Coronavirus Growth Mapped Against Increased Internet Traffic

You may remember in one of our latest blogs posts that we took a look at some of the latest search trends during the Coronavirus pandemic. In this article, our organic marketing team analysed the overall internet performance data since the COVID-19 outbreak in January.

The virus is the biggest storm the world has experienced this year. It’s affected health, businesses, peoples’ livelihoods and behaviour.

Shopping Behaviour

Shopping behaviour has changed in the UK since the lockdown. Consumers are more consciously aware of where they shop and how they shop in-store, by maintaining social distancing and avoiding walking around aimlessly or spending 10 minutes deciding which pasta sauce to buy for dinner. Supermarket owners have restricted policies in place, such as maintaining the two-meter distancing throughout the store, customers queuing up outside with the distancing system and only a certain number of shoppers allowed in, plus the limit on the number of products you can buy. With in-store shopping mapping out consumer behaviour, it’s reflecting on online with some retailers unable to cope with the high demands, particularly with deliveries.

Online Demand

The internet is experiencing one of its most significant surges in popularity yet. More consumers are shopping online for essentials, i.e. groceries, and with retail stores temporarily closing, it’s adding to the volume of users venturing online. While the increase in online activity is booming, it could affect deliveries and stock availability, putting more pressure on retailers.

Here is an example of how Boots.com is tackling the situation – limiting the number of people shopping online at the same time.

Leading online fashion retailer ASOS has been under scrutiny for the ‘continue as normal’ attitude, forcing employees to work in overcrowded warehouses, putting not only their lives at risk but families and customers too. On the other side, ASOS has also temporarily paused incoming deliveries, i.e. retail suppliers, to manage distribution and stock effectively. So, you can expect to see a continuous role of promotions to shift stock to make room for new lines.

Increased Internet Traffic

Our expert data analyst Aliesha, analysed the average sessions for four of our marketing clients that have exceeded in performance throughout March.

Please note, due to confidentiality, we are unable to name the clients and provide data on the graph above.

In 2018, the global media data traffic amounted to 19.01 exabytes per month. By 2022, mobile data traffic is expected to reach a significant 77.5 exabytes per month worldwide, at a compound annual growth rate of 46%*.

Mobile video, gaming and app downloads are a few examples of mobile internet activities that require a mobile broadband connection with sufficient speed. In 2018, 98% of the European population has mobile broadband with only 2% of the population not having any mobile broadband coverage*.

*Source Statista Global Mobile Traffic 2017-2022

UK network operators have reported significant jumps in traffic since the lockdown. Virgin has seen upstream traffic increase by up to 95% during daytime hours last week (20th March – 26th March) while BT’s Chief Technology and Information Officer Howard Watson, said that weekday daytime demand was up 30-60%.

Source: https://www.zdnet.com/article/coronavirus-how-the-internet-is-coping-with-all-your-extra-traffic/

What We Predict

No one can accurately predict what’s going to happen in the upcoming months. Still, we do suspect that internet searches will continue to increase as more consumers will continue to be conscious and shop online.

Supermarkets are beginning to restock shelves, so while some products will continue to increase, some will slowly start to decrease. We will, of course, monitor the situation and provide more updates with how consumer behaviour is evolving.

Although many businesses are pausing marketing during COVID-19, this three-month self-isolation period is the best time to rethink strategies, ensuring best practice is met for your online business. These include optimising your website effectively, creating fresh content and resolving any technical SEO issues.

Organic marketing takes time to embed on a website, which is why we strongly advise you to utilise this time efficiently by focusing your efforts on SEO. So, by doing this now, it not only puts you a step ahead of competitors who will no doubt use this time to review finances rather than marketing but when things do get back to normal, your site will be performing well and ranking highly. This will attract new visitors to the website, resulting in conversions and revenue, and will help to make up for any lost profits.

If you have any questions or advice regarding organic marketing and how you can ensure your business is functioning during the pandemic, please don’t hesitate to contact our team today on 0161 820 7628 or send an email to info@pushon.co.uk.