- Consumers in several countries including the U.S. want to see brands emphasize their efforts to help people return to normal after the coronavirus disrupted their routines. That marks a shift since the beginning of the pandemic, when more than one-third of consumers expected brands to advise them on how to stay safe during lockdowns, per survey results that social ad platform Smartly.io shared with Mobile Marketer.
- Brands that maintained their social media advertising during the early days of coronavirus pandemic had less competition for viewers, making their marketing efforts more efficient in several countries. About 70% of consumers in Italy and Spain, two countries with strict lockdowns that kept people at home, said they had seen more ads from brands they had never purchased before.
- Half of consumers worldwide said they had bought an item they had seen in a social ad in the prior 30 days as e-commerce surged in countries affected by the pandemic. Almost three fourths (73%) of consumers in India said they had purchased items seen in social ads, making the marketing platforms effective in the country, per Smartly.io.
Social media advertising is likely to undergo another rapid shift as many regions end lockdowns and let people gradually get back to activities that had been considered normal, Smartly.io's global survey of 5,000 consumers suggests. While consumers expect brands to show new products and services that will help to cope with lockdowns, they also want guidance on how those goods fit in with a post-pandemic world. Consumers in the U.S. and Australia are most likely to say that they want brands to return back to normal, but adjust their advertising messages to how the pandemic affects their activities, per Smarlty.io.
The study confirms other reports that indicate consumers boosted their online shopping activities while stuck at home during lockdowns. Among the 48% of consumers who said they made purchases based on social ads, their purchases were skewed toward fashion, wellness and entertainment products and services. The U.S., U.K. and the Netherlands are primed for a jump in fashion purchases, with significant percentages of consumers in those countries planning clothing purchases in the next 30 days. The finding suggests that fashion marketers may increase their marketing efforts to reach consumers who are ready to buy apparel as lockdowns are lifted.
Smartly.oi's study also looked at other product categories such as groceries, which make up a significant portion of household purchases. Consumers are looking for deals, with 56% of survey respondents saying they want grocery store ads that have sale items, compared with 54% who want information about shopper safety and 43% who want to see seasonal products. Only 7% of consumers said grocery brands shouldn't advertise now, indicating that most people are receptive to advertising.