Navigating the Changing Tides of Lockdown

How we approach the ease of lockdown will define the next 12-18 months for business owners both small and large. The most frequent panic I hear from clients is the instinct to reduce spend on their media with the premise of overhead cost cutting. Retail shops are closed and leases still exist- it’s tough, but now more than ever, we need to be doubling down on our eCommerce efforts.

Lockdown online sales up 43% vs previous level 4 lockdowns, surging 73% in 2020 when moving from level 4 to level 3.

Shopping habits have changed, and we are seeing a huge spike in first time customer engagement and response to free shipping offers and incentives. Put simply, people are in front of their devices more than ever before and reaching for things that simplify life. We have the opportunity to seize engagement from new customers and expand and capture the attention of people who would otherwise be shopping at competitors’ retail outlets.

CPM’s are constantly rising, but still very lucrative.

Advertising costs may seem expensive, but the digital ad space is still king when it comes to value for money and return on investment. The average CPM (cost to advertise) is approximately $10 per 1000 impressions. When you compare this to the likes of traditional print, radio and TV the sheer value per reach dominates. Coupled with vastly superior hyper-targeting abilities and deeper reporting abilities (right from view to purchase) there really isn’t a more cost effective, scalable and measurable option.

Personalise your content with your audience and take them on a journey.

Far too often we see new clients come through the door without a sound omnichannel marketing funnel. Ensure that you are layering your content to aid in transitioning your audience through each stage from awareness to conversion. Put yourselves in your customers shoes and ask yourself- What would make them buy, what would be their reservations (trust/efficiency, price, shipping) and what can I do at each stage to aid in progressing them further down the funnel.

For example, you could show reviews/testimonials to those that have visited your product pages but not purchased. Or offer free shipping to those that have added to cart but not purchased. The key to success here is to always be testing different triggers, creative and offers to lead you to the winners.

Don’t neglect retention- Customer lifetime value is essential to sustainable growth

It’s all fair and well to double down at times like these on acquiring new customers but we cant let this detract from your long term retention strategy.

It’s far simpler to sell to someone that has already purchased from you before, and far more cost-effective. They’re far more invested in your brand and require less to convert (in numerous respects. Advertising costs, touch points, and trust).

Don’t be afraid to reach out to your customers. Most of you will be receiving 100s of emails daily from your favourite brands. Frequency is your friend.. So long as your content is relevant, personalised and of value.

Reward loyalty. Now is the perfect time to reward your most loyal customers (top spenders). Send out VIP offers and gifts. You’ll be surprised just how far these can go.

Do your homework. Don’t take a punt thinking this will be a last ditch magic bullet.

There are thousands of online courses available online that cover the fundamentals of executing an effective digital strategy. Seek what the dominating brands in your respective niches are doing for inspiration.

If feasible, seek out expert help. Be wary and do your due diligence. Ask for references and case studies. Most of our clients have been burnt by big promises without the results.

While it may be a “gold rush” opportunity to double down during the lockdown period, this shouldn’t be your only intention. Use this opportunity to ramp up your brand equity and acquisition, but the most successful organisations incorporate this thinking across their entire digital strategy and in alignment with a long game approach.

Danielle Croome is the Business Manager at Powerhouse, A specialist digital agency working with brands such as Stirling Sports, Superette, Two Islands, Emma Lewisham and more.


Media Release 18 September 2021