Since the outbreak, businesses have reopened in many countries, and normality has returned to the nation. This is highly unlikely. At the same time as the world was being closed, a new future was being forged.
Marketing managers seeking to build long-term relationships with customers must be aware of this shift. In this time of global epidemics, people are seeking information differently, communicating differently, and even shopping differently.
Therefore, brands must find new ways to build loyal customers. At the same time, employees’ working patterns have changed dramatically. 9 to 5 has largely been replaced by remote and hybrid working.
Due to this change, companies have to reevaluate how they can work together and communicate to succeed.
In what ways will COVID-19 affect marketing strategy shortly? Has COVID-19 changed brands?
Here are five factors to consider as companies try to bounce back after a pandemic.
- Brand success is largely dependent on e-commerce
Nearly $432 billion came from e-commerce sales sparked by the Covid-19 pandemic, which accounted for more than half of the total. The number of visits to retail platforms was 22 billion from 16 billion between January 2019 and June 2021 (when Covid-imposed lockdowns peaked).
Charged Retail reports that online sales in the UK hit $10 billion in July 2021 as 40% of people chose to shop online instead of visiting a physical store despite the government’s lifting of lockdowns.
Gross Merchandise Volume (GMV) was up 57% year-over-year in its Q2 2021 quarter, marking Shopify’s first $1 billion in a quarter ever.
The third quarter of 2017 saw substantial revenue growth for Amazon and Alibaba, with 90% of the top ten e-commerce sites experiencing double-digit growth. Global online retail platforms grew traffic because of Covid.
However, this trend of online retail shopping persists even after mass vaccinations and a shift towards a more average lifestyle. Market analysts predict a 7% to 9% increase in U.S. holiday retail sales in late 2021.
By 2021, eCommerce will grow by 85% in South-East Asia, outpacing India (+10%) and China (+15%). Digital consumer spending is also expected to increase by 60% by 2021.
You can optimize your brand’s eCommerce offering directly on your company website, through social media, or on third-party platforms such as Amazon or Shopify.
- Re-inventing sectors are crucial
It’s not surprising that the hospitality and tourism sectors saw their profits plummet during lockdowns, given the nature of their businesses.
With external factors in play, it became evident that thinking outside of the box was key. Those who couldn’t purchase what they wanted online used another site or brand.
As an example, Primark lost $1 billion because it didn’t adopt an e-commerce strategy during the pandemic. Although customers said they would welcome an online shop, Primark admitted that setting it up would affect their prices.
So what’s the bottom line? Logistically, Primark was unprepared to take on such a project, and the launch of an e-commerce website would have been costly.
The high street was forever changed by other retailers as well. Store closures caused the Arcadia Group to become insolvent. Online retailer Asos purchased the company’s stock and brands rather than its stores, including the UK’s top high street brands, Topshop, Topman, and Miss Selfridge.
The popularity of resale shopping platforms like Depop is growing as people try to sell their unwanted or unworn clothing. Customers who value sustainability start to buy clothing differently as they become more aware of its lifespan and journey.
Since the car industry is traditionally low tech and lags in digital transformation, it also took a heavy hit during the pandemic. The lack of foot traffic into showrooms forced people to stay at home.
The auto industry has used other methods to sell cars, including virtual test drives, free pickup and delivery, and new software.
The Nissan@Home program will allow you to do everything from taking a test drive to signing a contract online from the comfort of your own home. One of the nation’s largest automotive dealers, Sonic Automotive, has hired a chief digital officer and VP of e-commerce to double revenue by 2025.
Changing and reimagining a business model is crucial for brands in a post-pandemic world to survive.
- Local versus global marketing – The importance of community
Pandemic-related travel restrictions forced people to remain in their local communities, reinforcing a sense of belonging once lost in areas in favor of big cities and making local neighborhoods more valuable.
Local and business keywords increased by 80% using Google Search, while the phrase ‘who has’ and ‘stock’ increased by 8,000%! Shop local means staying local (or #shoplocal).
Marketers have been forced to change how they communicate with customers. Nextdoor, a neighborhood-focused social network is a good example. As marketers flocked to reach out to local customers during lockdown periods, engagement and revenue increased by 73%
Search marketing in the future will be complex, as a brand must be aware of what its customers need.
- Brand marketing must be integrated with paid search
Performance marketing, also known as paid search, is a popular choice because it makes identifying which campaigns are successful and measuring return on investment (ROI) much easier.
Ad campaigns can be linked to results such as leads, sales, or clicks, whether through affiliate marketing, social media advertising, or sponsored advertising.
Paid search marketing on platforms like Google, Amazon, and Facebook allows brands to reach customers at a lower cost. During Covid-19, online traffic spiked as consumers increased their engagement on online channels.
The competitive environment has led many marketing departments to reevaluate ways to maximize their budgets. Statista estimates that worldwide ad spending will reach $790 billion by 2022.
According to Deloitte’s Human Values Compass, the pandemic has led to a shift in consumer behavior toward more humane and trustworthy brands.
As customers now seek out more information about the companies that they buy from and what they stand for, there is a need for higher brand awareness. The importance of social issues is particularly evident since consumers are more conscious of buying products from brands that care about the world.
Combining your paid and brand marketing campaigns will help you make the most of your budget and marketing efforts.
- Customer satisfaction is everything!
Due to the necessity of staying at home, people’s expectations changed with their online behavior. Brands and online experiences were expected to deliver more than they did. Those who wish more from a brand and are unsatisfied with its delivery will look elsewhere, fierce competition.
The digital experience should respect customers, so they feel valued. Online chat capabilities and messaging using WhatsApp marketing.
Since restaurants were a significant casualty of the pandemic, they had to pivot and find innovative ways to appeal to customers. One Minnesota bakery used video tutorials to convert their restaurants into an online farm shop or provide customers with ‘prepare at home’ options.
The restaurant industry continues to be dominated by delivery apps. Still, as margins are squeezed, and restaurants are forced to decrease their margins, many are now offering in-house delivery services, which is an exciting development for the industry.
Brands that stand out are those whose customers receive unique experiences. To help new parents during the pandemic. Mamas & Papas built a virtual personal shopping service to assist new parents during the pandemic.
Since Covid19, consumers expect marketers not to try to convince them to buy products they don’t need. Brands have taken note of this and adjusted their strategies accordingly.
As brands begin to realize the possibilities in digital marketing, they will invest in technology ecosystems to keep up the momentum. As technology becomes more prevalent, now is the right time to participate in this digital revolution.
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