Over the course of the past week, there has been a string of good news stories from around the world. Germany and Italy have started the process of slowly lightening lockdown measures; in the UK 99-year-old Captain Tom raised close to £30M for the NHS; and globally, musicians united to support frontline healthcare workers and the WHO with the One World: Together At Home special.

While consumers have now adapted to life under a new norm, we explore how different verticals across different regions have been impacted by the pandemic from February through the week of April 12.

  • US: Activity increased for Electronics, Home Improvement, Housewares and Office products – all relevant to a “sheltering in place” environment.
  • CA: Activity is up for Apparel and Beauty & Personal Care. Books & Magazines and Footwear increased in March through early April but had a slight dropoff the past week.
  • BR: Department Stores and Electronics are seeing growth. Apparel & Accessories has been up and down, after reaching a peak in the latter half of March.
  • UK: Activity for Apparel, Beauty, Home Improvement and Sporting Goods has largely increased in past weeks, with a slight slowdown last week for Home Improvement.
  • FR: Apparel and Jewellery activity is trending up. Luxury slightly recovered activity in early April, with a slowdown the past week. Footwear activity has been down since a peak in late March
  • DE: Apparel activity is slightly down the past week, after a steady incline since mid-March, while Department Stores saw a significant peak in activity the past week.
  • APAC: With China easing lockdown restrictions, activity across several verticals is looking up – Home Improvement, Apparel, Beauty and Luxury are all on a largely upward trend. 

Clicks continue to increase steadily across all networks, with the US seeing significant growth for the week commencing April 12.

Orders continue to increase across APAC and Brazil, and remain steady in the UK and US.  Though last week, orders in Canada, France and Germany experience a slight dip.

Over recent weeks click activity has consistently increased across all networks, while orders remains steady. This demonstrates the levelling off of consumer volatility, encouraging both advertisers and publishers alike to create and optimise campaigns that drive consumer engagement.

The team at Rakuten Advertising have provided strategic advice for how publishers and advertisers can optimise campaigns to drive reach and engagement.

Monitor to Global Developments
Vertical trends are shifting market-to-market. This is reflective of varying stages of the pandemic across the world, and brands can gain insight into what’s to come by watching the trends in markets where restrictions are easing. Brands stand to gain insight by monitoring activity around the world for a glimpse of what’s to come as the virus and the economy evolve in their markets. You don’t have to be a global brand for these global trends to be relevant.

For advertisers, this information can help you foresee which indicators may signal an opportunity for your business. Trends in China indicate spending in categories like clothing and fashion, entertainment, beauty and travel will increase as the pandemic abates, and confidence increases – almost half (40%) of consumers say they will once again begin making major purchases once the COVID-19 outbreak begins to decrease or is over, according to research from GlobalWebIndex.

For publishers, this means two things:

  1. It’s critical to have a localised strategy within major markets.
  2. Looking to markets ahead of you will empower you to start anticipating what your audience is going to want to shop for next.

As regions enter different stages of the pandemic, the needs of consumers are also changing. For some, like APAC, they’re returning to normal and seeing more typical shopping patterns. Others are past the peak, and, though not back to normal, consumers are already looking to buy things in preparation for normalcy. In other markets, like the US, consumers are facing the reality that social distancing arrangements will last longer than they planned, and they’re looking for things that will help them at home.

People’s purchase behaviours have evolved through the stages of the pandemic, and will only continue to change as we see it through. Advertisers and publishers have an important role to play in meeting changing requirements during these difficult times and acting strategically now, so they’re there to support consumers in the future.

Rakuten Advertising will continue to keep you updated with strategies and insights from our network. For more strategic insight, specific to your company, please reach out to your Rakuten Advertising representative. For more insights and data related to COVID-19, visit https://rakutenadvertising.com/covid19/.