In this week's member guest blog post, we welcome Igor Gubin, Region Manager, Europe for Admitad, as he shares key insights into shopping habits during lockdown in Europe.
The advertising industry has become increasingly dependent on data to make informed decisions on consumer choices and market predictions.
Retailers and brands have considered data analytics for a long time but only a few truly understood the full impact of it. Prominent examples such as Amazon and Farfetch have introduced personalised search options to adapt offerings for each customer, indicating that data-driven fashion is not a trend, but a significant industry shift toward data mining and a more customer-centric approach.
Data is now available not only from consumers' search histories but from websites, social media, and apps. The amount of data available from non-sales-related sources has increased dramatically in the last couple of years. Retailers have been using cognitive computing to discover more about what customers might want in order to deliver desired experiences. So what is next?
When lockdown became the new normal, consumer’s shopping habits shifted, and we observed tendencies where basket value and shopping activities, in general, decreased for some brands. But context is key to having a true understanding of the bigger picture.
For example, even with more restricted rules in many EU countries, e-commerce turned out to be a large opportunity for many booksellers. When the lockdown was imposed for the second time in Europe, Admitad Affiliate Network recorded double the number of online orders for books, especially in Germany, Italy, and the UK. This included new formats such as audiobooks, films, and online games - everything that helps to make everyday life a little different and allows leisure time to be used for entertainment and education. Given the pandemic's restrictions, this is a noteworthy outcome.
In several categories, the increase in orders placed was quite impressive: work and education-related purchases increased massively, followed by computer and software ( 285% YoY increase in the European region), furniture and household goods (108% increase), tools and garden equipment (by 78%.), and beauty ( by 47%). At the same time, there was a decrease in online orders for tickets and travel, medical supplies and groceries, and clothing and footwear.
What is the lesson here? Data analysis is a strategic and at times challenging field, but there are always some insightful learnings that can be used. It's important, however, to try and not navigate a million data points at once, but instead, direct your attention toward the KPIs that will allow you to extract valuable insights and conclusions more easily. You could also sort the data sets by ranking the importance of users’ attention or the number of orders per season— but even so, this only tells part of the story. As data grows in volume, more challenges appear.
As consumers spend more time online and engage with more brands, there is a large amount of data available — the question is how to make sense of it. It is time to uncover the mystery and examine the practical implications of technology-driven solutions. Data is not something we should be afraid of; strategic decision-making in navigating your brand through uncertain times depends on it. In the rest of our blog series, we will look into big data, consumers’ concerns and changing behaviour, as well as privacy issues and solutions on how best to keep the balancing between the willingness of brands to sell and users’ ability to agree on how transparent their searching history should be. To be continued.