Google Shopping is one of the channels that has experienced more growth during the last few months due to the coronavirus pandemic. Most online retailers have increased their focus in online marketing. This is why companies had to shift their strategies to a more multichannel focused model.
We have not only seen growth in Google Shopping, but also channels like display advertisements, that usually done to spread brand awareness, have also seen a spike in conversions.
Changes in Google Shopping amid the coronavirus
Google Shopping has become a must for any eCommerce store. As a response to the pandemic, Google now offers free product listings in the platform to any merchant that sells products online. Before, brands had to mandatory pay for an ad placement to be able to appear in Google Shopping. In the event that an eCommerce website was paying only for some of the products, now they are going to be able to list their full inventory.
As a result of this change, there has been an increase of retailers appearing on these listings, helping with the visibility of brands that have been forced to shut down their physical stores either as a health measure to control the pandemic or due to lack of sales from customer footfall.
How has COVID-19 changed user behaviour and shopping patterns?
Brands had already started to focus their efforts in eCommerce before the lockdown. However data from IBM shows that the pandemic has accelerated consumers’ shift to online purchasing by 5 years.
This increase in online shopping has not only changed online behaviour but general shopping patterns. A study done by Retailx found that 25% of britons interviewed have completely stopped from shopping in physical stores. This information is also key to understand the growth of eCommerce in comparison to last year. Online sales are expected to grow 19% in comparison to last year and not 11% as it was expected prior the pandemic .
Coronavirus: Winners and losers
Data shows that there has been a dramatic change in search interest as a result of COVID-19 and the lockdown. Searches related to travel, tourism, live entertainment and in-person events have crashed and they only increased as the lockdown measures relaxed.
On the other hand, the products that have been bought the most in the UK are exercise equipment, beauty products and lounge wear.
However, the industries where there was a higher spike were groceries and pharmaceutical companies. These online business benefited from panic buying and stockpiling. The products that saw an increase in comparison to last year were disposable gloves, bread machines ,cough medicines and soups. These products are closely related to the nature of the pandemic.
As items with a lower search interest than last year, we find products related to traveling such as luggage and briefcases and electronics such as cameras, televisions, etc. These products are closely related to traveling, one of the sectors that had the biggest impact by the COVID-19.
Mobile usage decrease during lockdown
User behaviour has not only changed the product searched but as well how they are searched. A study found that mobile usage decreased by nearly 25% during lockdown affecting as well to cart abandonment. Marketers already expected this change as people would stay at their homes and have desktop devices more accessible.
The coronavirus pandemic has changed the way online users behave. These new usage patterns could potentially forever change the way people purchase as data shows that online buying exclusivity has increased amid the pandemic.