The global threat of coronavirus, recognized by the World Health Organization as a pandemic, has disrupted trade across the world.
You’ve probably experienced empty aisles at the grocery store, but the crisis is making a profound impact across multiple industries.
For one, eCommerce is thriving like never before, but marketers and advertisers are facing challenges daily.
The stats show the bigger picture of coronavirus’ impact on industries such as marketing, eCommerce, and advertising.
The drop in sales in the fashion industry
To put things plainly, all industries that aren’t crucial to sustaining human life are suffering during the pandemic.
Whether retailers are losing money because of the virus itself of harsh economic measures implemented by governments worldwide, it matters little because sales are dropping the same.
The fashion industry had been hit the hardest. As people are advised to stay at home, it has become futile for marketers to attract shoppers to offline businesses.
However, nearly all clothing brands are seeing a steady increase in online trading without any special need to advertise.
In the US alone, the incline of online clothes shopping is already 13% up from the same period last year.
Supermarkets stand to gain a lot
If clothes sales are down, then supermarket sales are more than doubled.
Namely, supermarket sales are up by some 40% in the United States in the first quarter of 2020.
People are not just buying more food but they are making more frequent trips to the supermarket as their countries go for total or partial lockdowns. Mind you, we are not eating more but we are buying more food because we are creating reserves for rainy days and coronavirus pandemic is precisely such a period.
Apart from increased single-store profits, marketing agencies employed by the world’s biggest retail chains are hit with increased demand from online shoppers.
Based on some estimates, the number of orders has increased by a third.
Since it is possible to order pretty much every imaginable food item, shoppers who are advised to stay home are ordering indiscriminately.
Online orders put a lot of stress on delivery services that are among the rare people who are allowed to traverse city streets even during a curfew. Worldwide experts agree that is safer to order food during the pandemic than to even think about eating out with your family.
Your local grocer is profiting as well
So far, we have addressed only the impact the crisis has had on the big players on the market but what’s going on with your local suburban grocery store?
You are probably thinking that their business is suffering but that doesn’t necessarily have to be the case.
Namely, the people’s movement is becoming ever more restricted, so they are choosing stores closer to their homes. This is the ideal opportunity for local grocers to offer their services and even expand their business.
Luckily for them, the world is still a global village in terms of communication and doing business. A local grocer doesn’t necessarily have to rely on marketing agencies in the States to help them.
For example, an innovative SEO agency from Sydney can help them set up an online delivery service. Locals can place their orders online and grocers will bring food to their doorstep. This delivery method safely strengthens social ties as well, which is the appeal of marketing in the age of the coronavirus.
Coping with the forecasted loss in the retail industry
The retail sales figures are dropping dramatically around the world. There is even talk that the world might be on the verge of yet another recession, greater than the one from a decade ago. There are two key questions that worldwide economies still cannot answer with certainty: how long the crisis will last and how fast can the markets recover.
Even if the coronavirus threat goes within the next couple of months, it is still going to take a miracle for the economy to return to the state it was at the end of 2019. It is expected that eCommerce will play a more important role, nearly essential in the post-coronavirus economy.
The dire state of the tourism industry
Furthermore, countless industries will require extensive help from marketers and advertisers if they are to attract clients once more. Just take for example the American tourism industry which was doing pretty well in 2019. Now the federal government must embark on a worldwide campaign to promote visiting the country.
However, the losses up to this moment are estimated to some 24 billion dollars.
Human interaction is harder to advertize
The advertising industry is still standing strong, as despite the crisis people are buying more than ever. However, the ad campaigns have changed in the sense that there is less human interaction being displayed.
The drop in images of people hugging or shaking hands has seen a drop of nearly a third in recent weeks, as marketers are aware that such imagery can throw off potential shoppers.
The shift from images of human interaction to more generic photos has been especially prominent on social media platforms where the #stayathome campaign is yielding results. Mind you, human models are still used in marketing campaigns but they are less likely to interact with each other.
Don’t mention COVID-19 to consumers
Turn on the TV and the chances are that you’ll immediately hear phrases such as “a steep incline,” “infected with COVID-19,” “number of ventilators,” etc. People have grown tired of these terms and the bleak prognosis, so they are unlikely to respond to commercials and ads containing references to the coronavirus.
Nearly two-thirds of the population in countries where the virus has spread are already fed up with all the info they receive daily. For this reason, they are likely to silently boycott commercials and ads that mention the SARS COVID-19 virus, so marketers are sourcing more joyful material for their campaigns.
Streaming services are already benefiting from the pandemic
People who are staying at home are turning to entertainment to pass the time.
That’s why streaming services like Netflix have seen a rise in the number of subscriptions, as much as 17% just during the previous month.
This is an opportunity for other branches of the entertainment industry to bounce back since people need to have fun more than ever. We might see singers and other performers on streaming services, rather than in concert halls.
The world might be in disarray right now, but it is an exciting time for the eCommerce, marketing, and advertising industries.
Will they be up for the challenge?
About the Author Nick Brown
Nick is a blogger and a marketing expert currently engaged in projects for Media Gurus, an Australian business and marketing resource. He is an aspiring street artist and does Audio/Video editing as a hobby.
Follow Nick Brown: LinkedIn | Twitter