There has been a lot of uncertainty surrounding consumer shopping behaviors in the US since the Coronavirus pandemic began to take its toll non-essential businesses that closed in an effort to curb the spread of the virus. Those that were forced to close their brick and mortar locations had to adapt in order to stay afloat. Other businesses were not as lucky and were forced to close permanently. Many were forced to cut costs, especially in their marketing efforts, which caused a bit of a panic for advertising professionals. Marketing research performed over the past few months has not only shown increases in digital shopping behavior, but media buys are expected to increase as well.
One study from eMarketer claims that a large shift has occurred in the world of ecommerce, especially with people over the age of 45. Even as stores begin to slowly reopen, shoppers from the older demographic continue to increasingly purchase products online. A logical reason behind this trend is that even though the virus does not age discriminate, health officials are reporting more severe symptoms in the older population. This is likely why those ages 45 and older might choose to play it safe and do their shopping from the safety of their own homes. The study also shows that a large percentage of people of all ages are likely to continue shopping online rather than in stores.
These statistics should open the door for more digital marketing tactics moving forward. Targeting specific demographic audiences via their interests and behavior is a tactic long used by digital marketers. With this new data on consumer behavior, media buyers should look at this as an opportunity to capitalize on these trends, especially with age demographics as a strong indicator. However, there is still a big concern among media buyers that digital ad spending is not increasing as rapidly as these studies indicate. Another study shows that almost 80% of respondents do not think that digital ad spending will start to pick up until the end of Q3. Perhaps this is a very pessimistic viewpoint. As stated in our previous article, “Houston Sees Uptick Trends in Home Services Despite COVID-19”, we are seeing many clients actually increasing digital ad spend with exponentially better performance than in the first few months of business closures due to the pandemic.
Every industry is different, and each client is unique, so it is important to advise clients on practical media spending based on what makes the most sense for their unique situation and business goals. Business aside, we are all human and hope that we can soon put this pandemic behind us.
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