The global pandemic has turned the tables on how ecommerce brands do business. While the full impact of COVID-19 is yet to be assessed, some market trends can already be spotted and put to use by ecommerce businesses that want to stay afloat in the slowing economy.
Having analyzed 2000+ of the largest ecommerce sites worldwide from various industries, SEMrush pinpointed the key shifts in consumer demand and the overall digital marketing landscape.
Recent changes in ecommerce market trends are largely driven by profound shifts in customer demand. With a lot of attention given to the pandemic’s impact on consumer behavior, consumer preferences are also a crucial area to look at when trying to define the ‘new customer’.
With ecommerce businesses, to understand consumer demand we should look into the most popular products people are searching for online.
Comparing the average monthly search volume data from the first half of 2019 to that of 2020, some product categories are showing impressive spikes in consumer interest:
With brick and mortar shopping on the decline, year-on-year (2019 vs. 2020) June searches for ‘’buy online’’ rose by 50% globally. As consumers turned to online shopping, ecommerce sites saw spikes in traffic comparable to the holiday-time shopping rush.
In May 2020, traffic numbers were already larger than the typical November-December spikes, and they only continued to grow, exceeding the 25 billion mark for monthly visits.
With stay-at-home orders and worldwide lockdowns, Home and garden, Food and groceries, and Sport and outdoors business categories are seeing the biggest increases during the pandemic months, growing at 40-50% YoY.
Exploring the newest traffic trends and looking at where the visitors come from reveals how ecommerce businesses can leverage the growing traffic trend:
Ecommerce businesses are one of the largest online advertisers, with many large e-tailers among the top 10 digital ad spenders worldwide.
Yet SEMrush found that around 50% of all analyzed ecommerce businesses spend no more than $1,000 a month on search advertising campaigns.
Ad budgets tend to rise when competition grows higher, making General retailers and Fashion e-tailers the largest digital ad spenders within ecommerce. 50% of the analyzed businesses within these industries are spending more than $150,000 each month.
But the SEMrush data indicates that the coronavirus crisis has already had an impact on digital ad spend. And it’s showing a downward trend.
Advertisers of all sizes have reduced their digital ad budgets by an average of 20%.
As there are fewer players within the digital ads field, the costs of online advertising are also down, meaning that businesses can now potentially attract more customers per dollar.
Allocating ad budget is not enough, though, as from category to category consumers react to different messages and triggers. Having analyzed the most popular CTAs by ecommerce industry type, SEMrush found that:
Adapting to the ‘new normal’ is a challenge many ecommerce businesses are already facing. Without closer attention to and insights about the fast-changing market realities, some will fail while others will strive. And sometimes the thin line between success and failure is having the right data and tools that can help to navigate through the changes.
Although there is no one-size-fits-all approach to making smart digital marketing decisions, these are the three core areas ecommerce businesses have to strengthen to stay in the game:
Olga Andrienko is the Head of Global Marketing at SEMrush. Together with her team she has built one of the strongest international communities in the online marketing industry. Olga has expanded SEMrush brand visibility worldwide entering the markets of over 50 countries.
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