Coronavirus Impact on Marketing, eCommerce, and Advertising

The impact of coronavirus on all spheres of our lives is undeniable. And not just in Australia, the whole world has been affected in one way or another. Coronavirus has left a lasting impact on both health and the world’s economy.

This means that we can feel the impact of the coronavirus even in the sectors of marketing and advertising and even eCommerce.

It’s now the end of the second year of coronavirus wreaking havoc on the world and it’s time to collect impressions and see all that has changed since the outbreak and in what ways.

The impact of coronavirus on advertising and marketing

Global ad spending

When it comes to advertising, many predicted the ad spend to come down due to the coronavirus. What we got is the rise in ad spending on the global level in the second half of 2021. 

China predicted that its ad spend will come down some 3.9%. Many European countries such as Italy and Germany also thought that their ad spending will decrease. And while 2020 was a bad year for the whole advertising industry, 2021 was a year of slow recovery. And compared to 2020, the first couple of months in 2021, ad spending rose by 17.8%.

With that said, we must mention that while online ad spending grew by 9.4%, some 18% on social media, and whooping 27.4% within the eCommerce sector, offline media advertising fell by a lot. Radio, print, cinema had the worst performance in the last 40 years.

There are some predictions that the UK ad market will be one of the highest growing markets in 2021. Forecasts say that the UK ad market will rise by some 10% by the end of the year. Canadian, Italian, and French ad markets are also on their way to a healthy recovery.

In 2020, the Australian ad market saw a decline in spending by over 5%. As for 2021, the things for Australian ad spend are looking better, with an expected 11.4% rise in ad spend.

On the global scale, the US will, of course, remain as the number one greatest ad spender with its 37.9%. We also have China with its 16.7% and Japan with 9.9%.

European and UK digital ad spending

Since online and digital ad spending rose globally in 2020, this means that only in Europe did digital ad spending rose by 6.3%. This means a total of 69.4 billion euros. Overall, this is a very low growth compared to the average annual growth rate since 2006, but given the circumstances, that is understandable.

Some European countries saw a decline in digital ad spending in 2020, while others such as Turkey, Ukraine, and Serbia saw significant growth. As for the UK, results were well below the Europen average for that year.

Video display advertising became increasingly popular, while other formats such as banners and static images saw a decline.

Online brands advertising practices 

When it comes to online brands, there is a significant difference in their TV ad spending. Today, online brands spend 37% more than they did in 2019.

But of course, this varies from industry to industry. Certain online exercise brands have been more interested to use this platform for advertising. Examples of such brands are Echelon and Pelton, who collectively increased their spending on TV ads by 279% in the last two years.

Online car brands such as Cinch and Carwow have also increased their TV ad spending to reach around 36 million pounds together.

The reason why online brands spend so much more on ads is inevitably due to the impact of coronavirus, but the increase in TV advertising is, in large, because the brands see potential in this way of advertising.

We can’t move on without mentioning online food delivery brands and streaming platforms, which have also significantly increased their investment in TV advertising. On the other hand, the impact of coronavirus on the traveling industry has been the greatest and for that reason, online traveling brands have cut their spending on TV advertising by some 57%.

The eCommerce boom is still strong, and online brands are still reaping the benefits, that’s why TV ads will only continue to grow throughout the whole year. This means that by the end of 2021, TV advertising spending is likely to rise some 18% compared to last year when it was in decline due to pre-pandemic levels.

Another industry that has made the most of the situation is the video game industry. However, they have also spent much more on advertising than they did before.

Social media platforms 

Many social networks such as Facebook, YouTube, TikTok, and others have seen growth in advertising revenue. Facebook’s advertising revenue grew by 56% this year, reaching 28.5 billion dollars.

YouTube is another platform whose revenue reached 7 billion dollars in June this year. It’s safe to say that YouTube is one of the fastest-growing platforms this year. Many people have started watching YouTube via smart TV devices, in addition to using mobile phones to stream YouTube videos. As for Netflix, although not as popular as YouTube, it’s also seen growth in revenue – 7.34 billion dollars in July of 2021.

Another platform that has become quite powerful between 2020 and 2021 is TikTok. TikTok has been named as one of the fastest-growing brands of 2021. 

Although predominantly used amongst millennials, many marketers plan to increase their budget for TikTok influencer marketing campaigns. Currently, TikTok has climbed 34 places since 2020, putting it at number 45 in the list of fastest-growing platforms. 

The impact of coronavirus on eCommerce

Global online sales

Online shopping
A little box is placed on the laptop keyboard.

If there is an industry that reaped all the benefits since the outbreak of the pandemic then that’s eCommerce. In 2020, online sales saw a massive growth of 63%. And in 2021, global online sales rose by another 11%.

Eastern Europe’s online shopping practices have seen a great increase and that put eCommerce as one of the fastest rising industries in that region, faster even than the global average rate. This means that the increase was 40% in the sales. The UK, on the other hand, only saw a 20% increase.

When it comes to the conversion rate in the UK, it was higher than usual compared to the global 2.4% average, putting them as the third overall at 2.8%. The first and second are Australia and New Zealand with 3.6% and the Netherlands with 3.2%.

The holiday season will further increase eCommerce sales

We saw an increase in holiday sales in 2020 by 5.8% due to COVID-19. People felt safer buying from online shops, not to mention that lockdowns were implemented in many countries. For this year, predictions are once again that online sales will increase another 11-15% compared to 2020, which will bring the eCommerce market $218 billion this holiday season.

This prediction has many online stores racing to resolve their SEO problems. Experts from SEO Sydney can help any business thrive in the competitive online environment and make their store more visible on the search engine pages. 

Thought this year, with the vaccines and with fewer health and safety concerns, experts feel like both online and in-store sales will increase.

eCommerce app download increase

In 2021 there was an increase in downloads of online shopping apps for mobiles. For android devices, the surge in downloads was some 50%, while for IOS 32%, which is some 48% on the global level compared to past years.

This also means that customer spending via these apps has increased by 55% worldwide compared to 2020. Predictions are that in the coming holiday season, the download of apps and spending via them will only further increase.

Global delivery practices

Since online shopping has increased, it’s only logical that delivery volumes will also follow this trend. At the end of 2020, we saw a peak in delivery volumes (some 25% compared to the year before). 

This year the situation is likely to change a bit. The surge in delivery volumes is expected to happen earlier, likely in October 2021. A growth rate of 18% is expected, compared to last year. 

The downside of the surge of delivery volumes this holiday season may result in extended delivery times. According to some experts, delivery times may double due to staff shortages. Some even predict that standard delivery times may be extended to up to 10 days.

Customer experience

It looks like online shopping is going nowhere even when the pandemic dies down. 50% of global consumers say that they now prefer an online shopping experience to shop in-store. This is no wonder since online shopping is less stressful and time-consuming, and you’re doing it from the comfort of your home or wherever you want really.

Another reason why people prefer online shopping is that they find new items online more frequently than in brick and mortar stores.

As for devices, 46% of consumers use mobile apps to purchase things, 26% use desktop, and 10% tablet.

According to these numbers, eCommerce is going nowhere for years to come.

And there you have it, some of the most significant changes in marketing, advertising, and eCommerce since the outbreak of coronavirus. It’s obvious that certain practices have changed drastically, and that they may never go back to how they were. 

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  • Duke Brighton. Today I’ve got a great partner, a beautiful daughter, a stable job in finance and a fun side hustle in e-commerce. It wasn’t always like that though. I struggled for years and always seemed to make the wrong choices of what to do and whose advice to take. Late in my 20s, I found the right mentor and everything changed. I learned there are no shortcuts and if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

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