Report Reveals Pandemic-Related Changes Marketers Need to Know

When it comes to marketing, the pandemic has had a significant impact on digital channels, content consumption and consumer preferences. There’s also shifts in how consumers feel about shopping in a physical store and modes of travel as well, according to a new report from MiQ, titled, “A Year of Lockdown Data Report.”

MiQ crunched global data from a variety of digital devices, including laptops and PCs, the company said, adding it also looked at data from connected TVs and mobile devices over the past year. “By comparing these online behaviors with insights from a survey of global consumers we conducted with Sapio Research, we identified key changes in consumer considerations caused by a year of lockdowns, and the trends marketers must consider while making their marketing plans in 2021 and beyond,” authors of the report stated.

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These changes include a sharp increase in online shopping, which is expected to maintain its momentum; an acceleration in new channels for marketing; gains in digital content consumption, and a shift in personal financial priorities. The research also showed differences in how different demographics are viewing travel.

Regarding content consumption, MiQ said in the report that the “growth in online activity during the early stages of lockdown was tempered by a decline in viewability and a relative decline in user response to display ads.” But since then, viewability has improved “and is now back to or above pre-pandemic level across every region. User responses on display ads are also showing a 3 to 4 percent lift compared to the initial lockdown period, with categories like travel, auto, and finance showing massive improvements in garnering user response.”

With travel, the researchers said there’s a “stark divide between younger and older people when it comes to travel.” The report found that more than half of consumers who are between 18 and 45 “are excited about traveling again once it becomes possible, whereas people over the age of 45 are still more tentative.”

The authors of the report also said their modes of “preferred transportation” varied. “Younger people tend to prefer traveling by plane (56 percent), older people were a bit more hesitant to use public transport and preferred to use their own vehicle (65 percent),” the report noted.

Rebecca Rosborough, chief marketing officer at MiQ, shared other insights into the findings of the report with WWD. She said online shopping “has seen a massive uptick during the year of lockdown across all age groups shown by a 22 percent [year-over-year] surge in e-commerce sales during Black Friday last year. And, even in areas where restrictions have eased, interest in online shopping has remained high, suggesting a permanent shift in consumer behavior.”

With apparel, MiQ found that 1 in 2 consumers, globally, are likely to continue buying their apparels online “while [more than] 1 in 3 will turn to online platforms to buy consumer electronics and personal care products in the post-pandemic world.”

“Interestingly, the continued tendency to shop for clothes and personal care products online is marginally higher among the female counterparts in the U.S. and the U.K., while a higher proportion of male consumers are likely to do the same across APAC, Germany and Canada,” Rosborough said. “Younger audiences will also look to continue shop for their groceries online.”

Rosborough also noted that while older demographic audiences “are excited to go out and shop in the real world again (64 percent of people over the age of 45 said they were excited to do so), the exposure to online shopping platforms among the older shoppers during the year lockdown means that they now have a competitive alternative to their usual brick and mortar outlets.”

The chief marketing officer said marketers need to be aware that “even if older consumers go back to making purchases in stores, they will still have a higher propensity for online research, price comparison and so on, creating new touchpoints for influencing this segment.”

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