E-Commerce Advertising During COVID-19

March 26, 2020

The e-commerce landscape has dramatically shifted as a result of this unprecedented time. With stores temporarily closing and shelter in place orders enforced in many states across the US, consumers have moved to online shopping to stock up on items for the home. Amazon is also “prioritizing household staples, medical supplies, and other high-demand products coming into [their] fulfillment centers so that [they] can more quickly receive, restock, and deliver these products to customers.” With these shifts, we recommend brands review their advertising strategy to ensure campaigns continue to run smoothly. Here are five things to evaluate during this time:


Inventory. While monitoring inventory levels is always important, now more than ever brands should ensure advertised products are available and ready to ship at this time. Household and many other products are flying off the shelves, so double check you have ample inventory before advertising. Additionally, with Amazon enforcing delayed ship dates for products they deem not a ‘household staple’, it’s critical to review current ships dates for all your products.


Relevant and Simple Messaging. Keep your messaging relevant to the time we are in, such as promoting lotion as an opportunity to prevent dry hands due to increased washing, or message exercise equipment as an opportunity to crush your at home workouts while gyms are closed. Alternatively, make sure any old messaging is sensitive to the current state of the world and will not be misinterpreted in a negative way.


Narrow Targeting. Ensure advertising is hyper-focused on the category you are targeting. Meaning, if you are advertising a face mask to moisturize and brighten skin, ensure your ads are targeting exact keywords such as ‘hydrating face mask’ vs. broad targeting of terms like ‘face mask’.


Secondary Products. Think about secondary products that are now seeing a surge in demand as a result of shelter in place orders and make sure those pages and advertisements are set up for success. For example: toys and educational games for kids who are home due to school closures or computer monitors as many workers shift from working in the office to working from home.  


Budgets. With increased site traffic from consumers shopping online more, it’s easy to want to inflate your budgets to chase sales in this moment. But, it’s more important for ads to remain active throughout the duration of a day/month rather than be aggressive at one point in time.


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