Time to write (about the revolution)

Revolution Covid-19: How have purchasing habits changed? What actions were taken by the brands? And what market developments can we predict? In less than 60 days the life of Italians has changed radically. Tourist facilities, restaurants and shops were the first businesses to close. Following, with the increase in Coronavirus cases, all the companies that produce non-essential goods. The large-scale retail chain, healthcare and some factories continue to produce, while office work and school education have moved within the home. By necessity we have all become smarter. But what does it mean?

First of all, we stopped worrying about Sanremo

Good times when the main topic of conversation was Achille Lauro’s irreverent outfits or Morgan’s “bad intentions“, right? Now Italians are looking for culinary recipes to experiment with, gym equipment to keep fit, streaming services and home shopping. Our needs have totally changed.

And we focused on basic necessities

In this context, even those who have never approached online purchasing have had the experience of e-commerce, especially for basic necessities. In an interview on March 25, Guido Lucarelli, CEO of a company specializing in e-commerce services, states that:
right now we are seeing volumes strong, [di vendite] similar to those of Black Friday.strong, – Guido Luccarelli
this is because a new and very important factor to consider has entered the purchasing process: time. People spend more than double their time on social media, in Italy in particular, the time spent on Facebook apps has increased by 70%, the number of Facebook and Instagram lives has doubled, messages have increased by 50% and group calls by over 1000% compared to the first days of March.

For this reason, brands have felt the great need to adapt and evolve

In detail we propose case studies based on specific reference sectors.

1. Large-scale retail trade is focusing on eGrocery and food delivery is growing significantly

In contrast to the collapse of tourism and luxury, large-scale retail trade suffered a surge in sales of 8.34% more according to a report prepared by Nielsens in the week between 17 and 24 February. Among the most purchased products we find some long-life food grocery categories, such as rice (+33%), animal preserves (+29%), pasta (+25%), tomato derivatives (+22%), gravies and sauces (+19%) and products from the parapharmaceutical (+112%) and personal hygiene sectors (+15%). Furthermore, in this sector we are focusing on delivery services, both to guarantee greater safety for workers and for customers over 65 and for those who do not feel safe in supermarkets. This direction demonstrates a new choice in the agri-food sector: eGrocery (date 26 March). Furthermore, food delivery reported an 8.7% growth in sales. This data is a response to Conte’s decree which allows restaurant businesses to remain open and sell via take away (date 13 March). egrocery

2. Arts and entertainment for luxury brands

With physical retailers closed, events canceled and trade fairs postponed, big fashion brands are focusing on online communication, especially on social media to keep attention on their brand alive. Bottega Veneta inaugurated the Residency project, a weekly entertainment space, which sees the participation of the brand’s collaborators and muses with the aim of paying homage to artists and works that have influenced their lives. Other brands focus on audio content: such as Dior, which has launched podcasts in addition to those of Maison Margiela, Hermès and Gucci. The beauty of music instead was chosen by Philosophy di Lorenzo Serafini, Dsquared2, Msgm, Fendi, Armani and Prada via playlist App (date 2 April).

3. Hygiene products and health devices

Razors, hairdryers, creams and detergents have become the must-haves of the pandemic. As you can imagine, disinfectants, face masks and gloves have seen an unprecedented spike in demand, well over 70%, making them the items that consumers have the most difficulty finding (March 13).

4. Boom in video streaming and podcasts

The video streaming trend (+116% in Italy) turns out to be a big business and the revenue from this sector is expected to amount to 25.9 billion dollars this year, with a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 4.1 %, according to Statista globally. Podcasts have also seen a surge, precisely 10% since the beginning of the year. The most listened to contents? The Spirituality and Religion category wins, which recorded 15 times the usual audience, followed by Self Improvement, Marketing, Art and Kids.

Communication evolves in the face of consumer uncertainty

As can be observed from the different case studies, brands have adapted their communication strategies in order to maintain the connection with their target audience.

First of all, new strategies

Communication in this context takes on a role of fundamental importance. Brands are called upon to correctly express brand values, through accurate and identifying communication, giving maximum emphasis to their social responsibility, and seeking an empathetic relationship with consumers by leveraging moral support and valuable content. From the hashtags #iorestoacasa and #andràtuttobene to webinars, games and surveys: the Content Marketing plan has been renewed, favoring the human component and the quality of the posts. The other side of the coin is represented by last minute portals with tailor-made offers and unmissable discounts. This tactic is considered by some communication experts as an exaggerated exaggeration that does not convey the correct message, indeed it does nothing but amplify the consumer’s sense of anxiety and uncertainty.

Covid-19: the watershed of society and the digital world

In this context that continues to emerge day by day, what are the possible evolutions of society and the consequent consumer habits?

A. Revenge spending

Many are formulating hypotheses on what the market could be like in the coming months, relying on the example of China and the trend towards “revenge spending”, i.e. the desire for redemption through a return to free spending. It is not certain that this behavior is also reflected in our country, but if it continued in the East it could prove to be an excellent opportunity to relaunch the Made in Italy luxury sector, 30% of the proceeds of which are attributed to the Chinese population. China or no China, once we emerge from the pandemic, the markets will recover and many doors will be able to reopen for companies that represent the quality and strength of our country in exports.

B. More digital, less physical

The Coronavirus will not disappear in a few days and perhaps neither will our fear of getting close to people. By now something has triggered in us, almost like a new defense mechanism, and it is much safer and easier to make online purchases via e-commerce. Until two months ago it was still unthinkable for most people to order groceries or buy a product from our local shop online. Today all this is reality and will most likely also be our future.

C. Back to the past

In the next few months we will slowly return to our past habits. Buy Fabio Volo’s latest book (just kidding, it wasn’t released this year), try on the dress displayed in the shop window, go to the gym or simply eat a pizza with friends. It is not a utopia, we need to be patient while continuing to respect the rules to allow each of us to return to our freedom.

Sources

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Castelfranco V.to (TV), Italy
Vicolo Sant’Antonio, 10
+39 0423 492526

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