Econsultancy and Marketing Week, not surprisingly, 69% of UK businesses have seen demand drop for their products or services. The impact on SMEs with a turnover of less than £50m has been even greater, with a figure around 77%. As a result, only 14% of marketing campaigns are going ahead ‘as planned’, with businesses and marketers weighing up their planned activity and deciding whether to adapt, change or pause the activity entirely.
UK ecommerce growth was up by 2.6% in March vs February as we’ve seen an increase in consumers purchasing electronics like TVs and game consoles. The sales of beauty products have also seen a sharp upturn; it seems we still want to look good despite being in lockdown. The biggest rise, though, has been in the sale of bread makers, with a 652% growth increase.
Although we’ve seen a general decline in consumer spending, there has been a significant increase in the amount of media we’re consuming during lockdown. We’re online a lot more than we used to be now we’re working from home or furloughed, so naturally we have more time on our hands.
In fact 45% of consumers globally are spending more time on social media, and that means now is a great time to be actively building your online brand, talking to consumers, telling them how you’re helping or what great things you will be doing post-lockdown.
Print is not dead
According to Lumen, print advertising is currently generating 21% more attention than the norm for the medium. Some 88% of press ads that ran during the week of 18 to 25 March were viewed compared with an average view rate of 75%. Two thirds of viewable digital ads were noticed compared with an average of 55% for desktop digital tests conducted in the past six months.
Insight from BounceX indicates that email open rates are up 40% from levels before the Covid-19 lockdown. In other words now is the perfect opportunity to get in touch with your customers, suppliers and staff, because there’s every chance they’ll actually read your emails.
Website visits and conversion rates have steadied at around 10-20% lower than we were seeing before the beginning of March.
We guess it’s fair to say that every business, large or small, has been affected by the lockdown, and all have seen demand fall dramatically. The upside is that media consumption has increased significantly, giving you the perfect opportunity to make a more active connection with your customers.
While no one can predict consumer behaviour post-lockdown, whether things will go back to ‘normal’, or even what the ‘new normal’ will be, it’s clear that marketers and businesses must adapt their strategy and campaigns using the latest insights to capitalise on new opportunities.
Get in touch with the team and see how we can help your business to make the most post-lockdown. Or sign up to our newsletter, The Carloss Chronicle, for the latest news, insights and more from the team.