Radio Ad Categories Web Increases During COVID-19

Author: Annette Malave, SVP/Insights, RAB

It may be hard to imagine, but it was just a few years ago that headlines focused on how a particular generation was changing and impacting everything – from the workplace, to food and shopping. It is without question that 2020 will be marked as a year that impacted how and where all consumers shop.

As stay-at-home orders began being implemented across the country, consumers began to shift not only how they worked, but also how they shopped. Based on a 2019 Gallup survey, just 11% of consumers did their grocery shopping online. According to survey results from Acosta, a consumer packaged good sales and marketing agency, 51% of shoppers placed an order in the past four weeks, ending April 7.

These increased online shopping habits are not limited to groceries.  As consumers needed to either work from home or just simply stay at home, the options of where to purchase goods and services became limited.

Previous blog posts have illustrated how radio can drive search for various categories – physicians, restaurants, lawyers, life insurance and more. The analyses included within these posts have attributed web lift to radio. As consumer shopping habits have shifted from in-store to online, it’s just as important to understand how web visits of categories that have advertised on broadcast radio have changed.

Based on data of thousands of advertisers that had previously used broadcast radio, AnalyticOwl has compiled and analyzed web traffic of various ad categories during these times. Specifically, advertisers in some of radio’s top categories experienced significant increases in web traffic – from prior and more importantly, new visitors.

Pest control advertisers had the highest lift in new visits – 60% during March 30 – April 19, when compared to activity from March 9 – 29. Beverages and furniture stores also experienced new web visits – 43% and 25%, respectively. Other categories, such as restaurants and pet supply retailers had an overall lift of 13% and 17%, respectively.

Studies have shown that some consumers will continue buying online even as retailers, under specific guidelines, slowly reopen. As has always been the case, in-store or online traffic is indicative of consumer interest and demand.

During these times, it is crucial for advertisers to remain on air. As behaviors shift due to COVID-19, advertisers will need to enhance their broadcast radio activity to promote their online services. Simply stated, radio increases awareness, drives traffic and influences behavior during good and difficult times – connecting consumers to brands – a win for advertisers and consumers alike.

How has your shopping behavior shifted?


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