Over a year of on-and-off lockdowns has caused a major shift in consumer behaviour, with online shopping becoming not only more popular but also an essential part of everyday life for many people. In turn, e-commerce websites, digital marketing and a strong online presence are now even more important for businesses of all shapes and sizes.
The question is, now that people are getting their vaccinations and the lockdown is lifting, will buyer behaviours return to how they were in pre-pandemic times? To give you an idea of what to expect, we’ve rounded up some top insight from our team of web designers and marketing specialists.
How has the lockdown affected search behaviour?
Search behaviour is constantly changing according to a number of factors, such as advances in technology, increasing internet speeds and new buying trends. However, the pandemic caused additional shifts in search behaviour, some of which have transformed the search landscape for good.
- Searches for online shopping (buy online): There was a major spike in the initial lockdown period, with a slow fall-off back to “normal” levels. This is to be expected, although it’s important to note that normal levels are significantly higher than previous years. Online shopping is much more prevalent, and many who had never really tried it now consider ecommerce part of their everyday routine.
- Searches for attractions (days out): There were clear peaks as the lockdown loosened over summer 2020 and there’s another upwards trend now that we’re leaving lockdown again.
- Searches for accommodation (hotels): Needless to say, there was a clear reduction in searches as restrictions were implemented last year. The search volume wasn’t as high as anticipated when the announcement was made that the lockdown would soon end, although it’s on the rise now that the sunny weather has arrived.
- Business stabilisation (searches about redundancy): After the initial peak through the last lockdown, the trend has returned to pre-lockdown levels, which suggests a stabilisation of business security across multiple sectors.
Eyeweb’s predictions for going forward
We’re here to help you get the most out of your website and marketing, so here’s what our experts think your business should do over the coming months.
Online shopping / e-commerce
Boosted by the massive rise in online sales throughout the pandemic, larger companies now have bigger budgets for marketing than ever before. In order for your own business to remain competitive, you’ll need to either increase your marketing budget or adopt more niche marketing efforts.
We also recommend focusing your SEO (search engine optimisation) strategy around adding more long-tail keywords to your site. These are longer and more specific phrases that your target audience is likely to use when searching for your types of products and services.
Events, holidays and dining
Thanks to the swift rollout of the vaccination programme combined with warm summer weather, people are quickly becoming comfortable with the idea of attending events, staying away from home and eating in cafés, bars and restaurants. These sectors are in the middle of a major spike in search traffic, so you need to maximise brand awareness through engaging advertising campaigns.
We suggest running some Facebook ads, especially in the form of professional promotional videos. Make sure you remarket to people who have previously visited your website too, as this will remind them of your brand and encourage additional sales.
You must also make it very easy for customers to get in contact with you, as they’ll surely have more questions than usual. Customer service is key, as this is an opportunity to convert casual interest into long-term brand loyalty.
Businesses returning to work / sector growth
People are now returning to the workplace, which means that any traditional marketing activity such as direct mail will be less effective. Reaching decision makers and industry leaders via their inboxes and LinkedIn profiles is a much wiser strategy, so have a think about HTML email campaigns, social media content and PPC campaigns.
Let’s talk SEO and marketing
We appreciate that all of the above is a lot of hard work, which is why we’re here to deliver the highest standard of web design, SEO marketing and digital content. To get started, give us a ring on 01482 628830 or fill in our contact form.