Social media is set to “play an even more important role” for retailers post COVID-19 providing a cost-effective form of marketing for cash-strapped companies.
According to retail analytics giant GlobalData, marketing budgets across the sector have been a key casualty of the pandemic, with dwindling cash reserves going towards ensuring retailers simply stay afloat.
Furthermore, the pandemic has driven 43.7 per cent of time-rich consumers to spend more time on social media, providing brands with an opportunity to build loyalty.
“Social media will play an even more important role in marketing post-COVID-19, as many retailers are slashing marketing budgets to preserve cash to cope with the crisis, especially those that previously relied on traditional forms of marketing such as television and billboard adverts,” GlobalData’s retail analyst Emily Salter said.
“Social media is a far cheaper method, especially if brands can leverage user-generated content and rely less on sponsored posts and collaborations.”
Salter warns that brands need to ensure they don’t bombard consumers, many of whom are struggling financially due to the virus, with “purchase-focused” posts.
“Retailers need to focus on aspects beyond products: elements of their brand identity that resonate with shoppers, the positive actions they have taken during the crisis, and building engagement to foster a sense of community, though this may prove easier for smaller independent brands,” she continued.
“These are all elements that shoppers will be able to relate to whether they are in a position to purchase items or not, building brand loyalty and influencing shoppers’ choices in the long term.”