What does COVID-19 mean for our online behaviour?
Posted by Fabrick on 03 April 2020
As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to spread over the globe, many employers are urging their staff to work from home. This increase in remote working may be supposedly temporary, but is definitely having a short-term impact on the tools we are all using to coordinate and communicate whilst our relationships with colleagues and clients becomes more virtual.
The challenges we face aren’t necessarily as obvious as we’d initially envisaged when the Government asked us to down tools and work from home where possible. Taking an emergency leap to remote working highlights a need for interconnectedness which is thankfully made possible using the plethora of intelligent tools and practises via the internet.
A switch to virtual meetings:
Companies like Zoom and Pow Wow Now are really benefitting from the rise in working from home, with Zoom’s CEO, Eric Yuan, noting that in light of the spread of COVID-19, a remote conferencing tool has never been more useful. He adds that he expects more businesses to recognise the benefits of video conferencing now, with the hope of fewer in-person meetings taking place in the future.
We took a quick look at Google Trends, and whilst Kim Kardashian and Taylor Swift took the crown in the entertainment arena, phrases like ‘remote working’ and ‘tools to work from home’ saw a notable peak in March, showing that people all over the globe are rising to this new challenge.
More users online:
While many businesses have some level of control over how they are managing the ongoing crisis, it’s difficult to predict how consumers will behave over the coming months. Whilst the general consensus is that coronavirus will have a detrimental impact on companies, we’re focussing on the positive and potential options and opportunities that are bound to arise in the coming months; with a focus on the increase in the use of online services. More excitingly for our Digital Team, more people are working from home and are online, so social channels are seeing a slow rise in engagement. We’ve already seen this come to fruition on many e-commerce sites, with people waking up in the middle of the night to put through food shopping orders, so perhaps this trend will continue and we just won’t be able to detox digitally for another good few months!
Transferring marketing spend:
When it comes to search, one school of thought suggests that our Google activity will remain unabated, however if consumer demand is to decline (perhaps more poignantly on the B2B front) there will be fewer searches for certain products in the construction sector. This is not to say that demand isn’t still there; we have seen in some circumstances that search volume is growing and clients are increasing their digital spend as a result of store visitation being limited.
It’s arguably more important than ever to maintain a digital presence – getting left behind when this is all over can and will be detrimental to your business. Redirecting certain budgets may be the best way to weather this storm, but remembering that supply chains will be fixed, businesses will be trading and potential customers are still out there is an important message to consider.