Ecommerce Ad Spend Doubles As Consumers Self-Isolate

March 30, 2020 Sarah Cavill

Shutterstock_389433475  Young Woman On Sofa Shopping Online With Debit Card

By late February, news about the severity of coronavirus was being broadcast around the world, and many people began to respond with social distancing and avoiding crowded places, immediately impacting businesses globally. Since self-isolation began, there has been a corresponding jump in online sales and ecommerce ad spend, which nearly doubled as news about coronavirus took hold. 

Ecommerce Advertisers Spend Money Across Digital & Traditional Channels

Seach Engine Land reported, “ecommerce ad spending jumped from $4.8 million the week of February 17 to $9.6 million the week of March 9.” Adding, “[This] encompasses advertising spend across national TV, print and digital media, including websites, Snapchat, YouTube and podcasts.”

Advertising spend from ecommerce websites graph over 2/17 to 3/9 2020. Photo from MediaRadar.

What’s Next For Ecommerce During Coronavirus Is Uncertain

The early days of coronavirus, when people may have begun to prepare for coronavirus quarantines, could have contributed to a 52% growth rate increase in ecommerce sales for brick-and-mortar retailers and an 8.8% uptick in conversions compared to last year. Although these numbers only account for January 1-February 29 and factor in just U.S. retailers, so it’s difficult to know how much coronavirus was impacting sales at that point. March numbers are likely to be more revealing and it stands to reason that as isolation measures ebb and flow over the coming months online sales will be impacted.

As the coronavirus quarantine continues, there are a number of factors that could change how much consumers continue to shop online and the degree to which brands want to shell out for ecommerce advertising. Consumers concerned about job security and the market downturn may reign in their spending and begin to define their needs vs. wants, focusing on purchasing primarily their needs as self-isolation persists. And, brands concerned about possible supply chain issues may limit advertising if they can’t guarantee delivery of their products.

Despite the uncertainty regarding exactly what is ahead, advertisers should remain focused on building top of mind awareness and encouraging purchase behaviors. An article in Marketing Land notes, “While we’ll have to wait and see how much of a shock the coronavirus delivers to the economy, this is not a time for hesitation or a ‘wait and see”’ approach. Retailers will need to utilize and leverage all their assets to stimulate and sustain consumer demand — that includes maintaining and even boosting digital marketing efforts for the foreseeable future.”

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About the Author

Sarah Cavill

With more than 20 years of writing, editing and reporting experience, Sarah Cavill brings to Digital Media Solutions (DMS) a fine-tuned and diverse set of skills. Her work has been featured in notable publications including The Daily Muse, CBS Local, Techlicious and Glamour magazine. Sarah has a passion for current events and the deep-dive research that goes into the content development and brand identity of DMS Insights. In her role as Associate Content Manager, Sarah contributes to the pitching, researching and writing of multiple stories published each week surrounding digital and performance marketing innovations in pop culture, news, social media, branding and advertising.

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