The novel coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak has pushed more consumers to shift their shopping habits online, according to the latest research from Ipsos. In 11 of the 12 markets surveyed, consumers said they were more frequently purchasing products online that they would normally buy in-store.

The largest increase in e-commerce shopping is in Vietnam, where 57% of consumers are more frequently shifting their purchasing online. India (55%), China (50%) and Italy (31%) also see strong increases.

Germany is the only market where online shopping has become less common, with just 12% of consumers saying they are buying online more frequently. This compares to 15% who said less frequently.

This may cause marketers to reallocate spend towards digital advertising that facilitates the path to purchase, reversing the return to brand building. For retailers to survive and succeed, a shift beyond the product to omnichannel is increasingly necessary.

However, the worst affected industries (restaurants, leisure, travel) are incompatible with e-commerce and so have little to gain from this shift. Instead, they may benefit from searching for new ideas and breaking down organisational silos. Indeed, Delta Air Lines has found value in listening to the consumer.

Marketing in the COVID-19 crisis

This article is part of a special WARC Snapshot focused on enabling brand marketers to re-strategise amid the unprecedented disruption caused by the novel coronavirus outbreak.

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