Paid media | 28/04/2020

Sharing positivity for online retailers amid COVID-19

Posted by Sophie Turner

Receiving a huge increase in website traffic but not seeing the same effect on your sales volumes? We’re here to give you some answers along with some help to increase sales during this uncertain time.

Whilst a traffic surge doesn’t necessarily translate into an equivalent amount of revenue, it’s a positive sign for online businesses. COVID-19 has significantly affected both consumer and business confidence in recent weeks, however, with the anticipation of lockdown being lifted in coming weeks, some positive signs have arisen for online retailers.

Black Friday level traffic

It is said that Shopify has recently experienced high levels of traffic similar to peak shopping periods like Black Friday and is predicted even more growth. As with this growth, the first release of stimulus checks from the US government has caused an uplift in consumer online spending. Companies, like Shopify, that predominately sell online may benefit from the pandemic as consumers have shifted more of their purchases online to avoid going to physical stores.

This trend will continue to grow as people adapt to a new way of life. Results from a recent survey highlighted that “24% of shoppers have changed how they shop (mostly going online instead of offline) and that they will retain this behaviour even after the crisis has abated.”

Now’s the time to plan ahead

It’s essential that you capitalise on website traffic increases. If you’re experiencing an influx of users visiting your site, then now’s the time to start building audiences to remarket to at a future date. The majority of people have more “free time” to browse online, researching brands and products. Even though an upsurge in traffic may not generate a return on ad spend during this current situation, these people are still interested in looking at what you have to offer. Consumer confidence is currently at an all-time-low, therefore people are hesitant to spend money. However, as soon as lockdown is lifted, these are the people you want to attract. It’s important to make yourself visible, remind them of what they browsed and push them to make a purchase.

Take advantage of it!

As we emerge from the crisis, many companies are seeing this as an opportunity to position themselves for growth in the next phase and are therefore adopting a more proactive approach. However, bear in mind that messaging still needs to be mindful of the current situation.

Amid the current situation, a survey of 250 CMOs discovered that 73% of marketers suggest increasing marketing spend during this time. Whether it’s increasing your advertising or doubling up on content marketing, now is the time to ramp it up rather than take a break.

It’s the best time to do so as stated by Bob Benz, President, Advanced Telecom Services, “Facebook and Google advertising is 20% cheaper than it was pre-coronavirus and internet usage is at an all-time high.” It’s therefore a great opportunity to take advantage of the cheaper Cost-Per-Click rates. Not only that, but with a rise in mobile usage and increased browsing habits, make use of your marketing budget by re-engaging with your previous website visitors and encourage them to make the final purchase with an incentive such as ‘free delivery’.

Keeping up to date during COVID-19

It’s no surprise that media and news websites have seen gigantic spikes in website traffic as people are eager to keep up to date with the latest news on COVID-19. In a time of crisis, people turn to local news. This gives online retailers an opportunity to utilise the display advertising space, especially as some industries have completely pulled their online marketing activity. Comscore analysed 40 news sites, which indicated that the week commencing 9 March was the highest week of news visits this year, and this is continually growing. This was 100 million more news visits than the previous week.


With the end in sight, significant shifts in consumers’ retail behaviour is present, with more people than ever turning to ecommerce to not only purchase their necessities, but to also purchase non-essential goods as consumer confidence and spending has notably increased.

There’s a lot of financial uncertainty as some individuals do not have a stable income to support them during this time, however, others are using this time to take up new hobbies or re-discover old ones and in addition, are making extra purchases they wouldn’t usually make.

Want to seize this opportunity and ramp up your advertising? Pick up the phone and give us a call. Ultimately, if you aren’t currently maximising your digital marketing spend and need help driving online sales, then we can help.