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Benchmarking the Impact of COVID-19

How the Pandemic is Affecting Industry Verticals

As of March 19, 2020

As the United States and the World come to terms with our new state of social distancing and self-quarantining lifestyles, many brands and verticals are in the midst of feeling the impacts that economic and social uncertainty can have on performance.

Due to the profound and rapidly evolving changes that are occurring, we have developed benchmark data to better help brands understand how they are faring relative to their peers; thus, arming brands and marketers alike with the data needed to make better informed marketing goal strategies to combat the effects of COVID-19.

Understanding Vertical Impacts

Analyzing period-over-period data, starting from 3/11/2020 — the date COVID-19 was announced by the WHO as a Pandemic — the following vertical-specific trends have emerged:

Ecommerce: As a whole, ecommerce brands are experiencing declines across primary KPI’s (Sessions -15%, Transactions -15%, CVR -21%). These impacts are most notably being felt within “non-essential” product categories such as apparel and luxury goods. However, contrary to the above, Health and Beauty as well as Electronics (focused towards enabling virtual connections) are experiencing large gains (Sessions +5%, Transactions +71%, CVR +67%).

Video-On-Demand: With an increasing number of people staying home, the entertainment video-on-demand vertical is seeing a rise in performance. Services are experiencing increases across the board as users seek out methods to entertain/occupy themselves in the comfort and safety of their homes (Sessions +9%, New Users +15%, Duration +4%, New Subscriptions (SVOD) +22%).

Travel & Tourism: Unsurprisingly, this is the vertical that is most impacted by COVID-19. Impacted by Social-Distancing and regulatory Travel restrictions and guidelines, brands within this vertical are experiencing profound performance impacts (Session -20%, Transactions -33%, CVR -3%).

How To Proceed

Although the scale and severity of the COVID-19 outbreak is unprecedented for the digital age, it is imperative for brands to become even more strategic and creative with how they are targeting, messaging and reaching users. 

Avoiding overreactions and employing calculated forward-thinking strategies will position your brand for success as the initial “panic” period wanes and people begin to fall back into daily rhythms; albeit they still may be remote.


If you would like to further discuss your brand’s COVID-19 marketing strategy playbook, please reach out to us at marketing@directagents.com and we will be happy to help. 








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