Digital Marketing

Digital marketing and covid-19, what lessons and notes to take in 2020 ?

Consumer behavior changed due to containment and pandemic

As we enter several weeks of semi-confinement in the canton of Fribourg, Kallitous Corporation unveils today the new study conducted on purchasing intentions in Switzerland and in neighboring countries such as France for example. A few weeks before the end of the year, how does this second semi-confinement impact consumers’ expectations? And how do they plan to prioritize their purchases?

In Switzerland several sectors … suffer


In Swiss territory, the two businesses that are in free fall because of the pandemic are leisure and transport. For example, the Swiss Federal Railways (SBB) have declared a fall in traffic of 80-90%, which has forced them to reduce their usual offer. Leisure activities are also drastically affected since in several cantons like ours, everything is closed, restaurants, bars, cinemas, bowling, nightclubs, and any other entertainment center.

The third sector suffering in secret is the durable goods sector: at the time of writing, few people are buying new washing machines, dishwashers or new cars, car dealers have not yet sold the cars of the previous year, while we are already approaching the year 2021. The consumption of electronic equipment such as cell phones is also decreasing, although it seemed like a jump at the beginning of the pandemic, when everyone needed an extra computer to work or a printer at home. This is still a big challenge for the Playstation 5 launch right now but the launch this time is only “digital”.

The current crisis is characterized by a significant drop in advertising spending. According to the Swiss Advertising Statistics Foundation, advertising spending fell by 42% in April 2020 compared to the same month last year.

This concerns mainly advertising on traditional media (cinema -100%, print -43% and TV-38%) and even in the E-advertising sector (-25%). However, this statistic does not take into account advertising on search engines (SEA) and social networks.

Several marketing agencies have noticed a drop in the conversion rate of SEA, a sign that online advertising has also been less successful in recent months. Swiss consumers are not paying as much attention to non-essential purchases, and remain less sensitive to overt advertising messages.


In France and at the beginning of the containment, the statistics reveal a significant drop in the average number of clicks and conversions related to advertising campaigns, it drops respectively by 32% and 34%, all sectors combined according to the same study . But there is only one sector that has taken several blows with a drop that reaches 90% and we are talking about the tourism sector, one of the most affected by the crisis.

In Switzerland, and apart from the consumer goods that we have detailed above, the real stars of the moment are the media. The sites that are recording record audiences are indeed those of Swiss newspaper and magazine publishers.

Despite the loss of a large amount of advertising revenue, they note 4 times more visits than during the same period last year. And this is good traffic, because visitors stay on average 4 times longer than last year and this is a great opportunity to seize.

In terms of digital, there is a difference between the channels.

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Other key factors allow us to have a different reading of the current trends in 2020. Starting with “Retargeting” which, despite a 76% drop in the number of conversions, is recording a 103% increase in the average basket value and that’s just huge. Retargeting is therefore starring, with many more sales now that it doesn’t even sit at the same table with traditional display campaigns. It also shows that consumers are more interested now than ever in products that they have already shown interest in, and that is a good point to remember for tomorrow’s strategies.

A few weeks before the end of the year celebrations and in view of the current context, the vast majority of young people, respectively 55% of 18-25 year olds and 46% of 26-39 year olds, plan to do more of their end of year shopping online according to a French study. Conversely, 47% of older generations prefer to wait until the end of the national confinement in France, to make these purchases in store.

One reply on “Digital marketing and covid-19, what lessons and notes to take in 2020 ?”

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