The COVID hangover is here. A lot of businesses and merchants are feeling it as sales have been slowing down since at least April, and many are now talking about a recession.
According to Forbes, month-over-month consumer spending went down 6.8% in April, and most analysts are running around announcing that the sky is falling.
But, wait a minute. Let’s see what the data actually says. Last May, credit card spending grew a whopping 10%. So, why is everyone crying wolf?
Well, in 2021 credit card spending growth averaged 20% month after month and specialists claimed eCommerce jumped 10 years ahead during the COVID crisis. Now that we´re back to saner numbers, people think it’s the end of the world. It’s like watching your healthy teenager grow ten inches in one year and then losing your mind when she hits 16 and the growing stops.
We need to understand we got hooked on COVID growth and we´re now entering the COVID hangover period.
Bear Markets And Marketing
The funny thing about animals is that we can all agree that bulls are scary, but there is something about bears that riles people up the minute they are on the move.
Here is what a bear market means: the market is down 20%. No falling skies, no impending disasters, no second coming of Voldemort.
Now, a 20% market dip might sound significant, and it really is for many. But nobody loses their mind when their favorite products or appliances are 20% off at the store. That’s called a sale, and most of us are happy to run and buy while it’s hot.
A 20% market drop basically means investors are not buying stocks as much as they were, so prices go down 20%. They are on sale.
Put it this way, do we really think big companies like Microsoft, Apple, Google, or Tesla are going to be worth zero come tomorrow?
Some of these companies, like IBM and Coca-Cola, have survived two World Wars, two significant recessions, several pandemics, and they´re still trading stock as if nothing happened.
Granted, many factors affect market drops and myriad ripple effects that we will all feel. But the important part is how we behave in times of recession.
Before we give you any pointers, remember that the most prestigious economist had determined that the US had entered a recession back in 2020. A lot of businesses bailed out and closed shop at the beginning of the pandemic, and we all feared it was the end of the world and emptied all the toilet paper shelves in less than 24 hours.
However, those who stuck to their guns ended up experiencing unprecedented growth that pushed eCommerce forward at least 10 years into the future. Many of them are with us today and it won’t be any different this time.
Today, there is no pandemic, the US is at full employment, and while there are really bad things going on, they´re mostly happening on the other side of the world. The only reason everyone seems to be losing their minds is that most media outlets are writing catchy headlines filled with scary adjectives and nouns. It’s a great SEO trick as it gets more people to click and brings in more traffic, but that’s all it is.
Our advice is to stop paying attention to things we cannot control and keep our focus on what we CAN control. So, what can we do?
Tips For Staying On Top During The Recession
Here are a few things you can do to make sure your business stays in great shape while the market readjusts itself.
Because we hoped eCommerce growth would continue indefinitely, many of us diversified our inventory with tons of low-margin products. It was a great strategy last year as people seemed to have plenty of money to spare and it drove shopping cart averages up. However, right now many of us now hold a ton of dead inventory which is costing us money.
Companies like Walmart and Costco are getting rid of it by putting everything on clearance, and so should you. An added benefit is that clearance sales bring customers through the door, boosting your traffic, conversions, and repeat sales down the road.
Focus On Your Brand
Marketing campaigns focused on generic keywords and products are no longer advisable. Now it is time to reap the benefits of all the effort you put into branding during the last two years and solidify customer loyalty by beefing up customer service and user experience.
If you need help with brand building, contact our marketing team and get your eCommerce SEO work started ASAP.
It’s Time To Hone In On PPC
Right now, diversifying your marketing money on various PPC strategies is not as profitable as it was one year ago. That means we need to audit all of our channels and campaigns and focus on the ones that are bringing us the most sales.
Google ads reign supreme as it gives businesses the most bang for their marketing bucks. So, it is imperative to focus your PPC budget on that platform to push hard-margin products for the time being.
Stay Consistent With SEO: Stick with Your SEO Agency
The only people who get hurt in a rollercoaster are those who jump off in the middle of the ride. Remember, you´re not on this for a two-week play. Your SEO is a two or five-year play. All you should care about is where the market and your industry are going to be when you get there, not where it is today.
So, keep your SEO efforts going, continue releasing quality content that will bring views and sales for years to come, and stay in touch with your eCommerce SEO agency.
Weather the COVID Hangover with an Experienced SEO Agency
While now’s the time to double down on efforts with an SEO agency, retarget your PPC objectives and repurpose your inventory management, it’s also a prime time to start investing aggressively in purpose-driven digital marketing.
Get in touch with us to retool your current marketing efforts and leverage our years of experience in digital marketing to your advantage. We’ve helped other clients ride the rise and fall of waves before and we can do the same for you during this COVID hangover.
And we don’t bite – call us at 888-982-8269.
- Marcel Casella
- June 17, 2022