Due to the coronavirus outbreak, more and more people are isolated at home. Around the world, schools and universities were closed, employees were working from home, events were canceled and trips were cancelled. Due to this drastically changing context, consumer habits are of course also changing.
Ipsos conducted a worldwide survey and published ‘Tracking the Corona virus’.
First of all, the crisis has prompted more consumers to change their buying behavior online. In 11 of the 12 markets surveyed, consumers said they were more likely to buy products online that they would normally buy in-store.
The largest increase in e-commerce shopping is in Vietnam, where 57% of consumers are more likely to shift their online purchasing behavior. India (55%), China (50%) and Italy (31%) also see a strong increase. At least for now, Germany is the only market where online shopping has become less common: only 12% of consumers say they buy online more often. This compared to 15% who said they buy less often.
The surge in online sales may lead marketers to refocus their spending on digital advertising to drive conversion. This could reverse the current trend towards more brand building. Although all communication specialists currently agree that an opportunistic response from brands is not a good idea.
Moreover, many hard-hit sectors (restaurants, leisure, travel) are incompatible with e-commerce and thus have little to gain from this shift. The main challenge for brands now is to show empathy and help people cope with the new reality.