Stats Roundup: Coronavirus Impact on Marketing, eCommerce & Advertising


The coronavirus has been though on the whole world and is definitely affecting all areas of life.

Aside from the devastating aspect of human health, the virus is also taking a toll on the world’s economy and different areas of business.

A lot of people are filing for unemployment and a lot don’t know if they’ll have a job once all of this is over. Marketing, eCommerce, and advertising are also affected by the virus, regardless of how safe these branches ay seem.

Let’s see exactly what’s happening with these branches right now so you can adjust accordingly.

1. March was the busiest month for supermarkets

As the virus spreads further and people become more concerned, supermarkets are seeing a surge of business.

People are stocking up supplies as they don’t want to be stuck in lockdown without any food or toilet paper, making supermarkets the busiest venues in March.

This is especially true for the UK, where supermarkets experienced over 20% rise in sales.

FT Stats

Convenience stores are also seeing more business, as people are advised to stay close to their homes and avoid crowds.

This means most of them to choose the nearest convenience stores for their daily necessities instead of heading to the bigger stores like they’re used to.

It’s generally thought that this trend will increase in further months, as supermarkets simply won’t be convenient for shopping anymore.

2. YouTube becomes even more popular

We’re all familiar with YouTube and its increasing popularity over the years, but the platform has become even more popular in the past month as people are ordered to stay indoors.

If your company has its own YouTube channel, now is the time to make more videos and release them in order to raise brand awareness and increase audience numbers. If you don’t have a YouTube account, now may be the time to start one.

More and more videos with the phrase “at home” are seeing light on YouTube, which is expected considering most people are looking for fun activities they can do indoors.

The platform is taking things seriously and has improved their policing of content, all in the effort to stop the spread of misinformation about the virus.

After all, they need to be careful not to allow people to spread panic when more and more videos of COVID-19 can be found on the platform every day.

Countries which are worst affected by the pandemic are those where the surge in YouTube views is more evident. 

3. Half of the global consumers are spending more time online

As people are bound to their homes, we can see an increase in activity on social media platforms and messaging apps.

This is perfectly normal and expected for the current situation, as people crave to stay in touch with those they care about while still staying inside.

This can be good news for social media marketing, as businesses will be able to reach more of their target audience now that more people are actually online.

Feelings are missed on whether Advertising should continue as normal, though.

Over a third of people said they agree that brands should carry on advertising as normal, while over a quarter disagreed.

The final third of respondents simply aren’t sure. Interestingly enough, the higher income group was the one who was more likely to agree that advertising should go on as usual.

Indeed, as more people are watching streaming services, using social media, and even uploading their own videos and photos, this might be your time to shine in the advertising department.

4. You can see less human interaction in ads

What’s interesting to see in this pandemic is that the imagery used in ads has shifted from human interaction.

We’re used to seeing ads of people hanging out and having fun, but the coronavirus has altered the industry in a way that we’re seeing much less of these images.

Instead, we can see people washing their faces and hands more often, as well as images of water splashing and things being cleaned.

Startup companies in Australia are also following these trends, with SEO Sydney advertising using similar imagery. It’s no doubt the rest of the world will also follow, as Australia is one of the leaders in the industry that most copy.

Topics about sport and fitness are also on the rise, as are those relating to electronics.

One that got my attention was Gymshark which updated their twitter name to Homeshark to raise awareness.

This reflects the state of the lockdown perfectly, making it an excellent time for those in these fields to advertise their products.

5. Retailers are seeing a surge in job applications

The retail and eCommerce area is one of the most heavily-affected ones by the virus. After all, there are so many bars, cafes, restaurants, and other stores that simply had to close down because of the current situation.

As more and more people are losing their jobs, we see a surge of new applications in this field.

The daily rate has risen to an astonishing 200.000 when it was only 5000 before the pandemic. eCommerce may be the one hiring most in this situation, as people turn to online shopping for everything from food to new clothes.

The food and grocery sector is by far hiring the most.

This is only logical when everyone is ordering food deliveries instead of eating out and when more and more people are needed to support the crowds in grocery stores. 

Fashion retail and hospitality, on the other hand, have completely stopped hiring people for the time being.

There is simply no use for these sectors right now, as they will definitely put more people in danger.


As you can see, the coronavirus is definitely affecting marketing, eCommerce, and advertising in ways few would have predicted.

Even though things may seem dark right now, it doesn’t mean they’ll stay like that forever.

Sometimes you have to fall in order to get back up again. Now is the time to plan for the future and make smart decisions so that you can have a better life and business once the pandemic is over.

For information on Coronavirus (COVID-19) please visit the official government page

About the author

Alex Thomas

I've been involved in digital marketing for over 10 years and have worked with global and local companies on large scale SEO and PR campaigns. In my current role at Breakline, I'm responsible for winning new business, creating, implementing and overseeing SEO campaigns, social communications, online and offline media relations.

By Alex Thomas
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