Covid-19 has left a deep impact on how we conduct our day to day lives. With countries around the world going on lockdown and social distancing measures in place, people are becoming more compliant to establishing new social norms. With this lifestyle change, the way businesses are running are also changing. Although the pandemic is far from over, countries are slowly opening up their borders and loosening on their regulations albeit with precautionary measures in place.
With changes happening on the daily, business schedules are undoubtedly disrupted. While all this sounds gloomy and sad, if businesses are able to be flexible and quickly adjust to this economic shift, they can successfully overcome any hurdle that comes with this new challenge. Let us share with you quick tips to help your business survive this pandemic by tweaking your business perspective a little.
1) Scale Up Your Online Presence
Even before the pandemic began, we have experiences tremendous growth in digital commerce or ecommerce. Many businesses would already have a digital presence. If you are new to the game, head over to our earlier articles on creating a Facebook Business Page and also best SEO practises for your website to get you started on the online bandwagon straight away!
With Covid-19, comes social distancing regulations, work-from-home practises, and also the high inconvenience of travel, most people are spending more and more time online. It is not hard to imagine that brick and mortar stores will become secondary to the online presence of the business. This can clearly be seen from the spike in global internet traffic as online content serve to occupy our time at a higher volume.
In fact, WordStream has even updated its Google Ads benchmarks to help to align to the drastic changes of consumer behaviour due to Covid-19. This benchmark report is specific to PPC campaigns across Google and Bing search engines. We highlight to you some key points of this benchmark report. Businesses in certain industries may have experienced an increase in demand, resulting in exceptionally positive ad performance.
There are 8 industries that have benefitted from the changes brought forward by Covid-19:
- Beauty & Personal Care
- Hobbies & Leisure
- Arts & Entertainment
- Computers & Electronics
- Occasions & Gifts
- Real Estate
For the industries in points 1-7, the general pattern would be a rise in CTR & CVR with CPC falling below their regular levels. The correlation is clear for these industries where the extra free time gained from the onset of Covid-19 has allowed them to spend more time indoors, investing in various hobbies and interests. Additionally, life events are celebrated in a new way with gift boxes subscriptions increasing in demand. At the same time, there was more focus on health products as people become more conscientious of their general wellbeing.
The surprise is with the real estate industry. While open houses and showings came to an abrupt stop in the initial stages of Covid-19, realtors have shifted to conducting virtual viewings. At the same time, the real estate industry also generally experienced a fall in CPC which helps to keep their advertising costs low. This has helped to keep the advertising ROI for this industry relatively stable with minimal disruptions.
Key Takeaway 1
E-commerce growth has experienced an exponential growth. As a direct impact from Covid-19, the e-commerce section of all retail purchases grew at an accelerated pace within 8 weeks. Thus, it is possible for businesses to survive these trying times so long as they are able to react quickly and concurrently to the shifting norms. This means being able to be flexible in adjusting their campaigns so as to remain relevant to their consumers.
2) Engage With Empathy
In general, the online shopping landscape is more dynamic than ever before. The increase in online shopping have also shone a spotlight on the gaps in the operations of an e-commerce business. Online shoppers usually will revisit multiple digital touch-points and channels sometimes simultaneously, throughout the buying journey. With the implementation of mobile wallets to an individual’s phone, digital sales are increasingly more important now than ever before. Businesses will need to examine their various options such as ecommerce fulfilment, contactless delivery and flexible return policies.
Furthermore, while customers are engaging and interacting with your business in various ways, a study by Deloitte suggests that there still exists a noticeable mismatch between customer expectations and the reality of their online shopping experience. The main gripe faced lies in the inconsistencies in interactions across the online channels and business departments, where most customers are saying that they feel that they are communication with separate departments instead of one company. Additionally, there is disparity in the service expectations of customers as compared to the service that is actually rendered. For example, while most customers expect that the business representatives attending to their queries to have the same information about them, they become exasperated to find that they have to re-explain issues each time they interact with the business.
Key Takeaway 2
Businesses should look into having a unified communications platform. Covid-19 has shown that consumer spending can change at the drop of a hat. As safety became a paramount concern, people took up to digital channels for priority purchases overnight. An Econsultancy article even mentioned that a UK consumer research suggested that a quarter of the UK population will make permanent changes to the way they shop in terms of reliance on online channels. This is especially so since this behavioural change is attributed to greater convenience as well as maintaining safe social distances. Therefore, it is wise to win over a customer by simply make a positive impression in terms of providing excellent service.
3) Reassess Your Campaigns
The current market environment is currently quite volatile and unpredictable. Thus, this is a good time to re-look and consider any ad creatives that may be outdated and does not resonate well to the current climate. For example, a mobile phone advertisement referencing an active social life outdoors may not go down well with customers who are concerned about maintaining safe distancing measures when out in public. It is important to scrutinise every creative element, from the visual imagery used to the tone of the ad copies, and even to the keywords that the business chooses to focus on. Marketers should take note that there have been some shifts in the way people are conducting their searches now. For example, the keywords “near me” is no longer as relevant as these keywords “delivery” or “opening hours”. This clearly reflects the current needs of the consumer during this pandemic.
Additionally, it is important to do this at every possible digital touchpoint so that the business is able to make swift tweaks and changes so as to stay on the rightful side of the rapidly changing situation. As a business, this could be a good time to also find novel ways to interact with a bigger audience base by expanding your digital footprint.
Some way that you can do this includes:
- starting a podcast channel
- supporting frontline workers by offering promotions
- provide donations to organisations that are affected by Covid-19
- collaborating with social media influencers for greater brand awareness
Key Takeaway 3
This is a good time to optimise the image that you want your business to portray through your campaigns. This is because at this critical time, people are looking for information from reliable sources. This is a good time to re-evaluate the way your business is perceived by your customers, find new ways of communicating to a bigger audience base so as to attract new customers in the process.
While Covid-19 has definitely impacted the way businesses are conducted, it is also a good opportunity to re-align the company’s goals and reputation to the customer’s expectations. This is a good way to engage with customers in a way that expresses the company’s sensitivities about the impact the pandemic has had on our lives and build a long-term connection from there.
Have a chat with us to find out how we can help your business grow!