Navigating ecommerce acceleration in Raconteur's Future Consumer report

An opinion piece by Ascential's Chief marketing officer, Anna Reeves

Nobody could have predicted what 2020 would bring.

The effects of Covid-19 are being felt in businesses across the world. For marketers, everything has changed: every touchpoint, discipline, budget and revenue is affected. The retail and consumer landscape in particular is seeing seismic shifts and witnessing a rapid ecommerce acceleration.

“The landscape may be radically changed, but we can, and must, embrace this to our advantage.”
Anna Reeves, Chief marketing officer, Ascential Group

Rewind to 2019: the takeaways from the Cannes Lions stages focused on customers demanding genuine brand purpose, the importance of the brand experience being a human experience, and new consumer groups forming as a result of the unquestionable pressure that both people and the planet are facing. In 2020 these priorities still remain, however now brands are faced with an additional layer of complexity as they navigate, react and adapt to the ecommerce acceleration, coupled with an increased expectation from consumers that the brands they buy from propagate a diverse and inclusive society.

The short term effects of lockdown meant that ecommerce saw a surge in uptake as shoppers tried to avoid leaving the home. Insight from ecommerce and data analytics platform, Edge by Ascential, shows that store traffic is dramatically down, overall spending is in decline and online shopping is increasing. Alongside these changes, we are witnessing category shifts, with search terms for COVID-19 essentials winning the top search ranks. Putting this into financial context, the surge in online shopping caused by the COVID-19 pandemic is expected to add £5.3bn to UK ecommerce sales this year to make a total of £78.9bn.

So how can brands make the acceleration in ecommerce their success story?

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