The impact of COVID-19 on the digital industry

Marketing   |   
Published June 11, 2020   |   

COVID-19 is taking its toll over humanity on a global scale while being one of the biggest reasons behind economic encumbrance, bringing even the sturdiest of the countries to its knees. This disease has hit the critical driving force of any industry – the human resource, resulting in the closures of various enterprises. Since this disease also does not show any signs of abating in the coming days, the only way to break the chain is to follow the global norms of practising social distancing, avoiding travel schedules, and even follow stricter measures of lockdown and quarantining.

While experts already anticipated the negative impact that industries like the travel and manufacturing industries will be facing as a consequence of the lack of human resource, even the resilient industries here like the IT industry and the digital marketing companies haven’t been left untouched.

Reshaping the Workplace Infrastructure

The digital industry has been boding well when it comes to coping with the workplace scenario as a majority of the employee demographic is comfortable working at home. Implementing foolproof work from home culture is in demand in the current situation amidst the pandemic crisis with even the tech giants like Google and others, showing their keen interest in the likes of the above.

Many CIOs and Executives are using digital tools like online conferencing and remote ERP and management systems, replacing the one to one meets and ensure productivity as well as management on their levels. However, for many, leaving their pre-existing secure infrastructure and shifting to the newer work from home has been a significant security threat when overall compatibility and comfort is concerned.

Overall Economic Impact – A Brief

“If your business is not online, your business is out of business.” – Bill Gates. With the footfall traffic meeting a big-time pause, the quote is an ideal paradigm of the digital transformation demand as there is no other viable means for businesses than to go online.

With an ever-growing uncertainty for the consumers of this digital industry, there is going to be some turmoil in the industry as the already flipping search behaviour and trends are a shred of straight evidence, the online conversion rates and returns for expenses of man industries hitting an all-time low being another.

Ecommerce centric businesses have taken a significant blow with most of the countries and governments limiting deliveries at regional, national, and international levels, even discontinuing a significant percentage at the same time. The same goes for other industries like tourism, manufacturing, real estate, and this has also been impacting the digital industry lately.

Apart from this, various small and medium-sized businesses and enterprises that depend on footfall traffic are bound to adapt to the norms of social distancing, and instead come up with safer, hygienic, and innovative solutions to get their finances on track. Still, the pharma and healthcare industry have been peaking up (for obvious reasons), and the demand for modern IT solutions is more than ever, especially for the latter with encouraging the use of AI and Intelligent Virtual Assistant Technology.

Besides, it’s also an opportunity for other smaller businesses focussing on essential goods and FMCG, to play their cards and meet the high demands of the consumers at home.

Changes in Behavior of the Consumer Online Amidst the Pandemic

While the people are bound to follow the stay-at-home norms, and practice lockdowns and quarantines, this, in turn, has highly increased the overall internet usage statistics by almost 20% [1], and even the social media usage has spiked up since the COVID-19 pandemic outbreak.

But still, except for the entertainment and media sector, users have not shown much of interest in any other thing and have somewhat become a browsing user surfing the internet for information, nullifying the purchase intent of any other non-essential goods or services in the meantime.

Impact of COVID-19 on Digital Channel Performance

Businesses and organizations harness the various digital marketing channels alongside robust tech-driven solutions to uplift their revenues and sales. While the internet usage did spike up in recent times, the key performance indicators of various channels – the conversions, the searches, and such KPI’s are facing a downfall. [2]

But then, the media consumption has risen significantly, and instances like these are an opening for brands and innovative marketers to exploit the emerging channels like influencer marketing at best.

COVID-19 Top Charting the Search Trends

Most of the searches so being made over search engines like Google are related to updates of novel coronavirus and the current pandemic crisis, as COVID-19 stands at the top of the lists over trends of search terms and hashtags.[3] At the same time, various marketers are leveraging new content strategies to enhance their content marketing strategies and optimize their presence. The search engines, on the other hand, are taking stringent measures to counter the spread of any misleading information related to COVID-19 and actively refine its SERPS with its new updates in algorithms.

Digital Ads Scenario Is Changing

The sales, conversions, and ROAS have been soaring up with time for search market ads; however, the impression metrics stats are still way higher. In the meantime, other valuable figures like the CPC are hitting lower ends, thus reducing competition and opening up opportunities to make their mark.

When there are businesses that have already brought their campaigns to a halt, many are refunneling the investments in strengthening their omnichannel approaches by shifting it to SEO and social media. However, as for big brands as well as those emerging, the only key today is to focus on survival instead of sales/revenues. Rather, use increased impression counts to benefice and grow your brand value by increasing awareness and using other innovative ways to engage with users.

With more than 50% of the industry demographic, agreeing to an inevitable global recession, many things are going to be at stake in the future for IT industries after quarantine.

Still, with the respondents and experts also stating that digitalization is going to be the heart of the economic recovery amidst the crisis, it is the evolution towards a more digital-friendly world that will rather liaison for a better economy of tomorrow where we as individuals do our best to fight and contain this virus spread being a united global community as a whole.