K.J. Den Hollander
We live in a special time. In the first place because of the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic on health worldwide. In addition, because of the major economic consequences, and the modified “one and a half meter” society. Covid-19 also has (had) an influence on consumer purchasing behavior. Below, I would like to briefly discuss the influence of the Covid-19 pandemic on online purchasing behavior, and the current importance of online marketing.
To put this in the right context, it is important to first indicate a short time lapse, and the direct effects on consumer behavior.
Covid-19 closes stores
Prime Minister Rutte gave his first national speech on March 16. At the time, the message was initially: “Stay indoors, keep your distance, and only go out for essentials.” We immediately saw shops closing. By the end of March, probably 15,000 to 20,000 stores had already closed their doors temporarily, research firm Locatus estimates. On one hand, because the number of consumers in shopping streets declined rapidly, and keeping shops open cost more money than it yielded. Immediately on March 18, the number of passers-by in the shopping streets of the major cities decreased by 60% compared to the beginning of March (source: NOS). On the other hand, after the announcement of the intelligent lockdown (March 23) it was not possible for many stores to remain open in an appropriate manner.
Shift to online
End of April, online consumer spending in non-food increased by 56% since the outbreak, compared to comparable weeks in 2019. Before Covid-19, this growth was 18% (GfK research; source Thuiswinkel). There was a peak in online shopping within the supermarket sector. The main reason was that consumers preferred to avoid the physical supermarket.
Research by Colliers International shows that, over the past period, four in ten people bought more online. In addition, 260,000 households did their shopping online for the first time. Baby boomers and Generation X in particular, have started more online shopping. Almost 37 percent of the Dutch plan to order more products online in the future. This percentage is comparable to people over 50 years of age.
Importance of online marketing
This Covid-19 pandemic has been an accelerator for online shopping. Shops were closed, consumers were forced to stay at home, which caused the share of online purchases to increase enormously. In any case, it is clear that some of the traditional offline purchases have shifted to online purchases. Consumers are now more used to online shopping, and all its benefits. That is good news for web shops / online shopping portals.
What is also becoming more, and more important, is that the webshop is well found online, and has a large online presence. Various tools can be used for this, such as Search Engine Advertising (SEA,) Search Engine Optimization (SEO), Email Marketing, Social Media, Display, and certainly also Affiliate marketing!
When using SEA and Social Media, there is a great dependence on Google, and Facebook. With Affiliate Marketing you are largely “in control”, and you can send / motivate many publishers for your webshop. In addition, affiliate marketing generates direct sales.
Affiliate Marketing = performance
Affiliate marketing is a great tool to expand the marketing mix, especially now that consumers are making more online purchases. With this form of marketing you settle on direct results. In addition, you know in advance against which ROI you use this. You can also use this channel with a focus on new customers with a corresponding strategy. With this marketing form, the webshop is visible, and present on many different platforms. This presence also ensures recognition, and strengthens the brand (of the webshop). In addition to direct performance (turnover), affiliate marketing also provides branding value for which you do not pay extra. What is important is that there is a well thought-out affiliate marketing strategy!
In recent months, the affiliate channel has seen significant growth, which on the one hand can be logically explained looking at the aforementioned. This will level off somewhat, but the fact is that consumers will shop online more than before. Therefore, it is very important for shopping portals to have an established online presence, and to use the right online marketing tools.
There is a tool where you have control, pay for results, everything is measurable, and transparent, with a high ROI, it can promote your webshop on hundreds of different websites, and is easy to start up called: Affiliate Marketing!
The Covid-19 pandemic is an accelerator for the growth of online sales