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The pandemic’s impact on digital offerings

The COVID-19 pandemic has forced businesses to accelerate their digital offering. This has driven traditional bricks-and-mortar-based businesses online, for instance: ASOS acquiring Topshop, and Boohoo acquiring Debenhams. It has also created a more level playing field, with Facebook recently referring to this as a democratised market: anyone can buy anything anywhere! A prime example of this is Amazon and how their existing online strategy drove a 40% increase in revenue during the pandemic, as shopping in-store was no longer an option.

Though we’ve had the ability to purchase predominantly online for quite some time, the pandemic has meant that people are now more comfortable buying anything anywhere. Micro-sellers specifically have fueled an all-time high in new business applications, highlighting how the market is diversifying.

This is also reflected in user-product search behaviour changes, which highlight an increase in product searches on all ecommerce websites (powered by search engines) rather than on just major search engines (Amazon and Google). As a result, consumers are developing direct relationships with brands, and brands need to work to do the same with customers (Activate, Benedict Evans, The Great Unbundling Dec 2020).

Not only have our purchasing habits changed, but household savings in the UK and US are also the highest they’ve ever been in history. This is largely due to users putting large purchases on hold, with the most delayed global purchase being vacations and holidays. However, 70% of users have said they plan to keep their additional savings in their bank account, while 20% plan to save and 10% plan to spend.

 All Response Media viewpoint

As we’re now approaching a post-lockdown period in the UK, and many may not have decided what to spend their savings on. Brands need to explore a range of media advertising to maximise the discovery of their brand and inspire users to part with their lockdown savings.

Though traditional media spend was pulled at the beginning of the pandemic initially, with more people influenced by online communities, Facebook recently reported that 47% of users cited that they discover new brands and products via social media, and 45% discover via TV. The stats reiterate the need for a multi-media campaign strategy utilising both offline and digital media.

All Response Media offers an integrated team structure with both digital and offline experts working together daily to define the best media strategy for our clients, that will deliver. In line with the post-lockdown period in the UK, it’s important that strategies and channels are diversified as people’s online behaviours have changed. Creative outputs should also be considered in line with this change, to drive increased brand awareness and trust. Now should also be the time to retest channels that may not have worked pre-pandemic.

For more information on the digital services we offer, click here.