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Why You Shouldn’t Stop Advertising During a Pandemic

The disruption to day-to-day life brought on by the Covid-19 pandemic has greatly redefined online consumer behaviour. There is no certainty on how long the Covid-19 emergency would last for. In a study of the country that was the first to experience the crisis brought on by the pandemic outside the Asian continent, it was found that the majority of Italians held the perception that emergency measures would last for months to come (7 to 12 months, 27%; 4 to 6 months, 26%). The ongoing changes caused by the pandemic will likely have a lasting impact on ‘normal’ life even after the emergency measures have eased.

In our webinar at the NetComm Forum 2020, Nielsen gave an exclusive preview on their research into advertising during the Covid-19 pandemic and on what the ‘new normal’ might look like. Here are the key insights from the webinar.


E-Commerce During the Pandemic

Overall, there has been an increase in online sales during this time. Despite the disruption to businesses, only 19% of campaigns by MainAid clients were paused in March and April. On the other hand, 40.2% of MainAd’s active clients have seen increased sales during the pandemic period, between the first week of February and the first week of April. For instance, retail sales have increased by 200% in Italy and 100.10% in the USA, as reported by the global retail brand, Bangood. Aside from the predicted spike in sales from healthcare products, fashion, electronics and pet supplies have also seen an increase in sales.


Mobile Over Desktop

During this time, more people are buying online and using their mobile devices. In the first three weeks of April, online store visits were four times higher on mobile devices (76.88%) than on desktop (23.12%)

Online Consumer Behaviour 

What can we expect in terms of consumer behaviour once pandemic emergency measures have been lifted?

Some measures and activities taken during the emergency period are likely to remain. One of the most significant of these measures is continuing to allow employees to work from home, thereby increasing the amount of time spent online. 53% of respondents in a Nielsen study worked from home for the first time during the pandemic, and 80% are likely to do it again even after the end of the emergency. The increased time online and remote working will likely impact consumer purchase behaviours. The majority of new online shoppers are likely to continue to buy online after the Covid-19 emergency, with the top reason being to avoid crowded places to avoid the risk of infection. 58% of people who shop online for groceries are first time shoppers, and 88% of people who buy groceries online are either likely or very likely to buy groceries online again after the emergency measures are lifted.

Campaigns in the Era of Social Distancing

How do campaigns fare in times of social distancing?

A MainAd case study on a best performing campaign for Home Cleaning during the Covid-19 pandemic showed that the combination of middle-funnel activities (consideration) with lower-funnel activities (conversion) produced best results, compared to using a strategy focused solely on retargeting. The addition of a prospecting strategy helped deliver more impressions, and also impacted the impressions for retargeting later in the campaign.

Download the full report here.