E-commerce and Digital Marketing, lifeguards for companies in the face of the Covid-19 crisis
Can digital marketing be a helpful tool to mitigate the negative business results of Coronavirus? The answer is yes, of course. Ugo Smith, Co-founder and Technical Director of the digital marketing agency eStudio34, analyzes the figures and results of the sectors in the same period a year ago and offers the keys to face the economic and business crisis for Covid-19.
Google searches for Coronavirus outnumber other major global health warnings
According to Google Trends, the tool that shows the most popular search terms, the Covid-19 reaches five times worldwide the interest of Internet users against other diseases. What’s more, currently, Google highlights the great concern of users, since the vast majority of searches are related to the symptoms that cause the Coronavirus, reached a historical maximum and completely eclipsing the maximum peak known so far during the flu outbreak. swine 2009. More specifically, concerns about the Coronavirus also break search records with words such as “masks”, “respirators” or “hand sanitizer”.
Tourism, the most affected sector
The World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC), a forum for the travel and tourism industry made up of members of this global business community and working jointly with governments around the world, says that recovery times of a destination affected by a health crisis is around 19 months, surpassing causes such as terrorism or environmental disasters.
Along these same lines, the UNWTO (World Tourism Organization) points out that the smartest thing right now is to promote travel within the country itself; continue to capture demand from Europe, as long-distance demand will seek new destinations that are not ‘focus’ of the virus and, above all, change policies and allow cancellations and reservation changes.
Taking these data into account and comparing online search trends in the same period of 2019, in the tourism sector, travel searches and reservations have fallen more than 62% in just a few days, already causing the forced closure of many hotels. and the fear and uncertainty of not knowing when it will be possible to return to normality. Teaching and, therefore, Spain as a destination to come to study falls around 34%; culture and leisure (for the moment) do so by 14%, but it will surely rise with the new prohibition and the closure of museums and cinemas to avoid concentrations; and Real Estate that, although we deduce that its fall will be more evolutionary, is currently in a fall of around 15% and, as we anticipated, unlike all of them, eCommerce, also known as electronic commerce or Internet, increases by 30% these days.
How can Digital Marketing help companies?
ECommerce is proof that the answer lies in the digital environment and that if governments force the population to shut themselves up at home, consumer behavior will go online. These days, even the giant Amazon is benefiting from the Online Purchase of its wide catalog of food and beverage products due to the saturation of other large supermarket chains that have been overwhelmed with their home deliveries.
In the face of this crisis, the most important thing is to protect our brand and look for alternatives to retain our clients (if possible for life) if we provide them with facilities and help in the face of problems that may arise between client and company. It is important to offer messages of trust and to be more flexible than ever, taking into account the exceptional nature of the situation, offering solutions by readjusting our policies.
We recommend, first of all, to conform and not to take into account the fine print.
Do we want the client to remember tomorrow for having helped him or, on the contrary, do we want him to ‘make a cross’ for us because we did not help him when he needed us? It is the moment to assume losses and win to be able to be, forever, the loyalty of this client. In this way, we are faced with different responses such as:
Tell the customer that, if it is not urgent, they will receive the product later and at a discount.
Offer a change and give the possibility of choosing another product that we can send.
Give the possibility to cancel the order and proceed to refund the money.
Make a voucher that you can use later.
Give them the option to change for another future event and even collect the difference.
Is this new viral terror less or more dangerous than other infectious diseases?
According to a National Geographic study, the Coronavirus that originated in Wuhan, China, and that has spread throughout the world, currently affects more than 160,000 people in more than 140 countries around the world (8,744 in Spain), and Death figures worldwide now exceed 5,000. Thus, he wanted to compare his infection and mortality rate with other viruses that affected us in recent years: severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) that left 8,098 cases with a 10% mortality rate between 2002-2003; the Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS), which in 2012 caused 2,494 cases with a 34% mortality rate; between 2014 and 2016, Ebola left 28,161 cases and 40% mortality; the Zika that, between 2015 and 2016, left 28,616 cases and a 40% mortality rate; or H1N1 influenza, a combination of pig, bird and human viruses with which 18,500 cases were confirmed in 2009, but which a parallel study by the CDC (Center for Disease Control and Prevention) attributed to 284,000 deaths.
Wake up and reinvent yourself
More than ever, the answer is found in Digital Marketing, in which we must continue investing and striving without taking into account for a moment that the situation we are experiencing is seasonal and will remit, that is, that we have to look further.
Circumstances are testing us and we must demonstrate that Spanish managers and entrepreneurs can be less rigid and gain flexibility, either by offering teleworking possibilities; family reconciliation; videoconferences? In summary, adapting and being tolerant will surely lead us to obtain better personal and professional results.