Contributor: Sarena Gerard, Senior Research Associate, GfK
Combining online and in-store shopping is a highly personal, consumer-driven experience that’s here to stay — one that predates COVID-19 but that has picked up major momentum over the last 18 months.
For many consumers, pivoting from in-store to online shopping was one survival tactic among many adopted to cope with pandemic lockdowns —and as the omnichannel trend continues to rise, many advertisers are working hard to get in front of consumers in both online and in-store environments. This is especially true in categories that have experienced strong omnichannel growth over the last year – among them clothing & fashion, household cleaning products, and packaged foods and beverages.
The disruption to businesses and the economy created by the pandemic throughout 2020 was unprecedented, impacting unemployment levels not seen in prior recessions. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, over twice the number of jobs were lost between March 2020 through April 2020 than those lost from 2007-2009.
The impact created by COVID-19 restrictions has been felt across a number of industries. One of the hardest hit has been the restaurant industry. According to the National Restaurant Association (NRA), as many as 110,000 restaurants have closed since the start of the pandemic.
The events of 2020 have magnified the importance of reaching ethnically diverse consumers. Advertisers across a wide array of categories, from Main Street to Madison Avenue, have increased their focus to reach Black/African American and Latino/Hispanic consumers. Knowing the media habits of each of these audiences is important to connect with them.
Next week we will celebrate Black History Month – an event that celebrates and recognizes the impact that Blacks/African Americans have had on our history. According to ASALH, the Association for the Study of African American Life and History, the theme for 2021 is The Black Family: Representation, Identity, and Diversity.