Changing Behaviours Impacting Marketing During Covid-19

Woman uses multiple devices to connect with businesses and friends while in isolation at home.

Over the past two months, I’ve noticed some distinct changes in my activities and spending habits due to social distancing measures. While I’ve happily saved money usually spent tapping on-and-off public transport, and swapped an expensive gym membership for free laps around Centennial Park on my own two legs, I have also increased my spending in several unexpected places. Purchases of plants and artwork to make our flat a nicer place to be in, and cooking appliances and accessories to create gourmet dishes and home. I’m also pretty sure my partner is single-handedly keeping the local pro shop in the black with his renewed passion for golf.  

We’re not alone in this. Consumers across Australia and New Zealand are shifting their spending habits to adapt to changes in lifestyle and routine. Using data provided to us as a Microsoft Advertising Elite Partner and Google Premier Partner, and from other resources, we wanted to share some local stats and figures. These numbers illustrate how consumer attitudes and behaviours have changed, which might impact your businesses’ marketing plans during this time.  

Data consumption is skyrocketing 

Internet usage is currently at an all-time high, becoming our lifeline for staying informed, connected, and entertained. Data demand in households has increased by more than 70% during daytime hours, compared to figures calculated at the end of February. You can bet that social media sites like Facebook and Instagram contribute to a lot of that demand. Use this opportunity to connect with, and advertise to consumers on social. Check out our recent blog on how to Reinvent Your Facebook Marketing Strategies for this time. 

We’re spending more time on our phones… 

I already thought I spent too much time on my phone. Then social distancing happened. 46% of us admit to spending more time on our smartphones in isolation, and that number has been increasing week by week.  A lot of this time is spend using apps, presenting great opportunities for businesses to reach and connect withe potential customers through mobile display advertising

…but we’re using desktop devices more too 

Whether it’s working from home, or having group video catch-ups with family and friends, desktop devices are having their heyday too, with usage increasing across all age groups. This is a good reminder of the importance of a responsive website. Check that your business is providing a great user experience for potential customers across mobile, desktop and tablet devices.  

Video consumption is at an all-time high

37% of people have increased the amount of content they watch on YouTube in April, along with increased consumption of broadcast TV, and streaming services like Netflix and Stan. This is up a further 10% from figures collected in March. If your business has been considering video advertising, now could be a great time to market your business on YouTube, or focus on creating more video content for social media and your website. Video is a great tool for boosting your other marketing efforts. Including a video on your landing page has been shown to boost conversion rates by up to 80%

Online shopping is on the rise

No surprises here. With shopfronts temporarily closed across the world, GWI reports that 81% of us are now shopping online. 3 in 10 people say the time they’ve spent online shopping has increased since the Covid-19 outbreak. Many of us are happy to shop online as we find compelling offers and affordable pricing. E-commerce offers unrivaled convenience under isolation, and it’s expected we’ll become even more reliant on it if restrictions continue. There is no better time than now to create an e-commerce presence for your business, and sell your products or services on your website.  

Economic concerns could delay some purchases

With 44% of household incomes already impacted by COVID-19, we’re being more price conscious than ever. Large purchases could be delayed for a long time. A global study shows that locally, this includes services like flights and tickets to sporting events, but also designer clothing and fragrances. We’re also likely to put off upgrading technology devices like smartphones, as well as cars and whitegoods. For businesses in these markets, it might be prudent to switch marketing efforts to brand-awareness goals, aimed at keeping you top-of-mind for when consumers are ready and able to make these purchases in the future.  

Consumers want businesses to continue marketing

Kantar reports that Australians’ are “looking for pragmatism, information and support from brands and businesses” and that they expect advertising during this time to not cross the line of being exploitative or insensitive. Strong businesses will lead the way with relevant and timely content, which is true to their brand, and maintains their core values. Consider refocusing your advertising efforts to messaging around deals and promotions, ease of availability, and safety benefits as these three areas rank highly with local consumers right now. 

As the situation continues to change every day, keeping up can be difficult. At ReachLocal, we’re here to help you adjust your advertising strategy and message to best serve your customers during Covid-19 and beyond. To discuss what your business can do, visit our website and contact us via our live chat, or request a consultation via this form

Emma Reid

Emma is a talented Graphic Designer and Marketer who designs all internal and external communications for ReachLocal Australia and New Zealand. She also updates and manages our websites, in addition to assisting with other marketing activities. Emma is a passionate volunteer with Orange Sky Laundry. When she's not pulling her hair out over HTML (just kidding!) she's wearing odd socks, bleeding coffee, playing dodgeball and doodling letters.

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