Without warning and without choice, brands and retailers have had to adapt to a pandemic that no one saw coming. 

As a direct result of Covid-19, many non-essential and already under performing physical stores have been forced to close until further notice. Stores that have remained open have suffered from reduced/rationed stock and social distancing requirements. 

These actions have resulted in consumers changing their shopping behaviours, which in many cases has resulted in more transactions moving online.

eCommerce brands already 'crushing it' before this crisis have since found that the dreaded word 'Covid' brought with it the decimation of the marketing and advertising budgets, along with the stark reality that marketing teams who once worked in an office are now working remotely and without the back up and safety net of the media agency because the company can no longer afford the ad spend, or the retainer. 

Not only are there now 1 in 4 people adopting ad blocking software, prior to this crisis there was forecast to be circa $100 Billion in ad fraud by 2023, e.g. 50% - 75% of every £/$ spent went into fraudsters pockets. 

        "Just think what you could do with that  fraudulent waste in this climate?

In a statement issued earlier this year, Alibaba hailed live streaming and content-to-commerce as the number one driver of e-commerce sales and announced its intent to double down on live streaming-to-commerce initiatives.

All is not lost, there are many things that budget constrained multi-channel retailers can be looking to do in order they might just get back the retail mojo.

  1. Dial down on paid media - easier to do today as the budgets have been blown to bits & the FD will love it.
  2. Upskill the entire team to utilise social media - its leveraging an existing cost base and investing in people.
  3. Create stories & content - don't just promote the latest offer, consumers are as cash strapped as you and me.
  4. Have a go at 'live streaming' - content that drives commerce is a no brainer. 
  5. Re-group on how you can better understand your 'why' - consumer behaviour has changed, none of us know if this is permanent.

Social media is designed to connect us with like minded people, yes it's used to connect with family and friends, but the growth and activity around LinkedIn suggest more of a collaborative mindset is in play, a habit we see more and more on consumer platforms like TikTok, Facebook and Instagram, where the best profiles actively encourage and generate engagement. 

Social is about sharing similar, or opposing views, its about creating and joining in conversations, its about engaging with those around you, so if you want your 1% dial to move forwards, be more social, join in those conversations, start a few of your own, and do a lot less selling.