Ecommerce ad spend jumped from $4.8 million to $9.6 million during the course of just one month, from February 17 to March 9, according to MediaRadar. The online shopping boom comes as restaurants remain closed and new teleworking policies are implemented amid the coronavirus pandemic.
To contain the virus, California, Illinois and New York have ordered residents to stay in their homes, restricting any travel other than for vital reasons such as grocery shopping, visits to the pharmacy and medical checkups. With over 70 million Americans practicing social distancing, online shopping activity is growing exponentially.
According to a survey from Coresight Research, nearly half (47.2 percent) of US internet users in February said they’re avoiding shopping centers and malls. At the same time, about 75 percent of respondents said they would steer clear from shopping centers altogether if the outbreak worsens. Older consumers are being extra cautious as nine in 10 of respondents over 45 said were likely to avoid physical stores in general if the coronavirus spreads.
Digital retailers are adjusting operations to keep up with demand. Last week Amazon announced it would be hiring 100,000 new full and part-time warehouse and delivery workers in the US. Amazon will also increase workers’ pay for a total of $350 million in increased compensation for hourly employees across the US, Europe and Canada.
According to eMarketer, some Amazon shoppers have received notifications that say, “We’re very sorry your delivery is late. Most late packages arrive in a day. If you have not received your package by tomorrow, you can come back here the next day for a refund or a replacement.”
eMarketer updated its 2020 global ad spend forecast from $712 billion to $691 billion. China, the world’s second largest ad market after the US, accounts for most of the reduction as eMarketer adjusted its total media ad spend in China from $121 billion to $113 billion.