15 reasons COVID-19 has increased social media use and e-commerce

According to research by Forbes, pre-lockdown consumers were spending an average of 2 hours and 22 minutes on social media per day.  

Maybe* profiled 300K businesses and organisations across 1300 towns and cities in the UK and found that though 78% of these businesses were not active on social media daily pre-lockdown, that number has rocketed to 88% since, despite the fact that consumers are now spending 40% longer on social media

Online usage

Social media usage is one of the most popular online activities. In 2019, an estimated 2.95 billion people were using social worldwide, a number projected to increase significantly in 2020 (Statista).

Smart Insights reported that more than 4.5 billion people are using the internet at the start of 2020 and that active social media users have actually passed the 3.8 billion mark, increasing by more than 9 percent (321 million new users) since this time last year. Nearly 60 percent of the world’s population is already online, and trends suggest that more than half of the world’s population will use social media by mid-2020.

Shifts Due to COVID-19

A New York Times analysis of internet usage in the United States reveals that behaviours shifted amidst COVID-19, sometimes starkly, as the virus spread and pushed us to our devices for work, play and connecting.  Daily usage of social media is definitely up - Facebook is up 27%, YouTube is up 15% and TikTok is up 15% (New York Times) .

Despite a severe 30% drop in global fashion e-commerce revenue in March, new findings from Nosto suggest that revenue in April has bounced back and is on average 21% higher than it was in April 2019. Australia/New Zealand, Germany and the UK have seen a particularly strong sales results (econsultancy). 

Online Sales Bouncing Back

Mass store closures across “non-essential” retailers in the wake of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic made it obvious that shoppers secluded in their homes would spend more time shopping online, but key questions remain: “How much will they be buying?,” and “How does this affect e-Commerce now and in the long term?”It is reported that US e-commerce orders are up 108% - Retail Touchpoints. So will the U.K see similar increases? 

With UK online sales as a proportion of all retailing reached a record high of 22.3% in March 2020 (Office Of National Statistics), this seems very possible.

More Consumers Shopping Online

Sprout Social demonstrate how social media drives business growth, reporting that 89% of consumers will buy from a brand they follow on social and  61% of consumers say brands that are best in class on social know how to engage their audiences.

With 42% of consumers believing the way they shop will fundamentally change (PR News Wire) , trading online - via social media and/or other eCommerce sites - and being active daily on social as an organisation should form an essential part of your strategy.

Key takeaway

Consumers are now spending 40% longer on social media than they were pre-lockdown, and online sales are up, so it is more important than ever for businesses to connect with their customers via social and step up their online presence to survive and thrive in these challenging times.

Maybe* is here to help businesses stay connected to customers via its social media engagement tool. By providing social media and advertising insight tools, we can help your business respond and adapt quickly.

The Maybe* platform helps you manage your social media engagement from desktop or app. Get started for free.

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