Marketing & COVID-19 : E-Commerce & Digital Have Never Been So Crucial
COVID-19 is hitting Europe since March 2020, and it didn’t take very long for the effects to be seen. No industry has really been spared, and marketing is no exception.
Just in a couple of weeks, we were able to see a large number of evolutions happening in the marketing landscape, and we felt the importance of compiling those changes in a single document: The marketing barometer – COVID-19 special edition.
Based on the data at our disposal, this analysis will introduce you to which marketing expertises have been growing thanks to the pandemic, and which expertises have been in decline for the last couple of weeks.
In order to push the analysis even further, we asked for agencies members of Sortlist to share their opinions and their views on how marketing will come out of this crisis. Among them, Anais Digital, Weeb, and Alinoa all come back on the importance of e-commerce. In the following lines, you will be able to learn what those three agencies are recommending to reduce the risks induced by the current situation.
Table of contents
Digital has never been so important 🔥
Anais Digital : The opinion of Gaëtan Soltesz
Social distancing is forcing companies and other institutions (schools, administrations, etc.) to review urgently their strategy of digital transition. To say it straight, the level of digital maturity can be very different among our clients. Some of them are already well equipped for teleworking, conducting virtual meetings, as well as doing virtual teaching with tools such as G Suite, O365, Webex, etc. Those companies, working in the third sector, have no problem with teleworking as long as their employees have a computer, a phone, and an internet connexion.
What’s more interesting is what the others are doing. Traditional sectors have to reinvent themselves. In times of quarantine, consumers are turning themselves towards e-commerce and home delivery. In order to face the growth of this demand, Amazon recruited 100 000 new employees across the globe, and is giving priority to goods helping in the fight against the virus. Day+1 delivery for Prime members is not guaranteed anymore, at least for common goods. Media companies using streaming, such as Netflix, Amazon Prime or Disney+, have reduced the quality of their content images in order to minimize the pressure being put on the World Wide Web and allow most important services to remain accessible in the best possible way.
Less prepared companies are turning towards professionals like us in order to fasten their digital transition, by developing websites, organizing delivery services, launching e-commerces, etc. In other words, new importance is being given to modern/digital sales and logistic tools. Because if there is a lesson to remember, for any company out there, it’s that multi-canal is a new reality. Digital is not “just another channel” to access goods and services anymore, but it’s about to become the main channel allowing relationships happening between organizations and their clients.
Companies’ and institutions’ ways of working are getting digital, and the coronavirus crisis is increasing this trend. Things won’t ever be like before, because the world will be deeply different by summer 2020, thanks to the lessons learned and the new skills acquired in digital during this period. Once the crisis will be over, it seems reasonable to think that digital tools will keep their current importance. Based on this experience, the speed of digitalisation will keep accelerating, and this phenomenon is not about to stop.
Weeb Agency : The opinion of Sébastien Braun
After those two weeks of the crisis, we’re seeing a slight decline in the number of demands we have for our agency (website creation, graphic design, and digital marketing).
If we had to analyze each one of our services, I would say that numbers are growing for website creation. We can explain this with multiple factors:
- Companies need an e-commerce platform, now more than ever.
- Companies have more time to develop their online presence, precisely because the business is slowing down at the moment. They take advantage of that opportunity to strengthen their online presence, for which they usually don’t have much time to dedicate.
- This is the time for them to question their way of working. Some companies do realize the importance of having an effective website, modern, and tailor-made.
Regarding Digital Marketing (Digital strategy, social media, online advertising), this expertise is relatively stable, but if we give it a closer look, here’s what we can learn:
- Digital strategy and social media are growing because just like website creation, companies are using their time to develop their online presence, for the long-term.
- On the other hand, online advertising is going down, because, in this expertise, budget is often used for short-term missions. And the current situation is not in favor of such strategies, precisely because most companies’ activities are slowing down.
Furthermore, graphic design is also decreasing, probably because most of the demands made in this expertise are made for companies’ documentation (presentations, flyers, posters, etc.) which cannot be used at the moment, precisely because of the quarantine.
Alinoa : The opinion of Ruben Pieraerts
E-Commerce, the grand savior?
More than ever, E-Commerce shows its complementarity with the real one. As dramatic as this crisis might be, it will at least put an end to all the doubts that were existing around the complementarity between E-Commerce and physical commerce.
We will never say it enough: there will be a before and after covid. In E-Commerce as well. Too often, agencies had to explain and demonstrate with A+B the advantages of setting up a collaboration between a network of physical shops with an online shopping platform (web to store and store to the web).
Today, forced to close their physical shops, companies who had already started their digital transition suffer a little bit less of the current crisis. Even if the economic impact will be terrific, those companies will better resist it.
I can take the example of one of our clients. Even though they were forced to close their showroom, their activity can keep going thanks to the digitalization efforts they did in the last couple of years. For the last 15 days, this company has seen an increase of 536% of their digital income, thanks to the webshop they decided to put in place.
What we should keep in mind, it’s that this crisis is putting in the light a phenomenon that was already happening, and is now even stronger: digitalization. Today, digital transition has to be done way faster than expected, and in way more pain than it should have.
Companies who had already started their digitalization will probably have more chances to adapt effectively to this new environment, while the others will have to learn new ways of working thanks to digital, and this very quickly.